media update’s Jenna Cook reveals seven exciting ways you can excel in your marketing career.

Journeying to the top of your marketing career takes time, and you may forget why you started in the first place. But don’t be dismayed, there’s many things you can do every day to make sure you’re moving closer to the top.

To learn about the seven ways you can make your marketing career soar to new heights, read on:

1. Prove you’re passionate about your job

As a marketer, you should care about building the best possible brands. It’s your job to ensure that when people come into contact with your client, they feel the excitement, the energy and the passion.

The same principle goes for you and your boss. When people come into your workspace they should feel the same passion. Why? Because passion is often the driving force behind many successful careers. It’s what’ll get you out of bed in the mornings, keep you motivated all through the day and inspire you to do your best work – even when you don’t feel up to it.

There are a number of ways to go about showing this drive. You could take pride in the campaigns you strategise, build connections with your team and remind yourself how your employer or client benefits from the work you do.

It’s easier said than done– so don’t be too hard on yourself while figuring out how to express your passion – but people (like your boss) will begin to take notice of your enthusiasm. And once they do, you’ll be on the fast track to a successful career.

2. Make sure you’re keeping up with expectations

Most companies will require you to attend a performance review once a year – but why wait until then? So much can happen in the space of a year. In fact, you know that there’s so much that can happen in the space of just a month. You may work with new clients, craft crazy campaigns and be managing your boss’s social media accounts all before lunch!

This is why it’s so important to regularly make time to consider the progress that you’re making in your career. How often, you ask? Every six to eight weeks is a fair range to work with. How else are going to know if you’re keeping up with the industry?

Be honest with yourself about what you’ve achieved, the gaps that need filling and the potential contribution you’re making to your agency.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:
  • What stage on your career path are you in?
  • What is your destination career-wise?
  • Are you improving the company? If so, how?
  • What can you do better?

Great, the easy part is done. Now you need to take everything you’ve just learnt about yourself and turn it into an actionable plan. For example, you uncovered that you need to communicate ideas to your co-workers in a more understandable way.

Now, you need to decide how you’re going to improve your communication skills. You can do this by carefully considering your ideas, imagining that you’re presenting them to someone who has no prior experience in the industry, before communicating to your co-workers.

Additionally, you can make use of visuals during presentations so that the images can convey what you want to say, as opposed to just your words.

Outlining exactly how you plan on tapping into your potential and improving the way you do things will allow you to take your career to the next level.

3. Don’t let your mistakes get you down

The truth is that the advertising world is on display 24/7 – and so are your mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that all of your hard work was for nothing. Mistakes happen, but the main thing to keep in mind is that it won’t be the mistake that defines where you go next – that is up to you.

First things first, admit where you went wrong and apologise. Nothing can tame an angry client quite like a genuine apology can.

Secondly, craft a plan to to avoid making the same mistake again – there’s a lot you can learn from a marketing mishap.

And third, now is the time to practice resilience. The great thing about getting knocked down is that, once you hit rock bottom, you can only go up again – it’s comeback time.

4. Use your creative talents to build your success

The marketing industry is notorious for its ability to be incredibly creative – especially when it comes to ads and campaigns – so don’t be shy to stretch your imagination. Constantly think about ways you could not only improve your role within the agency, but transform it as a whole.

Start with the ‘now’. Ask yourself:
  • What new ideas do you have to ensure your agency is relevant?
  • Is being relevant enough to be competitive in this industry?

Then visualise the future five or even 10 years from now and ask:
  • What will the marketing industry look like?
  • Are you prepared for the changes and trends that may come your way?

When you’ve come up with new and unique ideas to add value to your agency, clearly write them down or present them to your boss. If anything, they’ll appreciate your interest in wanting to improve the vision of the agency. And in the best case scenario, they’ll implement your ideas.

Few things will push your career further than establishing yourself as an imaginative and reliable part of the team.

5. Look for opportunities to sharpen your leadership skills

One of the fastest ways to fast track your career in any industry is to prove yourself worthy of a more valuable position.

You might not consider yourself in a leadership role – especially if you’re new to the agency – and your job, so far, has been more about collecting dry cleaning than actual work. But don’t be discouraged, an opportunity to showcase your skills will present itself – so be ready to jump on it when it does.

You may not realise it yet, but each time you get to run a small meeting, organise an event for a client or coordinate a workshop, you’re actually test driving your leadership skills (communication, managing, supervising and decision-making, etc).

Also, don’t be too scared to ask for a chance to put together a meeting, work with someone who’s coordinating an event or go on a sales pitch. Sometimes, you have to make these opportunities happen yourself.

6. Invest in an industry mentor

A mentor is someone who has already been there, done that and gotten the t-shirt. This makes building a relationship with them a great investment. Why? Because they’ll be able to give you realistic guidance and career advice.

So for all you junior art directors, copywriters, animators and strategists out there, keep an eye out for someone within the industry that you admire, and then approach them. It really is as simple as asking them if they’d be willing to spend some time chatting and sharing their trade secrets with you.

Mentors are also an awesome way to keep you motivated and inspired; they’re able to help you identify any blind spots and opportunities for growth. They know what it takes to make it in this industry – so leverage their expertise to make sure you’re ready for your next career move.

7. Be ready to adopt change – a lot

As a marketer you know that what’s relevant today is old news by tomorrow – so you should already have a great capacity to deal with shifting trends. But trends aren’t going to be the only things that change.

You need to recognise that change – be it new job titles, new admin procedures or new co-workers – come with the territory of a fast-paced industry. And instead of fighting the change, learn to embrace it.

Not only will this allow you to be more flexible and adaptable, but it’ll also prepare you for the rapid nature of the advertising world. And once you can get a handle on that, you’ll be able to take any shift in your stride.

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You may think that in order to make a name for yourself in marketing, you need know a little bit about everything the industry has to offer. But being a unicorn is not all it’s cracked up to be. Find out why in our article, Hey marketer – you’re not a unicorn, but here’s why that’s awesome.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy