Marketing is still one of the most popular career choices for graduates and with the high-octane pace, creativity and varied nature of many marketing jobs, it’s easy to see why. With dozens of applicants vying for each post, competition is fierce and the savvy candidate will have to work hard to stand out. Networking, completing internships and gaining as much experience of the industry as possible is a must and having got through the gruelling selection process, you could be forgiven for perhaps wanting to enjoy your new role without thoughts of the next step.
Aspiration is an important feature of a creative industry such as marketing, however, and allowing yourself to stagnate in the same job for too long may lead to job dissatisfaction and a reduction in your motivation. On the other hand, you may be relishing the challenge of climbing the career ladder and eager to move on to new things. Progression is the best career move you can make: here we explain how you can achieve it.
Broaden your experience
In a fast-paced industry such as marketing, trends are constantly evolving and to get on you will need to keep abreast of the latest advances in advertising, design and digital technology. If you want to progress into management or a senior position, employers will need to see a breadth of transferrable skills and experience. In your first few years, therefore, it is a good idea to develop as varied a skillset as you can by branching out and being open to new projects and ideas. In addition, aim to further your knowledge by completing professional development training and courses alongside your main job. As well as showing ambition and initiative, this is a great way to keep up-to-date on the latest thinking in your field, which you can then feed back to your team.
To progress in marketing or design, you need to prove you can deliver. We all have different ways of achieving our targets but showing that you can effectively plan and communicate with your team in order to complete a winning project or campaign is vital if you want to move into management. When applying for more senior marketing or digital marketing jobs, it’s a sensible idea to be able to draw on at least two or three examples of recent campaigns where you have had to plan, budget and complete on time.
Can you manage people?
Moving into management is a daunting prospect and one many may shy away from. In marketing and design, however, managing a campaign from conception to fulfilment can be extremely rewarding and is a great way to keep yourself challenged and thinking creatively. In order to gain experience before applying for these roles, ask your line manager if you can lead a project or a small team, which will allow you to develop your delegation and interpersonal skills.
After a few years in the industry, you may be confident and knowledgeable about your role. Do you understand how your role fits into the wider picture of the company? Can you qualify your latest campaign success in terms of the company you work for or the marketing world as a whole? Developing a sound understanding of how business works is invaluable as you climb the career ladder and it needn’t be a chore. Be proactive: subscribe to marketing blogs, read widely and get-together with other marketing professionals regularly. It will pay dividends in terms of your career!
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