Ten things no one tells you about starting a career in marketingFeature of the week
If you’re interested in working in a fast-paced, lively and pressured (yet often rewarding) environment, you might be trawling the net for marketing vacancies. The good news is, companies are always looking for qualified, enthusiastic employees who can give their business a boost, but if you’re entering into this field, be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Marketing roles might seem relatively straight forward, but here are ten things that no one tells you about starting a career in this sector.
- Expect to work from the bottom up – even with a degree
While you might be incredibly proud of your marketing degree (and rightly so), it might not help you land the job of your dreams. This is because many people have similar qualifications these days, so be prepared to work from the bottom up – even as a university graduate. You’ll get there eventually but your ideal career will probably not be given to you on a plate.
- You’ll be expected to do things not covered by your degree
If your degree focussed on traditional marketing methods such as planning promotional campaigns and studying consumer behaviour – prepare for a shock as in reality you might just be expected to write copy or make cold calls. It depends on the job you apply for but many practical roles will require you to do tasks you haven’t studied for.
- Be prepared to sell, sell, sell
While promoting and selling products is a large part of marketing, be prepared to sell, sell, sell – be it face-to-face, via email or on the phone. Companies these days are looking to improve their outreach, so you might simply be needed to work in a telecommunications centre.
- The best way to climb the ladder is to take a sales job
If you’re driven, hardworking and hope to climb the career ladder quickly – take an entry job in sales. With hands-on sales experience you’re more likely to land a higher paying marketing role down the line as employees tend to favour those who have grafted and know the pressures of business.
- Expect targets that will make you sweat
With businesses trying to rake in more cash, you’ll probably be expected to meet targets which might seem unrealistic on the surface but are achievable with hard work. Marketing is a high-pressured environment, so if you’re not prepared to dig deep to achieve specific goals, it might not be the right career for you.
- There’s a lot of numbers involved
Whether it’s working out the ROI (Return on Investment) for a specific campaign or analysing the amount of hits a website has received, there are a lot of numbers and charts involved in this specific career.
- There’s a lot of planning involved – and convincing the boss
You might have the best ideas in the world, but you’ll have to pull out the facts and use your charm to convince others they are worthwhile and this takes planning and careful preparation. Bosses won’t sacrifice money for creativity so everything always has to bring in cash.
- There will be many clashes of ideas
Marketing is the ideal career for creative individuals who think outside the box, but don’t expect things to always go your way. There will be clashes of ideas and you won’t always get the results you want, so it’s all about give and take.
- You’ll probably have to work overtime
While there are many marketing jobs which fit neatly into the 9-5, you might find yourself working overtime, particularly if you’ve just rolled out a new project and need to monitor its performance.
- You’ll be expected to be a Wordsmith
Unless the company you work for has a dedicated content team (or freelancers they use on a regular basis) you will probably be expected to do all the written work yourself.
Every career has good and bad elements and marketing is no different. You can earn a great wage by securing a marketing role but be sure to read each job ad carefully to ensure it’s definitely what you want to do.
The editorial unit