Career advice from 7 marketing leaders

(Image credit: Cytonn Photography / Unsplash)

These days, advancing your marketing career requires navigating a rapidly changing environment and constantly learning new skills.

There is also increasing competition as more and more people are attracted to opportunities in the field of marketing. the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in marketing, advertising and promotions will increase by 10% during this decade, with the creation of 31,800 additional jobs.

At the same time, the future of work is also changing, as some offices remain remote and others embrace hybrid working styles.

So what’s the best advice for marketers on how to advance your career?

SmartBrief turned to seven marketing managers and recruiters to answer this question. Here’s what they had to say.

Diversify your experiences

Dana Siomkos
Dana Siomkos / Dana Siomkos

“My feeling is that the diversity in someone’s resume is most important,” said Dana Siomkos, founder and CEO of You & Them, a boutique recruiting firm. “If I ever talk to a candidate who’s only been on the agency side, and just in a specific type of agency, whether it’s digital or brand, I always encourage them to diversify.”

“Don’t do what I did,” added Daphne Sipos, senior recruiter at Shine Talent & Advisory.

She spent nearly 13 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide earlier in her career.

“The reality is that you really learn and grow the most when you have the ability to move around,” she said. “Every company does things differently. You will get better best practices as you progress.

Frank McGehee, Senior Director of Product Marketing Operations and Technology at Disney Streaming, suggests looking at horizontal movements, not just vertical ones. This allows you to develop skills that apply across industries, like learning Braze and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Frank McGehee / Yolanda Perez Photography LLC

“It will make you more marketable. You will learn more. You can use your skills and go from a distribution platform to a streaming platform and then back to a financial platform,” he said. “Have skills, go travel.”

However, Nathan Friedman, co-president and chief marketing officer at Understood, says you can still get a varied experience by sticking with one company. “Don’t jump just to jump,” he advised.

Friedman explained that he stayed at Ogilvy & Mather for 17 years because he had varied experiences that gave him different opportunities and continued to propel him forward.

Nathan Friedman
Nathan Friedman / Understood

“I kept learning, I kept growing, and I kept coming up with new and innovative things that kept me satisfied,” he said.

Friedman suggests raising your hand for new opportunities within your company, working to improve how you engage with your colleagues, and maintaining a constant state of curiosity.

Don’t be afraid to go back to the office

Full disclosure, my office is currently 100% remote so this is not an interested take,” Sarah Kissko Hersh, executive vice president of Percepture, a global marketing and public relations agency, writes on his LinkedIn profile.

Sarah Kissko Hersh
Sarah Kissko Hersh / Liz Zenobi Photography

Kissko Hersh, who runs her agency’s travel and lifestyle practice, has a lot to say about the benefits of working in an office, especially for young professionals who have entered the workforce during the pandemic. Being in person provides key networking opportunities.

“If you’ve always worked remotely, why would you go into an office right now? You don’t know some of the benefits like career advancement, building an internal network, building alliances and just learning – learning by observing in a way you really can’t when it’s all on a prescribed scheduled phone call,” she said. .

Sipos agrees on the importance of in-person networking, saying, “I think people don’t realize what they’re missing out on by not being in a work environment. They lack mentorship. They miss the occasional debriefings…. If you just scroll down and zoom in, you’re missing that texture. You miss the context.

“It’s very difficult to build personal relationships when you’re going in and out of Zoom a few times with an individual,” adds Kirk Iwanowski, chief marketing officer at AI-based video management company AnyClip. “Of course you can, but there’s no substitute for daily one-on-one interaction. They call it chemistry for a reason.

Relationships are still #1 for your marketing career

All the experts agree that your network and connections are the most important way to advance your marketing career.

Kirk Iwanowski
Kirk Iwanowski / AnyClip

“I can name specific people in every place I worked who were part of the reason I was recruited,” Iwanowski said of his work history. He previously worked at EPIX and Sundance. “I had established meaningful relationships with people who moved on and attracted me to them.”

Building your network can be done internally or externally, through face-to-face interactions or working remotely, using LinkedIn or your Zoom or Microsoft Teams Chat. You can also join alumni groups, industry associations, formal mentoring organizations, or check out your friendship circle to expand your network and build relationships.

“I think a lot of people worry about what they think networking means,” Kissko Hersh said. “Networking can just mean staying in touch with people you used to work with and making sure you don’t only contact them when it’s their birthday or when you need something from them. Find meaningful ways to stay in touch.

She suggests targeting those who have a career trajectory that you are emulating or who work in an industry that interests you. She also suggests staying in touch with old classmates.

McGehee agrees, noting, “Networking is so important. Networking includes joining organizations, alumni networks, and networking is also about building relationships with the people you work with or work for in your current company.

You can also network to find a trusted recruiter, which Siomkos says can be important for getting your resume to the top of the pile or learning more about appropriate salaries for your level.

Embrace Virtual Networking

Tracey Gutierrez, Linear and Digital Local Media Account Manager at TelevisaUnivision and Certified Leadership, Executive, Career and Professional (PCC) Coach, explains that there are many ways to network and build relationships in a virtual setting.

Tracey Gutierrez
Tracey Gutierrez / Live Love Lens Photography

She suggests taking advantage of any associations or mentoring programs available at your company that can provide networking opportunities. Sometimes they can be hidden on the internal portal, so look for opportunities or read promotional emails that may arrive in your inbox. She said that when she attends virtual events or workshops, she stays active in the chat so her name can be seen.

Gutierrez also keeps her camera on during larger, internal cross-departmental team meetings and seeks out colleagues she doesn’t know on LinkedIn to connect with them there.

“It’s our way of getting to know each other,” Gutierrez said. “We don’t really get a chance to chat over coffee or in the elevator. So I introduce myself. »

People in leadership positions can also create networking opportunities for their teams.

Friedman notes that he led a growing team of employees he never met during the height of the pandemic.

“We had to take the time to chat virtually over coffee,” he said. “At the top of meetings, we would take time to share something about ourselves or something that wasn’t work-related, so it wasn’t always ‘Let’s go, let’s talk about work and get down.’ You need to find a way to build personal relationships and connections with people outside of this Zoom window.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile for the job search

Sipos thinks your LinkedIn profile is more important than a resume.

“Think of LinkedIn as a search engine,” she advised. “In the recruiting world, you don’t want to have a thin profile. You don’t want to have just titles and company names. Want to have all the buzzwords I type to find you. »

Gutierrez, who has experience with LinkedIn Recruiter, noted that the search engine favors people who are currently employed. But, if you have gaps in your resume or are currently unemployed, there are ways around it.

“You can put a lot of descriptors in the job title area,” Gutierrez notes. For example, if you are currently looking for a project manager position, you can write “Currently looking for a project manager position” or “Project manager (position ended in January 2022)”.

“Even if you are no longer there, you would still show up on a search,” she said.

There are also companies on LinkedIn created to make job seekers look employed, like The Pregnancy Pause and Know Our Work. (These are ways of acknowledging the life circumstances that cause some people to temporarily leave the workforce, such as to raise children, and recognizing the many job skills they can develop while doing this work. Ask n any parent how they have honed their time management, organizational, and crisis management skills through the constant demands of their schedule, for example.)

Thankfully, resume gaps have also become more accepted since the pandemic has fostered public conversation about mental health wellness and broken down some of the traditional walls between home life and work life.

Friedman thinks breaks can even be good. He took one.

“It was time for me to take a break and figure out what I wanted to do in the next chapter of my life,” he said. For him, that meant starting his own business to explore his interests and eventually transitioning from the agency side to Understood, an organization he was passionate about.

Siomkos agrees. If someone has the luxury of taking a break between jobs, they can avoid repeating patterns and really focus on the best stages of their marketing career.

“Think about what you really want to do next. Think inside. Grab a fresh journal and jot down everything you dream of professionally,” she said. .”

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