by Christina Del Villar
Does it seem like your marketing career is in the hands of other people? Budget cuts, a global pandemic, downsizing…there are so many outside factors that can impact your career path. How are you supposed to create a career you love?
We often find ourselves taking a job because we need the paycheck or we need to leave a toxic work environment. But this path generally leads to more disappointment and lack of direction in your marketing career.
Although it might not be in the cards to be SUPER picky (bills need to be paid!) there are some things you can do to set your future self up for success.
Lean Into Your Strengths
No one is 100% amazing at everything, and that’s okay! Identify the things you are good at AND enjoy doing. Work hard to nurture these responsibilities at your current job or on your own time. This will help you strengthen the skills you find joy in and help you make it the focus of your marketing career.
Gain Influence Where You’re At
Even if you’re looking to leave a job, growing your status within your current company can help you prepare for your next career move. Look outside your department and see where you can insert your knowledge to help the company grow.
This doesn’t mean overstepping boundaries. It means building relationships and adding value.
Make a List
Write down companies that you think would be a good fit — dream companies that will help elevate your marketing career. These can be huge companies or places that align with your values.
Once you have this list, look on LinkedIn and lean into your external Map of Influence. Find potential connections you already have within the company that you can leverage, or lay the groundwork to build connections that can help you in the future.
Find the Right Fit
Even if a company is on your dream list, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the perfect place to advance your marketing career. If you have a gut feeling during an interview that this company isn’t the place for you, accept that and move on.
A way to identify a cultural mismatch is to ask questions about things that matter to you during the interview process.
For example, ask if your interviewer enjoys their job. Listen to their words and their body language to learn everything you need to know.
I know this is lame, but it’s true.
Fit matters to you and to the company, so show your true personality.
After all, if you have to change your personality to get the job, are you really going to like working there?
This may mean you don’t get every job because you’re not the right culture fit, and that’s okay!
Enhancing your marketing career can seem like a never ending cycle, but you can take matters into your own hands. Recognize who you are, what you’re good at, and what you want to do in your career, and start making moves.
Christina Del Villar is an author, advisor, and speaker. She advises company leaders on developing effective go-to-market strategies that can increase revenue by 5-10X, and she does it 70% faster than the large, global consulting firms of the world … and at a fraction of the cost. Her latest book is Sway: Implement the G.R.I.T. Marketing Method to Gain Influence and Drive Corporate Strategy.