It’s the time of the year that many college students reflect on the years they’ve spent in school and prepare to enter the workforce. At a recent marketing meeting we were discussing this as a couple of our very own team members recently donned the cap and gown and took the proud walk of achievement. Thinking about this got us on the discussion of what advice would we give to future digital marketers…
Nathaniel: “Change it.”
My advice for the future digital marketer….it’s tough to think about considering how fast the digital landscape is changing and how different companies interact with consumers today versus 10 years. But if I’m simply putting my best advice foot forward I would say this one thing:
“If you don’t like the state of your marketing universe, change it. In fact, be prepared to.”
There are guidelines being created every single day but guess what, big picture, we’re all still pretty new at this digital marketing thing. These rules aren’t set in stone. Each new breakthrough in social technology creates a ripple that will and should impact the way we as marketers help companies connect and engage with their audience. It’s ok to not play by the rules if you don’t feel those “rules” are in the best interest of your clients and their customers.
Shannon: “Stay Organized!”
So here’s the thing… with anything new you are going to have an “oh crap” moment when you don’t really know what’s going on. It happens to everyone. It especially happens when you are new to something such as digital marketing. Staying organized when you work on a computer all day is going to help you out a ton.
- Embrace Tools: Having tools such as Evernote and Asana is going to help you have checklists to get you through your day.
- Write Notes: Not just on your computer, but in a physical notebook as well.
- Take Timeouts: Seriously, you have to step away from the screen now and then to gain real perspectives of tasks.
Gretchen: “Have a voice and don’t be afraid to fail.”
When I first got out of college I was quiet, listened to what my co-workers had to say, but for the most part I kept my opinion to myself. I had this idea that due to my lack of extensive, real-world experience, what did my point-of-view have to offer? Turns out, a lot. Luckily I had great mentors who challenged me to share my insights and ideas. It’s just as valuable for you (young graduate) as an individual as it is for those that have years of experience beyond you. Through you they will also have an opportunity to learn!
Try things, test things, know that not every time things will come out on top, but through failure you also learn. There was a period of time that I let a fear of failure stifle my willingness to act, and if I did, I pushed for perfection. It was daunting, and realistically not practical. Some of the most successful business people have had great failures before achieving success. It is sometimes then that you can truly find greatness. Digital marketing is ever-changing and always evolving. Don’t be afraid to test something new before it’s been truly proven. The key thing is to learn what works and what doesn’t, adapt and evolve.
Colin: “Go back to school and become an engineer.”
If that isn’t an option I would say to look until you find the company that fits you best. I know there is a lot of pressure to find a job right after you graduate, but if you take to time to find the firm where you will learn and grow the most, you will be better off in the long run. Making money is important, but so is being happy and passionate about what you do. Don’t waste your own time and continue to fight to accomplish the goals you have been working on for the past four years.
It’s an exciting and unsettling time right after you graduate, but you also have the choice to make the most of it and set the pace for the rest of your career.
Sonya: “Be resourceful & never stop learning”
The tools and platforms of a digital marketer are changing constantly. Being an expert in specific software programs or web languages can only get you so far. Learn how to look for information, and if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And continue to look for ways to add to or sharpen your skills. Pay attention to what new technology is trending, and decide what you should and shouldn’t spend your time learning. And don’t be afraid to walk away from the computer. Use whatever keeps you curious to harness new information and skills.
What advice would you give to a future digital marketer? Drop us a line in the comments, we’d love to hear.
Photo Credit: j.o.h.n. walker