There are some industries that are vital to the success of the economy - banking, infrastructure, healthcare. What about marketing?
Businesses, corporations, and government agencies all rely on marketing to get their message out to the world, whether that's a product to sell or a mission to solve.
That's why a career in marketing could be a smart move if you're looking for a new challenge.
If it sounds like the gig for you, here are seven tips for kickstarting your own marketing career.
Gain the Right Qualifications
If you're looking at how to get into marketing, you're going to need a resume that helps you stand out.
That starts with having the right skills and qualifications just to get you through the door (or to get you noticed on the desk of a recruiter). Most, but not all, high-level marketing jobs will be seeking somebody university educated.
Imagine your career is a cake you're baking. Your degree and the knowledge you learn over two to three years is the base. The rest of the cake is your professional career, and the skills you pick up along the way.
Find the right study program for you from this list of the best marketing degrees.
Don't Let Failure Stop You
The first lesson you'll learn in your marketing career is that failure is inevitable. You won't always impress a client, you'll sometimes make mistakes, and you won't always get the call back for that job you really want.
The best marketing professionals are able to learn and adapt from failure.
If you're given bad feedback, ask for advice on how to improve. If a company knocks back your application, don't get disheartened. If it went to interview, see if they can provide detailed feedback, and ask them to keep you in mind for future roles.
There are always other opportunities to chase and improvements to make. One failure isn't the end, so don't let it stop you.
Build Your Skills Toolkit
Marketing is a skills-oriented profession, so if you want to learn how to start a career in marketing, you need to build up your skills toolkit.
It's a mix of everything. Copywriting, SEO, design, social media, and research skills are all skills a 21st-century marketing professional should know.
You've also got to understand how businesses operate. You'll need to able to communicate with a range of different personalities effectively, as well as being capable of critical analysis.
Know what your clients and colleagues want and need. Have you got a retailer that wants to run a marketing campaign? Here are four ways a mass text campaign could work for them, for instance.
A degree will teach you the basics, but you'll need to really branch out if you want to stand out against your competitors.
Thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, it's never been easier to network with potential new clients and colleagues. Having a professional social media strategy could open up a lot of opportunities.
Just a casual message to somebody asking for help is enough to build a connection which can grow into something further. How better to get yourself noticed?
That person you helped might be able to lead to a job opportunity or a future client relationship you could cultivate. They could be an industry professional with a wealth of experience you could learn from.
Successful careers in marketing form around individuals who're prepared to grab opportunities. Reaching out and networking is one of the best ways to do that, no matter the stage of your career.
Plan Short and Long-Term
It's important to research and understand where you'd like to end up in your career. That's not to say that your plans won't change, but it should help you determine the route you want to take.
Think short and long term.
Short term, starting with your initial skills and training, identify the kind of job role you want to end up in first. From there, think a decade on. Where do you want to be in ten, fifteen years time?
You don't have to specialize immediately, but it can help you to sharpen your skills if you know the route you want to go down early. Are you interested in social media marketing, for instance? Here are some ideas on how to land yourself a high-end social media marketing role.
Having a specialism like this in mind can then help you decide whether to take middle and high management positions at later stages of your career.
Build Your Brand
We've discussed how the power of social media can help you gain influence amongst your peers.
Use that growing influence on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to build your personal brand. It doesn't matter whether you're an employee or you're looking to go it alone in the future, your brand sets you apart.
Do you want to be influenced, or do you want to be the one influencing?
That's what your brand can do.
Instead of chasing clients or job roles, clients and companies will start to chase you. That gives you a significant amount of soft power that you can use to your advantage to build your career into something truly special.
When a marketing job needs doing, have your peers come to you.
Embrace Your Work Ethic
When it comes to your career, you get back what you put in.
That will sometimes mean long hours, unsatisfying jobs and slow progress, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it every effort.
Your work ethic is what can help you set yourself apart from your colleagues. Be the first one in and the last one out. Don't be afraid to offer ideas to your boss, and make sure it's your name that gets noticed.
Ultimately, these rewards pay off. When new roles open up, it'll be your name under consideration.
Throw Yourself into a Career in Marketing
If you've got the itch to work in a fast moving industry like marketing, there's no time like the present.
Use a bit of hustle to get yourself a work placement while you study and, on the side, work on building your brand and your career plans over the short and long term.
Don't forget to treat every person you meet as potential. It could be a new client, a new job opportunity, or just somebody you can bounce ideas off of. You never know what a coffee and a business card could lead to.
Ready to get started? Take the first step in your career in marketing by finding a job on our jobs board today.