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How to Build a Thriving Career in Marketing

by Melanie Peterson
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Marketing is an excellent career choice because it combines so many different practices. There is room in marketing for the creatives, for the artists, for the writers, for the musicians, and for those with an analytical and tech background. Not only that, but you can go anywhere with marketing. Every single business, organization, and field requires marketing and advertising to grow and to get their message out there. 

Marketing is a freeing career, but it is also an incredibly popular one. This makes it difficult to move up and to even get started, but with this guide, you’ll be ready to kickstart a career in marketing in no time. 

Your Undergraduate Approach 

Marketing is a very versatile career, and the fact is you don’t need a specific degree to get involved. While there are marketing undergraduates, you may find it better to approach your marketing career from a new and unique angle. Data analytics, sociology, and psychology are just a few interesting backgrounds that can really help you push the envelope of marketing and help you stand out. 

You can, quite simply, start a career from any undergraduate background. As there is no specific undergraduate background that you need, then know that it is even more important that you work to get as much practical experience as possible in the form of personal projects, societies, and internships

Leverage the tools and resources available to you right from the start and try to push your limits. Not only is this how you will learn more about what you specifically want out of your marketing career, but also how you will stand out in the job market once you graduate. 

Tips for Your Career Path 

To improve your career path, you will want to: 

• Regularly Job Hunt 

The world has changed, so the old concept of staying with one employer and working your way up is long past. If you do find that you have opportunities and a future with an employer, then, by all means, stick with them, but if you find that they regularly overlook you and that, in general, you don’t see many opportunities, know that leaving and working your way up via job hunting can be a great way to make progress with your career – particularly in the beginning. 

Not only will you have a lot of experience adapting your skills to multiple employers, but you also have the opportunity to get hired in a more advanced position. What’s more, the best time to negotiate your salary is actually when you get hired. It is normal to earn more than your previous job, so you can consistently increase your wage by using this tactic. 

• Keep Building Your Skills 

Marketing is a very fast-paced environment and what you need to stand out in such a market is to continually improve and expand your skillset. This can be done by earning a master’s degree when the time is right, or it can be done by completing short online courses and also by pursuing your own projects. 

Try to really diversify your skillset as well. Even if you don’t use all of these skills in your day-to-day job, having a better understanding of things like coding, web design, and so on can help you communicate more clearly with other teams and specialists. 

• Network, Learn and Grow 

Networking and job hunting go hand-in-hand, but there are many ways that you can learn and expand your knowledge while also furthering your career and improving your network. Attend events, conferences, and workshops. Read. Listen to podcasts. Follow great campaigns. Read reports. If you learn one thing every day, you will naturally start building up an invaluable collection of information that you can use in your career as a marketer, either directly or indirectly. Try to use top networking tips along the way so that you can open new opportunities right alongside your lifelong learning approach, and you’ll find many great doors open for you. 

Should You Get a Masters? 

Marketing is one of those roles that allow you to really learn on the job, but that does not mean that further education is a waste. In fact, choosing right can really help prepare you not just to work as a marketer but to lead. Leading means more than just managing a team; it means pushing the envelope of marketing and a company’s goals. 

When it comes to getting a master’s, it is typically ideal to work your way up in your field first for a little while so that you can learn more about yourself and your career. Once you have a better understanding of where you want your career to go, you can then choose a master’s that will allow you to make leaps and bounds by combining great new technical knowledge with your work experience. 

For example, you can get a lot out of an online masters in marketing analytics, particularly if you have mostly focused on the art and creative side of marketing up until this point. These programs can help prepare you for a whole new career path and can even prepare you to take on your marketing expertise in a freelance or consultant capacity. 

Bridging skills is one of the best ways to further your career in marketing. What this means is that, rather than try to further your skills in what you already have experience in, focus more on topics related to marketing that you don’t have knowledge in, like analytics. 

Adapt to Your Changes 

We all change and adapt as we get older. What you want out of your life and your career can and will likely change from what you anticipated, and that is okay. The only way you can go wrong is by staying steadfast and not working with your new priorities. It can be scary to change paths, especially if it’s in a new direction (for example, starting your own business), but making that final leap when it is time can be the most rewarding experience of all. 

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