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I started my digital marketing journey in Jan'17 and looking back, I realized that one thing which has always helped me is, having some fantastic mentors.
I quickly realized - There will always be someone who is better qualified and more experienced than me – what makes ME stand out? What do I bring to the table apart from MY skill-set?
No employer only hires for skills and experiences, they are vital, and nothing negates that. However, soft skills – work style, resource management, and collaboration style are a close second. You can always acquire skills, do certifications and learn new tools – but how do you learn 'how' to work. This is what differentiates you from a ‘member’ of a team to an ‘essential member’ of a team.
Some people are fantastic at picking up these soft skills up on their own and don’t need a mentor. Me, on the other hand, have always had an opportunity to be surrounded by some great people who have been vastly experienced not just with marketing but also have had an inspirational journey.
Advice #1: ‘You need to be irreplaceable.’
My father, a great visionary and a businessman wore an employer’s hat and gave me this advice. I've always strived to achieve this goal for all my job positions – and anything less for me is not acceptable. If I'm replaceable, my work is not good enough. This ideology gives me the drive to work twice as hard to make my place. Though time taking, I know this will reap the most benefit for me.
Advice #2: ‘No work is too small.’
As an intern, I was extremely enthusiastic about marketing automation, strategizing and planning – not realizing that there are a lot of basic things I needed to cover before I get there. A silly me thought that I wasn’t learning much from helping in organizing user conferences, gathering registrations or even gathering leads on the website. I could possibly not be more wrong. Everything I learned has immensely helped me grow.
Thus, everything you do today helps you later. I cannot stress enough how much it has helped me time and again. Starting small is the best way to go.
Advice #3: ‘Focus on learning.’
This advice was from me to me. When I was looking for my first job, my focus was only on one thing. How much will I learn from this job? It is tough when the job market is low for graduates and perseverance and tears paid off when I landed my first job. But boy, oh boy, it was tough. Sometimes you might give up big names and a higher salary. The return, however, is worth it for your career. I am lucky enough to be part of an organization that encourages learning through and through.
Advice #4: ‘Achieve small wins to gain trust.’
This was some fantastic advice which helped me immensely to show my calibre to my team. It started with small campaigns, taking the initiative and delivering those goals helped my leadership trust me with more responsibilities. This helped me grow exponentially and gave me the confidence I did need. I used my strengths to get through my rocks and worked on weaknesses to become better.
We often read success stories and it seems like a long road ahead. Hence, thought I would share a ‘starter journey’ story talking about the initial road to let you know, there are lots like you and me trying to make a mark. This article is about my experience, not achievements. I have just started out and have achieved nothing exceptional. This isn't the gospel truth. What has worked for me up till now doesn't need to work for you. However, it might help you on your road to success.
It was my take on what's the 'extras' you need once you've learnt the tools and have the certifications. This is a repost from my LinkedIn profile and mostly talks about my digital marketing career, but I do think this can help anyone else in their career too. :)