Good Morning from Portland, Oregon. I have a confession to make. I travel a lot and most of my clients are not in Portland, Oregon. The truth is that I don’t know many local marketers. So, I attended a networking event the other day and I had the opportunity to talk to several local marketers. One of the young marketers I met, Ken, asked me an interesting question: How do I know if a marketing career is right for me?
He received a marketing job offer after he graduated from college. The job is not exactly what he expected; therefore, he started questioning whether this is right career path for him. The question he poses is perfectly legit, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy what you are doing.
Pay attention and be in tune with you likes and don’t like.
I asked him if he knows what he wants to try next. He said that he is not sure. I also asked him if there are any specific parts of marketing that he enjoys. He said he loves creative and copywriting, but is really not much into data analysis. Yet, as part of his job, he needs to do SEO and social media analysis. I understand that completely. I don’t much enjoy data analysis myself, especially trying to pull analytics manually from multiple sources. Ugh. What a pain!
Here is what I shared with him. Everything has 2 sides. While there may be parts of our job that we enjoy very much, there is usually some part of it that we hate with a passion. That’s just part of the life.
I told him not to write off career in marketing yet. Pay attention and be in tune with he likes and doesn’t like. Observe what he is naturally good at and what areas he needs to improve.
Find a way to learn or delegate to others
I didn’t advise him to only focus on the part of job he likes and ignore the parts that he doesn’t like. For example, I’ve never like to do data analytics, but be able to analyze data is an important part of modern marketing. I can’t just ignore that or not do it. To solve that dissatisfaction, I could either find a way to do it myself or delegate to someone to do it.
Rather than just letting someone else do it, I look at it as a learning opportunity. That doesn’t mean that I learned to code so that I can do data analysis. I am not a coder and I’ll never be a coder. That’s my limitation. If I need to learn to code to do data analysis, that will literally kill me. So, I find 3rd party tools to conduct data analysis.
Learning how to use new tools and dissect data is a way to expand my marketing skills. That’s one way of dealing with part of the jobs I don’t like. Find a way to learn or delegate to others.
Sometimes, you can find a solution to deal with something you don’t enjoy doing. Sometimes, you just can’t.
For example, I have a friend who is an awesome event manager. With digital, she also needs to learn how to promote her events on social media. No matter how hard she tried, she just doesn’t get how to do social media effectively. She tried to learn, but she also reached her limitation.
Finally, she began delegating to a contractor while she sticks to what she knows best, which is doing physical event production. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to work around or deal with the parts of the jobs that you don’t like to do.
Sometimes, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
Although Ken told me that he likes creative and copywriting, he is not crazy about SEO and social media. I told Ken to observe and pay attention to his daily tasks and write down what he does every day. Sometimes, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Maybe changing the processes or using different tools would substantially change how he feels about SEO and social media. You just never know. This idea really resonated with Ken.
Take time to self-reflect and analyze why you like or don’t like about your job before you pull the trigger and change your career path.
Ok, I hope this also gives you some ideas on how to do analysis of your own job, especially if you are thinking about your next big move.
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Be well, enjoy your job and talk to you next week.