Ever wondered what marketing is like as a career choice? You’re not alone. Marketing jobs have become very sought-after in recent years as the variety of roles have grown with new technologies. While it can be deadline-driven and pressurised, it’s also highly social and collaborative, hence marketing can be an incredibly fulfilling career choice.
It’s also a very creative sector, which means there’s a lot of competition out there to get into the industry. However, marketing is expected to be a key growth area for jobs in the coming years, so now’s a good time to start looking.
What is marketing?
Every time you buy a product or service, in all likelihood, you’ve been influenced by some form of messaging, AKA marketing. At its most basic, it is the process of engaging and creating relationships with customers, so the marketing mix impacts on a lot of company functions. As a result, it has become a large and diverse industry sector covering a wide variety of disciplines and niches; that includes advertising, PR, branding and, most recently, digital marketing.
While it’s a popular career choice for many graduates, there are many routes into marketing and it’s one of those industry sectors where a degree isn’t essential. However, with so many different roles in the industry, ranging from copywriting and design to analytics or account management, it’s important to do your homework and discover which is the most suitable role for your skill set and personality.
Finding your first marketing job
Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, there are a wide variety of marketing courses that will help you gain the basic skills you need and demonstrate to employers that you’re committed to pursuing a career in marketing. In the UK, the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) is one place to begin working towards a professional qualification.
Be warned, however, it is a very competitive niche and getting your first job won’t be easy. Most employers are looking for someone with previous experience, so your first move should be to gain any exposure you can to the sector. One way to do this is an unpaid internship by sending out your CV with a covering letter stating that you’re prepared to work for free to gain experience. Alternatively, you could aim for an entry-level assistant role that will give you some exposure to the marketing function.
Start by marketing yourself
The best way to show you’ve got what it takes to succeed in a marketing career is to start by marketing yourself. Learn everything you can about marketing strategy, then get social. Connect with potential employers on social media and perhaps even start a marketing related blog to demonstrate your commitment to working in the genre. You’ll discover that networking is an integral part of marketing strategy, so look out for events you can attend to expand your list of contacts and potential opportunities.
Once you get your foot in the door, you’ll discover there’s plenty of career choice with the opportunity to specialise in different areas. With the right experience, talented marketers are in high demand, so salaries can be good, averaging out at about £30,000, but marketing directors can earn £80,000 or more. If you’re ready to make your move into a new marketing role, start your search on Zoek today.
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