Career Chat: Where to from here?

I’ve worked in communications and marketing for four years and I love it. It’s a varied role and everyday presents different opportunities and challenges and you get to work on lots of different campaigns and projects. Because of the varied nature of the job, it’s easy to get comfortable and feel like there’s no point in venturing out.

Staying in a role and growing is important, especially when you’re just starting out. You want to build on your technical skills as well as hone your soft skills. The thing with marcomms is you’re always learning and growing and you never really stop. But when you reach a point where you think you’d like a change or want to pick up more responsibilities or that your tasks are no longer challenging, then maybe you should start thinking about progression.

If you do decide it’s time to take a step forward, lemme tell you that there’s plenty of career progression in the world of marcomms. Whether you’re moving up the chain into a senior level position or sideways to work in a different sector, the possibilities are endless. Because of the varied nature of marcomms, you’ll get exposed to different industries and pick up new skills and you might want to change your focus entirely and expand on that skill. For example, being a full-time graphic designer or a daily news editor or an account manager at an agency.

Things I’m thinking about before making the leap…

Like in any role, I think it’s important to do some self-reflection on your career when thinking about the next steps and where you want to be. We all have an end goal. Mine is to move up to a management position and ultimately, be self-employed. Since contracting, I’ve found myself reflecting on my skills and experience after each assignment. These are just some of things I think about:

  • What projects did I lead and deliver in the last six months? Were there any challenges and how did I deal with them?
  • How successful were the campaigns and projects and what results did I deliver for the company?
  • How have I successfully managed key stakeholder relationships throughout my career to date? Were there any challenges and how have I overcome them? Am I ready to take the step up to deal with more senior management?
  • Have I been involved in the long-term planning of an organisation and what role did I play in its delivery?

Another thing that I do as well to help me on my path to reaching my goal is to assess my skills and experience against the job market. What are employers looking for? I do this by trawling through job sites looking at marcomms roles and then downloading the job description and seeing where my skills and experience fit. Where there’s a gap, I work out ways to fill the gap e.g. completing a short course or taking on that responsibility in the workplace or letting my manager know of skills I want to develop during one-to-ones. This is also a handy tip if you’re looking to move countries and are trying to work out what skills you need!

Career progression is what you want to make of it. Some people find that they’re really happy doing what they’re doing and they don’t feel the need to change that. Guess what? That’s totally fine. Then there are those that want to keep moving and pushing their boundaries and seeing what they can achieve. That’s totally fine too. We all have different goals and ultimately, we should just do what makes us happy.

What are your thoughts on career progression and how have you gone about moving upwards or sideways?

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