If you’re creative and interested in helping business owners, making a career move to marketing might be the perfect career path. In marketing, you get to come up with unique campaigns and brainstorm with other creative types. You also have some freedom in how you complete the work and your schedule.
The marketing industry continues to grow as more and more businesses move online. New companies open their doors every day. The “Great Resignation” spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to leave their jobs. Most opened new businesses or went into different lines of work. All those people need ways to promote their new businesses.
Is Marketing a Good Career to Get Into?
The answer to whether marketing is a good career move is–it depends. As with any type of work, there are pros and cons to being a marketing professional.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report indicating there are still 11.3 million open jobs, leaving a lot of room for people to move around to various positions and try career moves they otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
Experts predict marketing jobs will grow about 10% between now and 2030. If seeking, you won’t have too much trouble finding a position. You might also find the idea of opening your own marketing agency and working for yourself attractive.
If you’re planning to make a career move into the marketing industry, here are the things you need to do.
1. Find a Mentor
The ins and outs of marketing are pretty intricate. While you can and should take courses on the topic, much of what you’ll learn for this career move will be on the job. Finding a mentor gives you the insight into what skills you should build, the day-to-day running of a marketing campaign and whether the work is right for you.
2. Transition to Your New Life
Make a list of the changes you must make to pursue your new dream. You may need to come up with a plan to move to an area better suited to marketing professionals. A list of what needs to change in order for you to make a career move offers you a checklist of items you can go down. Start your new job without the added stress of uncertainty. Start reading the top marketing books to learn more about current trends and tips for living a marketing life.
3. Start an Emergency Fund
Most experts agree you should have three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. A career move can create a funnel where money doesn’t come in for a few weeks. Even if you move to a marketing agency, you might not get a paycheck for a while. You could make less at first.
If you’re striking out on your own as a career move, you may want to have even more funds saved. You never know how long it might take to make a freelance business a success.
4. Study Your Heart Out
It isn’t easy to transition into a role as a marketing professional if you aren’t familiar with concepts and trends. Take a course at your local community college to learn the basics. Read books widely on the topic of marketing. Seek out online talks, courses and advice.
Take advantage of any benefits that help pay for your education, such as military funds, scholarships and work tuition assistance plans.
Talk to other marketing professionals about the skills you need to truly succeed in the industry. You might have creative ideas for marketing campaigns but if you aren’t a highly organized person, you can still flounder at your marketing work. Some skills are soft skills and don’t directly relate to the job at hand. However, helper knowledge will make you better at your new career.
5. Make a Portfolio
Statista reports 42% of businesses will increase marketing budgets this year. However, just because they have more money to spend doesn’t mean they’ll just throw those funds away. You have to prove your worth as a new marketing professional. The only way to do that is with happy clients.
Your first clients might be local non-profits where you donate some of your time, a family friend who owns a business or a new brand willing to take a chance on you. You may have to do a project or two for free until you have some samples.
Even if you go to work in an agency, they’re going to want to see examples of your capabilities If you take courses, you may create mockups in there you can add to your portfolio. Most college students studying marketing conduct internships and summer projects to get their examples up to par.
6. Work Your Connections
Think about your network of family, friends and acquaintances. Do you know anyone working in the marketing industry currently? They might be an excellent resource for some side work or an internship. You have to jump in somewhere, so finding a place where you can grow and learn in your new role is vital.
If you don’t know anyone in the industry, go ahead and make some connections through your local chamber of commerce, a professional organization or even in a social media group. You have to go after what you want and be determined to make the connections needed to place you in the right position to land a job.
Move Toward Marketing
If you’re sure you’re ready to make a career move from what you’re currently doing into the marketing sector, get prepared by paying down debt, ramping up your emergency fund and positioning yourself for the best chance of success possible. You’ll love the creative vibe of most marketing agencies or striking out on your own to help small business owners find their own success.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.