What do these statements have in common? “I quit my dream job without any new prospects.” “I went back to graduate school.” “I started working on my passion project.” If you guessed “things we daydream about on our Monday morning commutes” think again. These are the real-life stories that our panelists told during the BMA YP’s ‘How-To Happy Hour’ event last week, which focused on life-changing decisions that altered the course of the careers of our bold group of marketers, and advice they had for the next generation.
- Networking is vital to career progression. “You never know who will be able to help you - I happened to meet someone who owned a marketing agency while doing yard work at a family member’s house, and I later landed my first marketing job at his company,” said Tyler Hetland, Marketing Strategy Specialist at SCHEMER, a premier B2B marketing agency in the Twin Cities. The takeaway? Never miss a chance to introduce yourself to someone, and don’t be afraid to ask your network for help when you need it. People are generally happy to help match talented, motivated individuals with opportunities where they could make an impact.
- Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from taking the next step. “I got the job that I had wanted for years, but after a while I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled. I quit that job, with no prospects and no concrete plan, because I knew I needed to push myself to move forward,” said Ashley Grossman, Social Media and Content Manager for The Salvation Army. She explained that whether you’re changing jobs, applying for a promotion, relocating, or considering transitioning to another industry, there will always be risks and questions involved, but those things should not stop you from trying to find a path forward.
- Dream big, but start small. “Make a goal and make a little progress toward that goal. Break down big goals into a series of small goals, then celebrate success along the way,” remarked Kevin Clark, Global Marketing Communications Specialist at Pentair. While your long term goal, whether it’s getting an advanced degree, or writing your first book, may seem like an unlikely possibility, there are things you can do to make progress every day. Clark suggested meeting with others who have achieved similar things, or doing some research try to learn more about ways to successfully achieve your goal. Make a list, and map your progress toward your ultimate objective, one little achievement at a time.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you, and hold you accountable. “Nurture friendships that will help you grow. If you’re trying to accomplish something, tell the people in your life who believe in you, and they’ll help hold you accountable and support you along the way,” said Heather Ann Koehn, a documentarian, writer, marketer, filmmaker, and Chief Motivator at Project Light It Up. Your friends, family, colleagues, and mentors can be your biggest motivators when projects get challenging and overwhelming, so don’t neglect to maintain relationships with people who can help you when the going gets tough.
Are you getting ready to make your own bold move? Tell us about it in the comment section below, and join us for our next BMA YP ‘How-To Happy Hour’ event, where we’ll be talking about how to develop a DIY SEO/SEM strategy.
Amy is the Customer Success Marketing Specialist for Siteimprove North America, where she manages planning and execution of customer engagement strategy for more than 3,000 clients internationally. Amy has worked in various roles from support, to sales, to marketing in the B2B Software as a Service industry for over 8 years. Amy holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.