Hi everyone. Today, we have part one of Lea’s story. Not only is she an up-and-coming marketing genius, but she’s the marketing genius behind the release of Greaveburn! In today’s post, she shows us that Marketing is like any other job, and astoundingly similar to making a break in writing. That is, it’s damn hard. Take a look at what she’s been up to since she graduated:
Finding the Right Path to Go Down
This July will be my third year since graduating. What have I done with this time? Well, on the face of it I have simply been working in a shop, keeping my head down, waiting for my life to start. And, to an extent, for some of the time I probably have done a bit of this when I’ve become disillusioned with how damn hard it is to get to where you want to be in life. Throughout school, college and even university itself we were all told that degrees are the keys to success, the door opener, the life starter: but that has proven to be far from the case. I can’t tell you how many jobs I have applied for across how many industries. Most of those job applications haven’t even resulted in a “thanks but no thanks” email. In part, it’s because my CV needed rewriting. It was also due to me not really having decided where I wanted to go in my career. I also found that I quite enjoyed the job that I had fallen into after I left university and was unsure as to whether that meant that this was where I was meant to be.
The role I am currently in doesn’t require a degree at all. However, would I have brought the same thing to the role if I hadn’t done a degree? Maybe, maybe not. It’s no secret to my employers that my current job isn’t my “dream job”, but they do know I appreciate the opportunity to simply have a job – very much – and have given it my absolute all.
This job has allowed me to grow as a person and I have been able to figure out what it is that I am really good at and which transferable skills and passions I have that would actually lead me to a career. It finally dawned on me a couple of months back the things that really make me tick at work:
- Planning and leading promotional events
- Working with local businesses and media to promote and improve events
- Writing copy, my own blogs and promoting this via social media sites
- Working with my team to create a real buzz and atmosphere about the things we do everyday
- Coming up with creative new ways to promote new products and engage customers in these products
The things I love doing at work do, actually, translate into a job role and are in many a job specification for people in the marketing/events/pr category. It helps a lot that a more positive outlook led to greater productivity on the creative writing front: disillusionment can be a little bit of a block to writing. A good friend of mine used WordPress to publish her creative writing thoughts in the form of a comical run through of her life via blog and she seemed to take a real sense of achievement from this so I figured, maybe, this could work for me too. It helped that I had written a couple of brief focus features for the Kent Messenger as part of my promotional work in my current role and had received some fantastic feedback on these: getting someone to read something you want to publish before you do so is crucial. Now, I’m not saying blogging is the cure to all evil but it really has had a pretty profound effect on me. My blog “It’s A Wonderful Life” on WordPress isn’t ever going to win any prizes but it has:
- Helped me to improve my writing/editing skills
- Improved on my self-promotion skills
- Illustrated the importance of social media in promotion
- Connected me with some really great like minded people – as well as some really great, not so like minded people – WordPress provides a floor for discussion like I had never seen before
From the success of my WordPress blog came my KentOnline blog – expanding my audience and the opportunity to network and receive feedback on my work. Ok, so three years down the line from graduating I have finally figured out which career path is right for me, now what? Well, a whole lot of research was what came next: what qualifications or experience would I need to bag myself my dream job? I found that, much like everything else, marketing has gone digital – in a major way. I was going to need a strong online presence and a professional digital self. I created an account on LinkedIn and started using Twitter to engage in conversations with and about my chosen field. I signed up for online webinars which I watched in my own time and joined online groups to keep abreast of the latest updates in the industry. I also signed up to receive as much free relevant reading material as possible. I bought myself an incredibly easy to read and insightful book on marketing based on the recommendations of one of the staff at Waterstones “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” written by David Meerman Scott. Reading this book has made me realise that the skills needed to be a successful marketer are certainly transferable and I just need to make sure I maintain my focus as well as an open mind to new opportunities.
That’s it for today, folks. Come back tomorrow to see how Lea manages to juggle her internship with my Publisher, Inspired Quill, and life in general.
Thanks for reading.