Earlier this week Reflect Digital released of a survey we conducted with students across the UK to gain their thoughts on careers in the digital world.

Results showed that 63% of 1000 13-21-year-olds believe more should be done at schools, colleges and universities to educate them about the jobs which are available.

In light of this, and the fact it’s National Careers Week this week, I wanted to share my knowledge and top tips on how to build a career in digital marketing.

Here are 5 key tips to start a career in digital marketing:

  1. Harness Your Network
  2. Take The Experience You Can
  3. Learn and Grow
  4. Maximise Your Time
  5. Be Relentless

1. Harness Your Network

This really relates to who you go to for support or advice as well as peers who drive you and people you look up to. If you want to work in social media do you have someone in your network you look up to and can meet for a coffee to pick their brains?

Are you constantly socialising with people who don’t have the same career aspirations as you do? Can you find time to add in business socialising to meet new contacts and learn about your industry?

Having a strong network is so important to the growth of your career and you should note these connections and the shape of that network will change over time.

Reach out to people and businesses that you meet along the way. If people have the time they will always try to support you, listen to you and give advice. But don’t take it personally if they can't. It might not be the right time or fit.

Don’t just connect with people who can benefit you. It's not about connecting with people who can refer businesses to you or might offer you a job. It's a two way street of knowledge sharing. As you start out in your career you'll be asking more of your network in terms of questions and advice but consider what you can do to be valuable in your network.

2. Take The Experience You Can

Now what I didn't want to say here is work for free, not only do I not advocate free internships with perks that leave you unable to make rent or eat after a 60 hour week but if you wish to ever freelance in digital you have to know your worth and that is not £0.

What this does mean is in your paid job you may not be tasked with projects covering areas you want more experience in. For example, you're working on print media but want to learn web design. Firstly approach your boss and discuss these aspirations. Secondly, there will be opportunities external to your job where you can grow, charities are crying out for support so maybe you can volunteer? Want to design your own site? Do it for yourself or as a hobby. If you don’t know where to start, refer to your network and mentors.

3. Learn and Grow

Career paths are not linear or prescriptive, what works for you might not work for others and vice versa.

If you don’t absorb information by reading, don’t force yourself to read and study.

Do you learn by doing? Have you tried podcasts?

4. Maximise Your Time

In relation to all the above consider what your goal is and how much time do you give to it?

Do you drive to work? That's 30 minutes to expand your mind with a podcast.

On a train? 30 minutes to write a blog every day?

What's the first thing you do when you get to the office?

If you can get in 15 mins early, with a coffee in hand, you can sit down and network on LinkedIn or catch up on the latest marketing trends on a number of publications, some of these examples also have great marketing templates to get you started in new areas:

  • Econsultancy - great news and tips and their paid courses are fab
  • Marketing Week has a great blog
  • PR Week is the go-to PR resource
  • Deezeen for out the box design and architecture inspiration
  • Social Bakers has lots of advice and tools
  • Social Media Examiner is a great resource
  • Hub Spot has so many tips and tools
  • Sprout Social
  • The Drum
  • Campaign (Weekly or Magazine) is another great resource

5. Be Relentless

My last piece of advice is be relentless in your pursuit of career growth, it's not easy but it will all fall into place eventually.

Also be aware your career is an evolution you should treat it like your marketing strategy and reevaluate it regularly, and run through the above points to make sure all your efforts are aligned.

Further Reading

Check out the results of our Student Survey here!


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