By Colin Linton, Chair of The Chartered Institute of Marketing for the Greater London Region
If your NY resolutions included any of these perennial favourites – and chances are they did – now is a great time to see how you actually measured up against your good intentions.
Plus some actual, practical help from The Chartered Institute of Marketing to help give your career a mid-year boost.
1. Have goals. Write them down.
With more recruitment websites and agencies than you can shake a stick at where do you start? You can waste a lot of time and energy looking for a job unless you start and stay focused on what you want.
Work out exactly where you want to be in five or 10 years and see the next move as your first lily pad. Use this long-term goal to evaluate each and every opportunity that comes up.
2. Commit to marketing
Once you’ve got your sights set, make sure you stand out from the crowd as a professional marketer. Studying for formal marketing qualifications such as a Postgraduate Diploma or being a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing can give your CV instant professional status that seriously impresses employers.
3. Use specialist marketing resources
When you do start looking for jobs, be selective. Use accredited marketing sources such as The Chartered Institute’s job vacancy database and list of specialist recruitment websites and employer profiles. The Institute also holds regular Marketing Careers Fairs (next one June 26). You don’t have to be a member to attend.
4. Invest in yourself
Becoming formally qualified in marketing can is a surefire way get ahead in your career. Current and potential employers are always impressed by extra skills that apply directly to your job.
Signing up for a Certificate or Diploma in Marketing will demonstrate a strong commitment to your field and shows you are a professional. There are a range of long and short courses for you to consider with The CIM.
5. Do your job well
“If you want something done, give it to the busiest person in the team.” Is that you? Are you constantly being saddled with duties outside your remit? If so, your workload could be diluting your focus and hampering your job performance.
Come review time, your results won’t look as good as they should. Talk to your boss and tighten your job description. Look at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Job Descriptions Guide to help you set your boundaries.
Or on the contrary – are you bored? If so make like Oliver and ask for more projects or ask for more variety – marketing involves a wide spectrum of activities. Your enthusiasm will be noticed and you’re likely to advance faster than the thumb-twiddlers who quietly coast.
Make sure your time management skills are up to scratch first though, otherwise you could find yourself snowed under.
6. Raise your profile
Are your achievements and efforts at work going unappreciated? Enough with the light behind a bushel thing – tell people how great you are. Raising your profile can only do your career big favours, whether you’re looking for a pay rise or looking to move on.
Use your internal newsletter or Intranet to share project or team news with your colleagues and raise your profile at the same time. Keep any clippings you get with your latest CV. Remember, it’s not an ego trip, it’s a marketing plan for You plc!
7. Kiss babies and smile
Like it or not, politics are part of every workplace and if you don't play the game you and your career could be overlooked.
Get yourself a mentor; it can be a breath of fresh air to talk confidentially to a more senior marketer from outside your company about sticky issues such as internal politics and career progression. The Chartered Institute of Marketing runs a free mentoring scheme for its members in the Greater London Region.
8. I hate networking? Why should I bother?
Because it really works. Networking is not just for people who are looking to change careers. Meeting peers and fellow members from different industry sectors can give you practical pointers and a fresh perspective on your job, your career and your projects.
Networking doesn’t have to be a chore. The Chartered Institute of Marketing gives its members hundreds of opportunities – formal and informal – to practise networking.
Members can also get involved in planning and organising events, liaising with high calibre speakers as well as fellow marketers.
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