It’s a great time to be a veteran marketer.
Marketing is growing in leaps and bounds right now, and companies are scrambling to keep up, hiring experienced leaders and technical experts at a rapid pace. If you’re a marketer with a few years of great marketing experience and the results to match, you’ll probably have no problem finding excellent marketing job opportunities if you keep your eyes and mind open.
With plenty of options open to experienced marketers with a track record of success, it can be difficult to decide which opportunities are best for you. Taking a new job is a big step in anyone’s life, and the decision you make will have a permanent impact on the course of the rest of your career. There are a lot of factors you need to consider before making that move:
What Makes a Good Next Step in Marketing Careers?
Are You Excited about the Company’s Momentum?
The first, and possibly the most important, question you need to consider is how interested you are in what the company is doing now—and what it will most likely be doing in the foreseeable future.
Few things are more important in a job than being able to go home at the end of the day satisfied with the work you’ve contributed. But you’ll only get that kind of fulfillment if you align philosophically and share the perspective of the organization you work for.
That includes the company’s mission, products, and business model. Do they resonate with your interests and passions? Furthermore, are they heading in a positive direction that you’ll still want to be a part of several years down the road?
Their Place in the Market
From a less cerebral standpoint, you want to make sure the company you’re signing up for has a business future you want to be a part of. How much potential for growth will it (and by extension, you) have?
It’s perfectly fine to be excited about joining a company that’s currently experiencing some amount of stagnation and growth challenges; those tend to be the places with the greatest opportunities for you to make a difference and establish a reputation as a success-driving difference maker.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be joining up with a pager company just as cell phones are becoming prevalent.
Consider whether the products, brand, and model of the business you’re considering have a viable future. And ensure that, even if the organization is sluggish now, it has leadership with a strong vision and ability to make the necessary changes to grow.
Is it a Step Forward, or a Detour?
It’s easy to mistake a higher salary for a step forward in marketing careers. While the two are certainly related, and there’s nothing wrong with pursuing better compensation, that shouldn’t always be the first thing on your mind.
Instead, look beyond the opportunities in front of you to your ultimate career goals, whatever they may be. Do you want to have a particular job, or work in a certain industry?
Evaluate whether the job you’re considering will be a meaningful vertical move toward those goals; not just a horizontal detour for a short-term pay raise.
Grading Your Boss
Whether you’re just working your way into middle management or filling someone’s CMO executive search, the person you’ll be immediately reporting to should play a huge factor in your decision.
No matter how high up the ladder you climb, there will always be room for improvement and development. You should be seeking out managers that you can learn from, that will challenge you to improve and enable further education.
You don’t even have to particularly like your supervisor (though it’s certainly preferred). What’s really important is that you respect their management style and are confident they’ll enable your personal and professional growth.
Your Peers and the Company’s Culture
Another important point to consider is the people and environment you’ll be working with day in and day out.
No marketer works in a silo any more. Your peers at work will often be the first people you interact with every morning, the people you’ll rely on as partners, the individuals you’ll turn to for help when you need it.
It’s always wise to get an idea of who you’ll be working with most frequently. Are they good at what they do? Will their expertise, efforts and attitude compliment and enhance your own work?
On a broader scale, the corporate culture must also be carefully considered. Are people generally happy to work there? Does the atmosphere of casualness or professionalism reflect your own personality? Even if your marketing skillset and experience are perfect matches for the job itself, you’ll almost certainly fail in a position at a company where you just don’t fit in.