The Best (and Worst) Times to Look for a Marketing Job

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At some point during your marketing career, you’ll undoubtedly find some moments when you decide it’s time to make a move to a new job. The real question is; will you do it on your terms, in the most favorable situation–or will it be at a time when you’re poorly equipped to make a smart, empowered decision that will pay off in the long run?

A Position of Strength

Choosing a marketing job can be a sensitive subject. It dictates how you’ll make your living, what kind of lifestyle options are available to you, and how you’ll spend a large amount of your days.

But if you can remove yourself from the situation a little, you can see that in some ways it’s not so different from buying a product or negotiating a contract. When you have more options and the ability to walk away from the table, you’re less likely to find yourself stuck in an unfavorable situation. But if you’re desperate to make a deal and can’t afford to consider alternatives, then you’ll often find yourself stuck with the first opportunity that comes along.

If you apply that outlook to your marketing career, you’ll find that there will be times in your life that will be more ideal than others for seeking out a career move.

The Worst Time to be on the Job Hunt

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As marketing job recruiters, we’ve found worst time to be looking for work is when you desperately need it. For example:

  • if you get laid off or choose to resign at a time when money is tight
  • if your workplace becomes extremely negative and stressful
  • when your job security is in jeopardy due to economic forces, corporate restructuring, etc.

At times like this, you’re in a vulnerable position when it comes to getting a new job. You may feel like you have to settle for careers in marketing that are less than ideal in fear that you have no better choice. And even if you do find a decent job opportunity, you’ll be less empowered to negotiate for better salary or other terms.

Unfortunately, this also tends to be the most common scenario when marketers actually consider new jobs. Few people are proactive in looking for work–instead, they wait until they’re motivated by external circumstances and have less control over the situation.

The Best Time to Look for a Marketing Job

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Are you reasonably happy with your work situation? Is your company on a stable path to growth? Are you compensated fairly and treated well by your employer? Then best time to be considering your next marketing career move is right now. 

Think about it. When you’re financially secure and satisfied with your job, then you’re in a low-stress situation and you’re not desperate to escape. You’re in a strong mental state, and have the power to say “no” to any offer–after all, you’ve got a good thing going for you! You can afford to be picky with any opportunity and only choose the most interesting jobs that come your way.

The reality is; ambitious marketers should always be on the job hunt to some extent–especially when they’re satisfied with their current one. Remember, just because you’re looking for work, keeping your eyes open and even applying to jobs doesn’t mean you’re obligated to actually accept any of them. You have so much to gain by opening yourself up to potential career moves–and nothing to lose.

Practical Ways to Reach Your Position of Strength

Most top marketers are far too busy to be committing a lot of time to actively searching for job opportunities on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put yourself in a position where a lot of opportunities come across your radar at a steady pace. Here are a few things you can do to create a steady stream of career options without committing a lot of time crawling through job boards and completing complicated applications.

  • Develop your personal brand: Building a strong personal brand as an innovative thought leader raises your profile in the marketing community, which improves your visibility to marketing job recruiters and potential employers. A reputation as a smart, hard-working marketer who’s a master of your craft will bring more opportunities to you organically and greatly improve your ability to find work when actively looking. Read more on building a personal brand as a marketer
  • Network, network, network: The old adage, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is less true in marketing than most industries–but it still matters. Creating and nurturing a strong network of influential professionals, key decision makers and personal endorsers will improve your ability to find opportunities at any time. Learn more about building your network as a marketer
  • Answer recruiter inquiries: As you develop your personal brand and network, you’ll probably be approached periodically by marketing recruiters looking to hire you for their employer or client. Even if you’re not interested in making a career move, it’s incredibly valuable for you to answer their calls and emails to learn more about the opportunities available and make a connection with them. Learn how responding to recruiters can quickly grow your career

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