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5 Steps To Land Your Dream Job

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Maybe I’m Captain Obvious here with this message, “You should work at your dream job.”

But I feel that I need to continue to share this (or at least remind you): Some people actually love waking up in the morning and going to work. Do you believe that?

They can’t wait to go to the office and enter the door with a wide smile on their face. Work is their favorite part of the day!

And I want that to describe how you feel. Because you deserve to enjoy your work, you truly do.

I know I love working and my life has never been better because it positively affects the other areas of my life.

Plus, you only live once and so there’s no logical sense to waste time at a job where you could support yourself or others at another job you enjoying. That’s no way to spend your limited time on this earth.

If you’re stuck in a job that makes you depressed, you need a reminder every once in awhile that work can be, and is meant to be, fun. You were designed to work and get a sense of satisfaction more than a paycheck.

If you’re in a bad job, it’s easy to generalize all work as boring, miserable, and trading 45 hours of misery for a decent at best paycheck. I understand how that can feel.

Though that’s not how it has to be. Because I know you have passions. And I know you have what it takes to align your passions with your job.

It may be scary or difficult to transition to your dream job, but it won’t be after you go through the five steps I laid out below.

5 Steps To Land Your Dream Job

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1. Know Your Dream Job

Before you get busy networking or updating your resume, the first and foremost step is to know your dream job. You can’t know what to do until you know your destination.

This is where self-awareness is big. Because when you know your passions and desires about your work, matching it with a job is much easier.

But if you’re not self aware, that’s okay, just start reflecting on what it is precisely that you like and dislike.

I’ve come up with a list to get you started down this thought process:

  • What do you want most in a job (meaningful work, company culture, responsibility, salary, benefits, interesting coworkers, or something else)?
  • Are you an introvert who enjoys working by yourself, or an extrovert who needs a bunch of human interaction at work?
  • How important is the job location to your decision?
  • How high of a salary would you feel great about? And what’s the bare minimum salary you could accept?

For help with that last question, I’m convinced you need to pick passion over the money a job pays. Honestly, I’d rather make $50,000 doing what I love than $300,000 slaving away at a job that’s stealing my joy for life. That’s the attitude you must have to get your dream job.

And since money follows passion, you’re most likely going to make more money in the long run doing what you love than being a hired hand for someone else’s dream.

Now this is a dream job, not a perfect job. Every type of work is going to have some downside because that’s life. So once you find a job that most aligns with your personality and passions, then you can move on.

2. Understand What It Takes

If it’s a dream job, odds are you can’t just apply today and get it tomorrow. You’re going to need to know what the job requirements are and a strategic plan to go get it.

Breaking down exactly what it is you need to do will also lessen your feeling of being overwhelmed.

So research what you need to. Talk to people educated about how to get this job, like people who currently work in the field, peers, or past professors. And narrow down on a specific list of action steps you need to accomplish to set yourself up for success.

For example, if you want to be a website developer, then decide how you’re going to get the programming skills. If you want to be a graphic designer, make a to-do list to purchase Photoshop and find YouTube videos to practice. If you want to star in commercials, come up with the next steps like getting a professional headshot, video clips, and other resources.

If it were me, I’d make going back to school the last possible option. But if worst comes to worst and you literally need to go back to school to ever get your dream job, then all I’m going to say is you better be sure this is what you want.  (And I’d honestly never go back to school to pay money when I could make money.)

Almost every job—besides a technical one like lawyer, doctor, or dentist—can be done without a specific degree if you’re good enough and know the right people.

3. Network Your Butt Off

Most people aren’t willing to go out of their comfort zone to make serious efforts networking. But what they don’t realize is that meeting new people is the secret formula to having connections that can get your name at the top of the new hire list.

When you got friends in high places, they can send one email or phone call and you’re in business to get your dream job. And it’s only through networking you can sometimes skip past the application and interview process altogether to land a job.

Ironically, you need to build a network before you have to rely on them to get your dream job. So get started today. Because if you rush networking and it’s obvious you’re just trying to use someone for your own personal gain, it won’t work.

Be genuine and try to get know people over the long term because you’re simply interested, not for a deceptive short-term gain.

And have you thought of making a networking push through LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? Recruiters and hiring managers are already on there for their own reasons.

All you have to do is start engaging with them and their content by leaving thoughtful responses. Then once they know you, ask to talk on the phone or meet in person (if they’re local) to discuss the job and your desire for it.

Lastly, you only get better at networking the more you do it and the more people you know. So keep practicing.

4. Build Your Skills

If you’ve followed the plan by now, you’ve identified your specific dream job, you know what you need to do to get it, and you’ve built up your network. Great start!

This fourth step is critical and you can’t miss it: Build your skills.

To get your dream job and succeed in it, you need to be able to produce value in the position.

So even if you do use your network to get the job, you’re going to be a complete embarrassment and failure if you don’t have the skills to perform. And what’s a dream job worth if you’re fired only 12 months in and back to a dead-end job?

Say you want to be a videographer. Do you have the skills to get the job you want? Whether you do or don’t, you absolutely must improve your skills—and more so if you have zero experience in the position you want.

With our videographer example, there are plenty of ways to become more talented. You can (and should since you really want this):

  • Take free online courses from Ivy League schools
  • Read 10 books on the subject from experts
  • Wake up two hours early or stay up two hours later to practice shooting your own videos
  • Spend eight hours on both Saturday and Sunday practicing the right way
  • Get a videographer mentor
  • Listen to podcasts every time you’re commuting
  • Start a YouTube channel to showcase your videos and get constructive criticism
  • Offer to do an event or wedding for free to gain practice and referrals

The point is to keep working at it. Put in the daily work to build your skills and eventually it will become a habit that forces you to improve based on sheer repetition and experience.

It won’t happen overnight, but always keep building your skills. Because then you can apply for your dream role with confidence!

5. Apply With Confidence

When you’ve done everything up to this point, the only thing left to do is to confidently communicate who you are, what it is you can do for the employer, and why you’re the best one for the job.

And I say apply with confidence because that’s a key attribute that most people don’t execute when the job is on the line. They’ll say weak phrases like, “I think I can perform,” or, “I believe I will succeed in this role.”

None of that! You put in the work. You did the research. You networked your butt off. You built the skills.

So speak it into existence and say, “I’m convinced I’m the best candidate for the job because of X, Y, and Z.” Or, “Without a doubt, I’m confident I can deliver what you’re looking for,” and then provide a concrete example of why.

The interviewer will pick up on your enthusiasm and energy, and think, “This guy or girl is different. There’s something special about them and I want them on our team.” That’s how you stand out to get the dream job when hundreds of other people want it just as bad.

And why else can you have confidence? Because no matter the result of your initial interviewers, you’re going to continue hustling to network and improve your skills until you land this job.

If you stay hungry, you just need one person to believe in you and hire you to make that dream a reality. That’s it. Just one person to unlock the door to your dream job is all it takes.

Never Quit

Some people go through steps one to five and don’t get the job after applying. Then they’re all depressed with thoughts that it’s over for them.

But if it’s truly your dream job, you’d have to be crazy to give up on it no matter how hard it seems.

This is the work you want to do more than anything else, right? So how can you quit on your life’s passion? That’s nonsense. Stop it.

Keep pushing, climbing, and putting more energy in this pursuit.

To demonstrate the power of sticking with your job search, this out-of-the-box job seeker got fed up with applying to jobs with no luck. So he spent $5,000 on five life-sized cardboard cutouts of him in his underwear and the website to find his video resume, and sent them to the Google office. The video went viral to the tune of millions of views, and his stunt got him an interview with Google, plus other countless companies, where he took a head of marketing position with Zenifits.

The lesson is to never stop striving for the job you want. You never know when you’ll run into the right person, or the person who knows the guy or girl you need to get your dream job. And you also never know when you’ll get the opportunity to communicate or showcase your skills that leads to your dream job.

And I know it will feel that much sweeter when you land your dream job knowing it didn’t come easy or handed to you.

Master Your Job Search

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Want to speed up your job search? You’re in luck.

My premier course Master The Resume is designed to show you how to write a resume and cover letter that stands out, gets interviews, and lands your dream job.

When you use these strategies you’ll be in the top 99% of applicants and dominate your job search from start to finish. Why compete and leave it up to chance when you can dominate?

And once you know the secrets to being a top candidate, suddenly you have the opposite problem. Instead of having no offers, you have to decide between all of your great job offers.

Related: 11 Common Interview Makes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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5 Things Successful Freelancers Do At Networking Events

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As an independent contractor or self-employed freelancer, your level of success depends on your ability to create and sustain relationships. The number of clients you have, the stream of work you produce and the revenue you earn are all contingent on the scope of your business network.

The more dedicated and intentional you are about forming quality connections, the more professional growth, impact and advancement you’ll experience. “By growing your network, opportunities arise, business partners appear, connections are made and trust is garnered in the local community,” says Sharon Schweitzer, best-selling author and consultant.

And in the freelance and entrepreneur world, the service you’re promoting is ultimately yourself—which makes it even harder. If you’ve ever tried to write a personal bio, you know what I mean. Promoting yourself can be challenging, but successful business owners and freelancers know it’s necessary.

As you attend various networking events to grow your network of potential client and those who can support your efforts, keep these tips in mind.

Come Equipped with Business Cards

Every networking event is a chance to gain new clients. As such, you need to present the most professional version of yourself. That version doesn’t just dress well and act polite—that version of yourself always has business cards too. This gives everyone you meet something to remember you by, while showing that you take your work seriously.

Remember that the design of your cards should not only be polished, with readable text and all the right information. It should reflect your brand and personality as well. Check out these interesting business card ideas to find inspiration and a unique style that matches who you are and the work you do.

Pro tip: Find a way to make your business card actionable or helpful. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you could include a workout on the back of your business card. Not only is this more memorable, but you’re already helping the person who you just met—and you haven’t even done anything yet.

Release Fear

For some people, attending a networking event is stressful. Not only do you have to talk to people you don’t know—but you have to show them that you’re successful and worth connecting with. This is where the fear of personal failure, which was the number one fear among 1,000 Americans polled, can slow you down.

Successful freelancers push this fear aside to present a confident, successful person. To release any personal fears holding you back, use these tips from The Muse:

  •   Choose “non-lame” events and stick with events you’re excited to attend
  •   Stop saying “networking,” which makes it feel intimidating
  •   Volunteer at the event instead of going as an attendee
  •   Research the roster ahead of time so you know who will be there
  •   Reward yourself afterward, I.E. “If I give away all my business cards, I’ll…”
  •   Have conversation starters prepared
  •   Approach people in pairs, which may feel less intimidating

Pro tip: Practice your power poses before going to a networking event to boost your confidence. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, suggests that standing in these power postures, and using similar body language, boosts your confidence, even when you don’t feel confident. Learn the different power poses in her Ted Talk.

Seek Contacts to Fulfill Specific Needs

One of the many advantages going to a networking event is that it attracts different people with varying degrees of experience, interest and expertise to one place. As a freelancer, this means there are chances to meet a wide variety of people who could help you, from developers for your website to potential business clients.

Successful freelancers define what they’re looking for before they step foot through the door. I.E. a mentor, client, partner, or even just a fellow creative to bounce ideas off. Keep these goals in mind as you build connections at the event and afterward. Global entrepreneur Ted Rollins suggests:

“As these relationships grow, consider how they fit into that burgeoning ‘why.’ Someone could be more valuable in expanding your business, while another person might serve you best in a mentorship role.”

Pro tip: Stay in touch with everyone, even if you don’t need their help right now. This is one of the best times to be in touch with someone because it gives you a chance to help them instead. When the time comes to reach out for a request, you’ve done the work to maintain that relationship over time.

Use the Skill of Active Listening

This interpersonal skill is highly regarded in professional settings because it shows other people that you want to form a reciprocal relationship instead of just a self-serving one. Mind Tools describes an active listener as someone who makes a “conscious effort to hear not only the words another person is saying but, more importantly, to understand the complete message being sent.”

To practice this at a networking event, approach people with an open stance, hold eye contact, remember to smile and use receptive body language—freshen up on receptive body language with this guide from Skills You Need.

Don’t forget to ask questions that start with “Who?” “What?” “How?” and “Why?” The more attentive you are toward someone, the more they’ll trust your motives.

Pro tip: Practice active listening in every area of your life—with your friends, your family and your spouse. Work toward being an active listener, even in the simplest of conversations, so it comes easier to you when it matters most, like when you’re meeting a potential investor or business partner.

Send a Follow-Up Message Promptly

Communication is critical to solidifying your new potential relationships and successful freelancers follow-up within 24 hours. When you do, express your gratitude for their assistance, offer any other relevant information that wasn’t shared in person, and reiterate what a pleasure it was to meet them.

Not only does prompt correspondence keep your name fresh in people’s minds, it establishes you as a genuine individual whom others feel secure doing business with. If the context is appropriate, you can even add personal touches like inquiring about a recent vacation they took or mentioning a common interest you share to express that you’re invested in them relationally.   

Feeling uninspired? Check out these follow-up email templates.

Pro tip: After following up via email, connect with anyone that stood out to you on LinkedIn. This is a second chance to remind them of who you are, and once connected, you can casually interact via “liking” posts and commenting. This ensures you stay top of mind and makes it even easier for them to reconnect with you at any point.

Step Into the Networking Arena

Learning how to network effectively is an asset you can take straight to the bank. Move outside your comfort zone, engage with other professionals, and use these pointers to maximize your efforts and form connections that will provide value for many years to come.

BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time freelance writer and self-employed content marketing consultant. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for Virgin, Glassdoor, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.

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Why Your Salary Is Costing You Millions In Earned Income

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The average person craves a salaried job the for comfort, security, and the guarantee they can pay their bills.

But a salary will cost countless people millions of dollars in earned income throughout their career.

It’s ironic that we want a guaranteed income so we can live comfortably leading up to and through retirement.

That’s what society promises, at least, until things become uncomfortable.

Once something bad happens—you get fired, laid off, don’t save enough, salary increase doesn’t keep pace with inflation, make bad financial choices, have expensive kids, get divorced—and now you’re far away from a comfortable retirement nest egg plus have less skills and determination to go make your own money.

The salaried gig looks great on the outside, until you dive deeper to see that it’s often the single biggest demotivator and limiting factor to earning more money.

Your Salary Kills Urgency And Entices Laziness

Though not entirely similar, a salary shares some common characteristics of communism.

You get the same paycheck every month regardless of your performance—pretty close to communism.

At many jobs, a guy like Bill will voluntarily show up at 6 AM every work morning and leave at 8 PM, while slacker Johnny over there shows up at 8 AM and leaves at 6 PM and is paid the exact same wage as Bill.

The paycheck doesn’t reflect the reality that Bill worked 20 plus more hours than Johnny and got a heck of a lot more done than Johnny.

Talk about unfair? The salary gig is cruel, I’m telling you.

And since that situation isn’t fair, human nature will get Bill to think, “Stop working so hard. Why bother to put in the extra hours if I’m not rewarded? I’m going to start acting like Johnny because he’s doing just what’s asked of him and the boss doesn’t notice my performance.”

Now I’m not naive to think that bonuses, raises, and promotions aren’t a thing in the workforce—a differentiator from communism.

However, those are just too much out of your control to count on and you’re not rewarded until months or years later. And they often require smart salary negotiation, which is difficult if you’re not practiced, on top of luck.

Plus, in the example above, if Bill decides to work less and deliver less value then he won’t get the bonus or raise even if there’s one available.

The idea is that a salary often persuades workers to do the bare minimum to keep their job and keep getting paid.

It doesn’t entice individuals to give their all each and every day to not only make themselves double the income, but the company double the return on investment in them as well.

Knowing a paycheck is coming has a cocaine effect where you’re addicted to that monthly guaranteed income even though it’s not in your best interest to rely on it.

What’s worse is the damage it does to your overall net worth.

Guaranteed Income Costs You Millions Of Dollars

The addiction of needing a salary will costs millions of people, millions of dollars in lost income.

Let’s take a look at the multiple reasons why a salary sets you up to fail in the chase towards wealth.

For one, the average salary increase in the US doesn’t match the potential of a hustler who gets to decide their own income based on their work ethic.

A May 2017 forecast from WorldatWork predicts that salary increase budgets for U.S. employers will grow 3 percent on average in 2018 across most employee categories.

Say you make $50,000 a year at your 9 to 5 job you despise. Are you going to bust your butt for 261 work days in the year for a 3% salary increase? I’m not. We’re only talking about $1,500 at that rate.

The work compared to the payoff doesn’t add up to a good deal. It’s not motivating to me. It shouldn’t motivate you.

I could work at McDonald’s and come out with more dollars per hour than that thievery.

You’ll drag your feet for a 3% salary increase (+$1,500), but perform like a workhorse if you have a definite opportunity to double your current income (+$50,000).

That’s a difference in $48,600 between the two of them for the year and this is just the beginning. The difference is exponential over the lifetime of a career.

Second, when your income is entirely in your hands—be it as a beginner entrepreneur, commission sales rep, recruiter, or other job—your butt is on the hot seat from the get go to perform.

There’s no room to take it easy if you want to eat that week and keep your business alive.

Plus, you’ll be motivated to save extra money since this can turn into the business’ emergency fund or a payroll account to hire some contractors or full-time employees.

Meaning each dollar you earn has a higher purpose than eating expensive meals and treating yourself to materialistic clothing purchases.

And by investing in your business, your company and you personally will take home more profits than if your income was tied down by a normal 9 to 5 job.

I’m not surprised when I look at the richest people in each state only to find that none of them are salaried works but entrepreneurs and business owners.

Now you don’t have to be an entrepreneur, but you do need a job with no ceiling on your income if you want to get maximum performance out of yourself and the rewards that come with it.

Third, the rate of your learning is immensely sped up when you have to rely on your own work ethic to make money and pay the bills. You can’t afford to be out of the know in your industry if you want to compete with your competitors.

This is the pressure that forces you to gain knowledge and then use that experience to win more deals for yourself.

Plus, you can compound your knowledge to make more money in the future or consult others on the keys to success based on your experience. These opportunities aren’t there in the corporate world.

By getting off the addicting salary drug and choosing your own medicine, you force yourself to provide value to others so you can ultimately get paid what you’re worth.

And the more patient and skilled you become, the greater this income increases over years then decades.

That’s how your income grows by hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, which adds up to millions, instead of 3% and $1,500 (if that) every year.

Work Like You’re Not On Salary

You only get to do this thing called life once.

Why take the safe and boring road with a salaried job that is like driving a minivan straight on a flat road until retirement, when you can take the thrilling road in a sports car up a mountain with jagged cliffs and unbelievable views?

Bet on yourself. Work your face off. And work like you’re not on salary.

By mixing things up, you’ll discover if your company rewards you for going above and beyond what’s asked of you.

And if they do incentivize your efforts then you don’t need to find a different job. Maybe it doesn’t though and you see the writing on the wall: you’re worth millions more than you will ever earn here so you find a better job you love.

It’s like any pursuit in life, you need to get out of your comfort zone to truly push yourself, grow, and become the best version of yourself.

Happiness comes from personal growth. So take the jump and make the most of it.

Millions of dollars are nice, but the feeling of personal satisfaction from working incredibly hard and getting rewarded for it will far trump the money—every time.

Related: Would You Live Off A Dollar A Day To Achieve Your Dreams?

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What You Should Know If You Start A Career In Marketing

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Silvia Li, young hustler and marketer extraordinaire, contributed this one of a kind article.

When college students majoring in marketing graduate, they expect to land a job in which they can apply all the skills they learned during their four years in school.

When I was a freshman, that’s what I thought. Looking back, I was naive to think that way.

Marketing strategies are changing every day. Consumers are behaving differently every day. Generations are shifting. And textbooks, unfortunately, haven’t changed in years.

Simultaneously, competition for marketing jobs is insane.

You have to stand out among many other graduates to land a job where you can make enough to pay your bills and loans, while having enough to travel and enjoy personal life post-graduation.

So what should you know before diving into a career in marketing?

What does it take to get a job in marketing?

What do you actually need to know to enter the real world of marketing?

Without real marketing experience or projects, there’s a lot you can learn ahead of time to maximize your chance of landing a marketing job.

In my career working with the world’s top entrepreneurs on marketing, I have learned a number of lessons that I wished I knew on my first day as a marketer.

To all of you starting a career in marketing, here’s a list of lessons and things you can do to prepare before starting your first job.

The list is a collection of advice from all the lessons I’ve learned – including my experience launching the largest startup publication on Medium to trending globally on top storytelling sites to working on digital campaigns that have trended internationally and creating global movements.

It takes more than a resume to work with the best talent in marketing

When I set my sights on becoming the best marketer in the world, I knew I had to surround myself with the best.

I started by providing value.

I reached out to one of the best entrepreneurs in Los Angeles who ran an education technology nonprofit called Yang Camp. And I sent her a list of ideas that I thought would help her grow her organization.

I didn’t know if the ideas were any good, but they certainly got her attention. I didn’t need a resume to get the job.

Don’t get me wrong. My resume was helpful but at the time, but other people might have looked more qualified in paper.

I had told myself and told others that I would find the best ways to provide value and that my resume didn’t completely reflect who I was.

I worked extra hard.

I created partnerships all across Los Angeles with schools and nonprofits to ensure our curriculum was being taught in different schools and afterschool programs across the city.

We worked with Microsoft and Girls in Tech Inc. to bring together over 100 young students to learn about STEAM.

I created campaigns that everyone in the Los Angeles area saw.

Little did I know at the time that in order to work with the best, it wasn’t about my resume. It was about being resourceful, strategic, and resilient.

Since then, I’ve signed up for a lifetime of tackling complex problems and working with the best talent in the United States.

Most of you have had a summer internship somewhere, perhaps a startup or famous marketing agency or well-known organization or nonprofit.

Guess what? So do hundreds of people in your school. The fact that you had an internship helps, but it doesn’t necessarily help you stand out and show that you’re the best candidate.

It might get you an interview but it’s still not enough to show who you really are and what you can accomplish.

Companies are seeking folks who can come up with new things so extracurriculars or projects that show you were a key asset are always a plus.

To show real impact in marketing, you need to show that you’re up-to-date with the latest trends.

As mentioned earlier, marketing is changing every day. Own your resume – show your uniqueness, your value, and your impact.

Find a team that will empower you to learn – Teamwork makes the dream work

To maximize your satisfaction at work, find a marketing gig where collaboration is part of the culture.

Trust me, this will reduce misunderstanding. It’ll establish a well-connected community with ample opportunities for you to grow and learn from executives and other managers.

While companies that let you do your own thing will be fun and allow you to tackle new challenges, working directly with a team will provide you a lot more mentorship and guide you in the early phases of your marketing career.

During the interview process, make sure that they have open communication channels and continuously boost employee engagement.

During your interview, ask your interviewer if the organization encourages everyone to regularly report their likes and dislikes.

Do they help employees feel like an integral part of the company’s grand vision? If their answer doesn’t make you happy, make sure to ask more questions to understand where they are coming from. If you completely disagree, maybe it’s not worth working for that organization.

Corporations with pre-set hierarchies make it tough for employees to give feedback or learn new skills. That’s why you need to find the best fit and balance. Read the job descriptions well and find a place where you feel comfortable.

When I worked at Startup Grind powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, the largest independent startup publication in the world inspiring and connecting 1,000,000 entrepreneurs, I immediately knew that my boss was a leader.

Since day one, he encouraged me to own projects and try new things. I could sense it during the first interview call that he was someone to trust and who would empower me to dream more.

Throughout my time at Startup Grind, I learned all things about marketing including public relations, content marketing, SEO, social media, and influencer marketing.

Crazy thing is that I learned by example and by doing my own research.

Because my team trusted me and worked with me, I was able to grow and launch the largest startup publication on Medium.

Early in anyone’s career, you’ll have multiple ideas to make your organization grow. Write them out on a list and share them with your supervisor. She’ll have feedback.

If my boss, hadn’t given me an opportunity to try this new project, I wouldn’t have grown this publication, which at this point, has been read by millions of people.

The content of the publication has now been syndicated to large media outlets including BBC, The New York Times, and more. It has even surpassed the White House’s Medium publication, which is pretty incredible.

As a marketer, I’ve been lucky to work with the smartest people on Earth. I’ve been able to work with serial entrepreneurs and New York Times Best Sellers.

But none of these collaborations would have happened if I didn’t work with a team that trust me and empower me to grow.

Make sure you find that early in your career.

Marketing isn’t all about brand awareness and viral campaigns. It’s about business impact.

Marketing innovation has made huge leaps and shifts in the last few decades but there’s something that hasn’t changed.

Marketing strategies need to be tied to creating revenue or reaching a goal in the short-term and long-term.

When you launch a new strategy, you need to ensure that you have an overall vision on how each thing you create leads to a greater impact in the organization. Your video went viral! Great!

But did the right audience see it? Did they share it with other people that are interested in buying your product? Make sure it does!

During my time as Head of Marketing at Hostfully, a venture-backed startup focused on the vacation rental space based in San Francisco, I built a marketing infrastructure that ensured that every single marketing stream would lead to possible sales.

To do so, we needed to figure out where our users were and where they spent the most time.

I spent days researching and building the different personas of vacation rentals. I created a content strategy that would promote our brand without mentioning our name.

Instead, our main goal was to provide value to customers, which would ultimately lead to more people referring others to our blog. Our blog became a large percentage of our traffic and led to more active and paid users. In a few months, we brought tens of thousands of users.

Business impact needs both quantitative data and qualitative data. They will both show you what’s effective, what’s not effective, and whether your hypotheses made sense.

Effective marketing campaigns focus on creating content that users get value from and eventually will convert to paid users.

You need to be ready to think critically and understand who your users truly are. How can your company serve them to be better?

Make sure you know this in every organization you work at.

Mentorship and freelancing – Learning outside of work

Early in my career, I learned the importance of mentors. From day one, I found people who I looked up to and wanted to learn things from them.

I found Twitter to be one of the best tools to network. Twitter, in fact, changed the face of my career as a marketer. I met the best talent in Silicon Valley through this social platform.

I followed their conversations and engaged with them on a daily basis. Little did I know that I would get to know them in person. Because of these initial Twitter conversations, I had the privilege of working with them to launch the first Startup Weekend focused in the Latinx community.

This event held in Oakland brought together entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who were eager to build products.

Do you know what else has helped me to become a marketer? Freelancing. As you see, I’ve worked with all sorts of organizations throughout my career.

How did I find these? By building a brand online.

I’ve been a viral blogger on Medium, Commaful, and on my own blog, WRITE LAB.

People have read my blog for years and have seen my thought process and experience. This has led to getting cold emails from founders and venture capitalists reaching out to work with them.

Last year, I worked as a content marketer with devAcademy, a tech company in Peru where I developed the company’s first content marketing strategy that led to ten thousands of unique views in just a few weeks.

I also revamped their website content to improve their user experience and conversion rates.

This job was very fulfilling because I got to work with an entrepreneur who is a hustler. Not only did I learn about the tech ecosystem in Peru, but I also learned more technical skills and what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

If you’re a marketer, you need to learn multiple skills. Go learn outside of work – network, read a book, freelance, and volunteer on projects that you’re passionate about.

These are all of the things I wished I had known before I started my marketing career. If I could go back in time, I’d try to accomplish all these things earlier in life.

I hope you found this list beneficial in planning a successful marketing career.

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