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 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.
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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Why Your Salary Is Costing You Millions In Earned Income
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.
Why The Medical Field Is Always An Attractive Career
A lot of people choose careers based on their skill level, a lot choose a job because of the money involved, and a lot of people combine these two factors and don’t settle for anything less.
However, there’s the idea of having a career solely based on the opportunity to help people. That’s what makes the healthcare world so popular to go into and so demanding as a result.
Yet there’s a few factors that make the medical field arguably the most attractive career, and it isn’t just helping people. So what makes people flock to practice medicine?
We’re about to find out below.
Plenty of different positions
The amount of diverse careers means there’s something for literally everyone to fit into.
Medicine has a lot of nooks and crannies to work your way into once you graduate from school, and you won’t get this amount of variety anywhere else.
You can be in front or behind the camera so to speak, with research departments and hospital floors at either end of this spectrum.
There’s so much variety, making it one of the biggest job sectors in the world.
For example, you can always find out more about this by reading Why Earn A Masters Degree In Nursing Administration. It’s also another facet of the healthcare world that people can get to grips with that isn’t having to perform surgery yourself.
Constantly get to work with people
Human beings are social creatures, and as a result want to be surrounded by other people most of the time.
Doctors, nurses, receptions, janitors and all their like are taught long-term life skills, such as patience and compassion, and how to get a lot of tasks done in a time limit because of it. If you’re an understanding person, medicine is a great career path to move into, as you’ll be able to fully exercise your skills.
Performing medical care for patients, or using your skills to discover new treatments and save lives is the greatest reward in itself.
A person in a medicine career can learn these people skills either from a course at school or on the job if they think they don’t need any training.
Even if you’re naturally empathetic, this skill will be pushed to its limit. Healing with your own two hands in this way is an incredible feat to conquer, and you’ll be gratified about it every time.
Prestige comes with the territory
There’s no denying that the medical field is rife with award and recognition.
Even though you aren’t in the most high paying position in the world, a lot more comes along with a wage packet. Of course there’s a lot of money to be made, but that’s just one slice of the medical pie.
Global work is available for someone who works in the healthcare sector, and third world countries have plenty of volunteering opportunities for undergraduates and people just looking to help out.
With thousands of patients per the one doctor for miles around, there’s a lot to be gained from working at this pace. Responsibility skills, better communication that isn’t just spoken or written, and plenty of patience.
Patience is the main factor in deciding whether you’re up to a task or not when it comes down to it.
Option to work as a team or lead yourself
You’ll be surrounded by other professionals, and have a lot of say in what they do. Similarly, you’ll always be relying on one another.
Getting used to the same people you’ll be sticking with for years to come, even when starting out at college, means you can perfect your teamwork skills.
Collaboration and communication is key to working well whenever you’re not alone, so a person’s skills would be honed to the max.
If a nurse or doctor eventually worked their way up enough to be used as a training tool, research students would look to them as a mentor. This makes this skill ten times more important, as it can be passed down through generations of doctors, and just by talking to each other.
Practicing medicine isn’t going away
If you choose to move into the medical field, you can guarantee a lot of stable work for a long time to come.
People will always need you, hospitals will always need you, governments will always need you.
So it truly pays to become a pharmacist, nurse, doctor, or administrator.
There’s a lot of specialist areas to move into that lack the most workers in some parts of the world, like obstetrics and ppediatricians. This is just another example of how the medical field can help in the best way.
Yet that can also seem like a downside to some. The constant demand means long hours, irregular schedules in which you could be woken up in the middle of the night, and ages on your feet at a time.
It takes a lot of stamina to be able to keep up such a career. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it of course. A lot of medical practitioners take a pay cut as a result to stay healthy in the long term.
Learn latin as a language
A lot of medical terms come from their original latin root, and thus by studying medical research and literature, the ancient language can be learned in a simple form.
A lot of people have an attraction to this specifically, despite its small nature, because of the mysticism and history behind what is now considered a ‘dead’ language.
Otherwise, a lot of what can be studied is written in English, which is the 3rd most spoken language around the world. This can mean it’s pretty accessible to learn, especially in the Western world.
Gain authority and social power
Wearing a white lab coat symbolizes a sense of power. It also means people look to you in crises and trust what you have to say.
Plenty of psychological studies have found proof to back this up, so it isn’t just a social conscience idea.
Doctors and nurses are some of the most respected people in a society, and are rightly recognized as such with their daily acts of heroism.
Pharmacists and biologists do seem less likely to receive the same admiration due to a lot of media bias, but it’s these people who are working the hardest.
Taking pride in an appearance as a doctor or nurse is the key to establishing good practice and excellent rapport with patients. You’re still human even with the coat on after all.
Debate over healthcare rights
Finally, how much medical care should be provided and the discussion over universal free healthcare is one of the biggest issues within the medical community.
It’s interesting to see how much of a debate there is over this, and as a result people move into the health sector career path from a young age.
This is due to the fact that there’s a lot of controversy over this idea of health care, which brings it to the forefront of society.
So there’s a lot to be said for the attraction of working in the medical field. People love to help, they improve upon their innate skills, they’re respected, and there’s always going to be a love/hate relationship between the public and the healthcare sector.
Why do you think so many people see the medical field as an attractive career to pursue?
10 Careers For People Who Love Helping Others
Know you’re someone who loves serving others and is naturally inclined to that kind of work? A career that allows you to live your passion is just what you need.
For a lot of people starting off in the working world or looking for a new career, financial rewards are not the number one thing they are looking for.
Instead, they want a job that provides a sense of personal satisfaction through the feeling of helping others. These jobs are out there.
You have a whole host of jobs that put you in direct contact with those in need, whether this is through healthcare, education, charity or another option.
And then there are the jobs that provide a broader contribution to society including science and engineering.
So, let’s go through a list of 10 potential options if you are looking for a job that prioritizes helping others.
1) Teaching and Education
Education is a broad field that gives you the opportunity to impart your skills and knowledge onto others, whether these are children or adults.
Beyond the traditional primary and secondary school paths, there are also opportunities to teach at further education colleges or else children with special needs.
To qualify as a teacher, you will need a degree and a further year of hands-on training, but there are also opportunities such as youth work, childcare or becoming a teaching assistant.
Essentially, the knowledge that you are having a direct impact on people’s lives and you are helping them to develop themselves is immensely rewarding.
2) Nursing and Healthcare
As well as being able to serve others, nursing is a field that is always looking for new staff members so there will be no shortage of job opportunities. Just take a look at https://www.staffnurse.com/ to find out more.
Beyond the range of hospital jobs that you can choose from, you could also find yourself working in a GP surgery, adult care centres or people’s homes, to name a few.
The launch of the nursing degree apprenticeship has been designed to make the career easier for people to enter, but obtaining a degree is still required to progress in this field.
Otherwise, there are plenty of other careers in healthcare apart from being a nurse including physiotherapy, midwifery or pharmacy.
Although it takes a great deal of hard work and commitment to enter this career path in the first place, there is no doubt that working in medicine is one of the most rewarding options out there.
After all, you are helping people with their most important commodity; life.
As well as becoming involved in the day-to-day treatment of patients, there is also the option to go into the research side of the field and help develop groundbreaking medicine.
And there are also a wide range of medical specialties to choose from so you can decide on one that perfectly suits your interests.
On the down side, this tends to be a very demanding option that requires a lot of dedication to the role which can often impact work-life balance.
4) Social Work
Social work is a career that brings you into direct contact with some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Some of the most common include elderly people, adults with mental health issues and people with learning difficulties.
You will probably be required to get involved in some very tough situations including child protection, adoption or working with offenders. To become a full social worker, you will need to obtain a degree, but there are other non-degree options that give you the opportunity to work in this field in other capacities.
Be in the know that many of these jobs come along with high levels of anxiety and the need to work in some very challenging situations.
5) Emergency Services
Comprising of the police, ambulance and fire and rescue, the emergency services are three different career paths.
They all have in common the responsibility to directly respond to people in their most urgent time of need. And these tend to be very community-oriented jobs, as well as ones in which the tasks vary greatly.
There are a wide range of different options and entry levels for each of the three sectors we have mentioned.
The downside is that the working hours tend to be unstable and you are also likely to find yourself working on call.
But there is also a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are making a genuine difference to society.
6) Charity Work
There are all kind of career paths that are directly linked to the charity sector from fundraising to marketing.
You may find yourself directly interacting with people or you may be in a more office-based role, but either way, you will have the knowledge that you are closely involved in helping others.
Jobs are open for both graduates and non-graduates, and there are also plenty of voluntary opportunities as well.
If you know that you are directly involved in a field that you are passionate about, this is a fantastic and motivating feeling that can give you immense job satisfaction. Keep in mind you may have to work your way up from the bottom to get there or come into the sector from a different career path entirely.
You may not naturally associate a career in law with one which is helping people, but there are some options which give you the opportunity to give a voice to people without one.
For example, you could go down a career in criminal defence in which you support people who have been accused of crimes.
You could also become involved in the child protection side of law in which you help children in very vulnerable situations. Solicitors and barristers are the jobs that grab most of the headlines, but there are also plenty of entry-level positions that all you to work your way up.
Ultimately, you need to be selective about the type of job you are going for so that you have the feeling that you are helping people and making a genuine difference to their lives.
8) Science and Engineering
Though a lot of science and engineering careers are less about helping people on a daily basis, they are often involved in making the big societal changes that make all the difference in the long run.
For example, in a science career role, you could be involved in protecting the environment or developing new health treatments for people.
Plenty of engineering paths also lead to positive changes for people such as developing renewable energy sources.
Again, it is all about being selective with your career choice so you go for one that provides you with the maximum amount of job satisfaction and the feeling that you are really helping people.
9) Public Service
Though people who work in politics often have a bad reputation, many people do enter this particular career path because they want to help others.
The work that you are doing could impact the entirety of the country, even though whether you are in contact with them directly or not depends on what job role you go into.
So, if you are particularly passionate about the community you live in, a career in local government could be the ideal solution.
Alternatively, you could work in central government and choose between all the different major areas such as pensions, healthcare, education and justice. Job roles are varied so you could be coming in from a wide range of backgrounds.
But if you progress high up the career ladder, stress levels can rise accordingly as you are having to make the decisions that really impact people’s lives.
Psychology still remains a rapidly developing field. And the increasing focus on mental health in society means that there are more options than ever before becoming available.
Some of the most common branches of psychology that people enter include health, clinical, counselling, educational and forensic.
Like other job roles we have talked about already, you have the reward of knowing that you are directly helping people who are struggling with a range of complex issues.
The 10 career paths we have talked about are just some of the potential options you have if you are looking to get into a career that involves helping others.
While some require a great deal of training and study, others can be entered at any stage.
Essentially, you should think about where your passions lie before matching yourself up to one of these options.
It may be that you want to come into contact with people directly and feel like you are helping people in this way. It may be that you like the idea of contributing to wider societal changes that help people in the long-run.
Whatever the case, many people find that personal rewards and job satisfaction from one of these types of career outweigh the financial incentives of other paths.
Though if you work your way up, you still have an excellent opportunity to strike the perfect balance of finding a job that is rewarding in both senses of the word.