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Sit Back and Get Uncomfortable

For eight months I was an intern for ASPE’s marketing department, and recently, I transitioned to my new, full-time role as a marketing specialist. Now that graduation is over and finals are behind me, I’ve had some time to reflect on this transition from intern to professional, and I believe my insights could be useful to individuals in all different stages of their career.

One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t graduate a marketer. Defining your target market, understanding the meaning of acronyms such as CRM and knowing the format of a marketing plan are all great skills, but are only minnows in the vast sea of marketing knowledge, if you will.  This field is always a step ahead of the game and constantly evolves. In order to be successful, you must evolve too.

With that being said, I’ve created a list of habits every current and future marketer should learn to nurture:

1. Independent study

I’m not talking about going to the library and checking out every boring book you can find about marketing.  What I am talking about is following blogs to find out what other marketers think and do, staying on top of technological trends, keeping a journal of marketing related thoughts and ideas, and picking the brains of “gurus” around you.

2. Have a voice

If you always go along with what you’re told, you’ll never get further than where you are.  Don’t ever stop challenging yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you are afraid of making mistakes, then marketing is not the field for you.

3. Immerse yourself

Marketing is not one of those jobs you can just leave at the office – it’s a lifestyle.  There’s an entire “underground” culture of marketers sharing and learning from one another.  Find a social media club to join or go to an SEO group meeting.  Don’t miss out on all these opportunities to “experience” marketing.

You may be saying “I don’t like to go to those group meetings,” or “I don’t feel comfortable disagreeing with my boss.” But marketing isn’t about being comfortable; it’s about trying new things and testing your limits. If you’re comfortable with what you’re doing, then it’s time to do something different and try something new. So sit back, buckle up, and get uncomfortable.

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