Your first and by far most important tip is to pursue your education. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you possibly can. Become fluent in a second or even a third language. Stay current with all of the marketing trends. Take courses that allow you to broaden your skill sets, including those that cover product placement, dealing with the media, product development, and market research. Consider business courses and public-speaking seminars; and, if it is possible to take them, courses such as political science, advertising, and technical writing can help round out an already extensive and impressive resume. This is the single-most advantageous step you can take towards a successful marketing career.
Another wise recommendation would be to encourage you that although you see a life full of travel, fast-paced workdays, and the possibility each day of being able to give a press release in front of many media outlets, you must be willing to accept a position that might not offer all of the glamour at first. Again, this is one of the situations you will want to take advantage of. Consider it a learning curve—an opportunity to build knowledge and gain experience. This will most certainly be time well spent. In the process, you'll be developing working relationships with the company higher-ups. These foundations will serve you well, often during times in your career when you least expect it but need it the most.
Another solid piece of advice that deserves careful consideration is how much of your life you are willing to commit to your career. The odds of your working traditional forty-hour weeks are slim. In fact, nearly every job description associated with marketing careers almost certainly requires fifty-plus hours per week; some say that is a conservative figure. Surprisingly, those in the marketing field rarely suffer from burnout. Consultants who have made their mark in this field are quick to respond that what they consider fast-paced might be construed as stressful to others.
Just as in the vast majority of all industries, marketing consultants are often requested to, or are even expected to, multi-task across several job descriptions. This is an excellent opportunity to prove your worth to your employer; however, if you have been handed the duties of a recently laid-off co-worker and believe you are incapable of continuing to complete your workload because of the added tasks, it is time to have a frank discussion with your supervisor. Again, keep in mind that you might new learn something new that will serve you in the future. Be sure you are asking to be exempted for the right reasons and not because you are insulted if you feel you have been asked to do something beneath you.
Assuming you are going into this line of work with no degree but have a few courses under your belt, a solid resume, and a willingness to learn, a few positions you might want to apply for include support positions for management members in a company's marketing department, marketing internships, entry-level purchasing positions, a company's advertising group, or assistant to a public relations department head. Another good place to start is with a smaller company whose marketing needs might not feel so overwhelming. Promotions in smaller companies are neither so competitive, nor are the learning curves so wide. You might find it easier to secure a position with a non-profit organization since a smaller staff might be able to provide more one-on-one training. You will be able to gain much-needed experience while learning important business tips. It might sound unnecessary, but it is always good to know different tax guidelines, restrictions, liberties, and business structures associated with non-profit organizations in this country.
Of course, communication skills are a must, but most of us believe if we can differentiate when to use ''whom'' instead of ''who,'' that we have mastered the English language. Not so. Most of us can benefit by creative writing courses or public speaking courses. Besides, what is the harm in re-familiarizing oneself with sentence structures, proper grammar, and MLA guidelines? Every top marketing specialist will reiterate this importance. Consider it an investment in the one sure thing in your life: yourself.
Essentially, these tips boil down to a few considerations and common sense. Take notice; the theme throughout the article has one common denominator—you. The success of your career is on your shoulders. Seek the knowledge and education that can propel you forward until you reach your career destination. The one final tip is yet another some may consider common sense, but it is worth saying. Often, we are so certain of what it is we want and we remain so focused that we pass our goal by. If by chance you discover you have found your prize along the way before reaching what had always been the top of the mountain before, you may want to reevaluate your position. Having the strength to redefine values and goals is a priceless trait. It is called self-confidence.