How to Level Up in Your Marketing Career
Is this you? You’re at the point where you feel like you have mastered your current job and you’re ready to move up to the next position - but you’re not sure how to get that promotion.
Often times we think we can mark off a certain number of checkboxes then automatically be considered for a promotion. Nope. You have to excel in your current role and go above and beyond to take on responsibilities of the next role to prove you have what it takes.
Through my experience and others at Seer, it doesn’t have to be that complicated or daunting. I have laid out 8 ways to help you get the promotion you want faster. If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to achieve your dream promotion.
8 Ways to Get Promoted
Tip 1: Understand the Responsibilities of the Position You Want
This might seem obvious, but do you know the expectations and responsibilities for the position you want? These could include:
- Skills needed (hard and soft)
- Certification or training requirements
- Software or system proficiencies
- Adhering to new company processes
- Meeting company and client goals
- Revenue goals
- Responsibilities (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, & Annually)
Before you can even begin pursuing a promotion, you need to have a clear understanding of the role’s expectations.
💡 Pro Tip: Meet with multiple people who have your desired role in your company to understand their point of view. I found speaking with an array of team members helped me gain a more well rounded understanding of the role and what to expect.
Tip 2: Identify Skills & Experience Gaps
Now that you understand what the next position entails, you need to identify the gaps in the responsibilities, experience, and skills between where you are now and where you need to be to get promoted. From here, you can create an actionable plan to figure out how you’ll close those gaps in order to get the job you want.
Create an Action Plan
When I had the goal to be promoted from Senior PPC Associate to PPC Account Manager, I created an action plan based on the skills needed, my gaps, and action items for me to close the gaps. Below you can see I laid out the skills, the personal rating (out of 5) I gave myself, expectations of that skill, and next steps for me to improve my skills.
This process allowed me to clearly see what I needed to do in order to receive a promotion and it took the guessing out of the equation.
💡 Pro Tip: Stuck at how you’ll level up?
- Shadow team members on tasks that you’re not familiar with
- Take online or in-person courses/trainings
- I recommend Udemy if you’re interested in online courses.
- Watch video tutorials
- My go-to source is YouTube.
- Read articles
- I recommend checking out the blogs of top companies, influencers, or brands in your industry.
Tip 3: Talk with Your Manager About Your Goals
Have an open discussion with your manager about the role you want and your plan of action. From there, you can get their input about the plan and other areas to improve in order to be eligible for the promotion.
This initiative will show them that you’re passionate and willing to do what it takes to get to the next level. Managers want to see you succeed, so they are an extremely helpful asset in your growth.
Pro Tip: During 1:1s, provide updates about your progress so it remains top of mind for both you and your manager. This will keep both of you aware of your progress and any next steps needed from both parties.
Tip 4: Find A Mentor
I recommend finding a mentor who currently has your desired role or has been in your same position. You can gain practical advice, support and encouragement from a mentor. They can help you gain valuable insight into the next stage of your career.
Tip 5: Do the Job You Want
This is one of the most important pieces of advice - do the job you want and act like you already have it! That means stepping up to take work off of your managers plate, showing proactiveness to try and own new tasks, demonstrating self direction, speaking up during meetings, and getting as much experience related to the responsibilities in the next position.
💡 Pro Tip: As an example, if you need more experience with budget forecasting for a client, then tell your manager that you will own that deliverable. Afterwards, meet with your manager to discuss feedback and understand where improvements can be made. The more you learn and gain experience, then the more confident and comfortable you will feel once you’re promoted.
Tip 6: Produce Strong (Measurable) Performance
Regardless if you work on an in-house marketing team or work for multiple clients at an agency, you need to demonstrate strong performance, show measurable results, and achieve outlined goals. Frankly, if you aren’t able to achieve your company’s, client’s, or even personal goals, it is going to be hard to prove you’re ready for a promotion.
In addition, you should document and share these measurable results with your manager.
💡 Pro Tips:
- Consistently share performance results with your manager and how you’re pacing to goal.
- Keep a list (google sheets, word doc, Trello, etc.) that contains all of your accomplishments, successful tests, praises, etc.
- Help the Business Development or Sales team with business pitches to drive revenue for your company.
Tip 7: Exhibit Thought Leadership
Share your knowledge through thought leadership to allow other people to see your expertise.
You can demonstrate thought leadership by:
- Sharing your opinion in internal company emails or chats about related topics
- Submitting blog posts for your company or other industry leaders
- Attending a team brainstorm to help solve a client issue or new strategy
- Joining a task force to help with internal or external company processes
Tip 8: Work Your A** Off
To no surprise, a promotion won’t be handed to you nor will it come easy, especially at a marketing agency. Tie your passion and drive with consistency and true hustle so you can get recognized.
💡 Pro Tip: Find podcasts, YouTube videos, music, social media accounts or influencers that you can turn to when you’re looking for extra motivation. When I’m struggling with a long week or a challenging task, I watch my favorite motivating YouTube videos and playlists to get back in the zone.
From my personal experience of being promoted from PPC Associate to Senior PPC Associate to PPC Account Manager, I found these additional opportunities to help support the case that I’m passionate about my career and the company.
Bonus Tip 1: Get Involved within Your Company
If you invest extra time at your company, outside of your job, it will show your coworkers and executive team that you care and want to be an asset to the greater team. Overall, be a team player.
A few ways to get involved:
- Help the events or culture team with company events
- Volunteer with coworkers
- Participate in office events, lunches, etc.
- Get to know your coworkers
- Lend a helping hand around the office
- Get involved - culture, supporting other teams, brainstorms, etc.
- Shows that you want to be there
A few members of the San Diego team volunteering at Ronald McDonald house.
Yoga session at Balboa Park.
Bonus Tip 2: Get Additional Training or Education Outside of Work
Previously, I’ve attended night or online classes, conferences, udemy courses or training to either level up my skills or learn more about areas I’m interested in.
Continuously learning, being familiar with the industry, and gaining new skills will be important to remain successful and grow throughout your entire career.
Time to Get After That Promotion
Now that you have a foundation on how to get promoted in your marketing career - it’s time to get after it. Get started right now by documenting any of these tips as next steps so you can get that promotion you’ve been dreaming about.
Alternatively, looking to join a digital marketing agency with coundless growth opportunities? Apply for a job or internship at Seer today!
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