Whether you’re in school or a recent grad, the question has come across your mind countless times now. You’ve lost sleep over it. You’re tired of your parents or that friend you randomly bump into asking over and over! Here it is…the dreaded question, What do you want to do as a job? Now let’s say you’ve decided, and you want to work in a marketing agency *cue the trumpets* planning exciting events, digital campaigns, or even experiential projects. You like the look and feel of an agency environment, the impact, and the excitement that comes from it.
Here are some helpful tips and unique ways you can land that dream agency job of yours (other than being an Instagram star and getting paid to travel).
Build your experience in a combination of the following: student clubs or organizations while in school, event planning, budgeting, and even the retail job you might be working at. The main point is that you have to see and think bigger than what is in front of you at that moment. Connect what you’re doing now to the ideal place you want to be and try to develop transitional skills required for that dream job (while in school or at your current job). For example, let’s say you work part-time as a Brand Ambassador for a consumer brand OR you’re an executive member of a student club. Do those roles, and do them very well to the point where you can make an impact and be able to transition those skills to a marketing agency environment. During an interview, this is where you should have an arsenal of experiences in your back pocket, that could very well be from a non-agency setting. This is where you can speak about the student events you may have planned or setting up interactive store displays at various stores.
Network. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s crucial that you reach out to people outside of your circle and get to know others. Nowadays, there are countless ways for you to do this both digitally and through good ol’ fashioned person-to-person. LinkedIn lets you create a professional online profile and the ability to network, while various networking events / socials in your city are likely to take place in high density areas (check out EventBrite or ask any young professional that you network with on [free] events worth attending). Networking is also a refined craft, so don’t worry if the first few times you take someone out for a coffee is kind of awkward. As long as you are humble, honest, and open about your intentions of growing and meeting new industry people, then you definitely gain points. You just never know when an opportunity can be right around the corner!
Think like an Entrepreneur. Marketing agencies require you to be creative, think on your feet, be a problem solver, and make ideas come to life. That’s exactly a part of what entrepreneurs do, and it’s going to help you gain bonus points when you can refer to any particular life experiences or skills that help create solutions to problems. The role of a marketing agency is to come up with strategies and provide solutions for their client’s needs. Therefore, entrepreneurial thinking is going to be another key to your success when trying to get into the agency world. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, challenge the norm, be a little disruptive, and even take matters into your own hands. Entrepreneurs are producers, they are leaders, and they are problem solvers. And those are the exact qualities that will also help you get your foot in the door and grow from there.
Be true to yourself, know what drives and motivates you, and grow from here on out. Connect what you’re doing now to the bigger picture of where you want to be, and start to write down some of the skills and experiences that would directly help you in an agency environment. Keep on building your relationships, try new projects, and get those transitional skills that you can talk about when you’re ultimately face to face with the marketing agency of your dreams.
You made it this far, you’ve got this.