12 Tips for Changing Marketing Careers

What is one tip you have for changing careers in marketing?

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Written by AMA Colorado

To help you change careers in the marketing field, we asked career coaches and marketing professionals this question for their best advice. From looking into relevant certifications to committing a hundred percent to the effort, there are several tips to help marketers make a meaningful and rewarding career change.

Here are 12 tips for changing careers in marketing:

  • Look into Valuable Online Certifications
  • Build Your Own Website To Showcase or Practise Critical Skills
  • Make The Change Gradual
  • Gain Relevant Experience With Your Current Role
  • Job-Shadow Someone With Experience
  • Accumulate Performance Metrics To Boost Your Chances
  • Create New Networks Toward The Change
  • Leverage Existing Relationships and Create Incentives
  • Find a Reliable Marketing Mentor
  • Strengthen Your Goals With Research
  • Consider a Paid Test Project Before Making The Switch
  • Commit a 100% To The Effort

Look Into Relevant Online Certifications

Deciding to leave your current position and pursue something new in marketing can be exciting. There are so many great online courses that you can take for free, from Google Analytics to HubSpot Academy and more. You can get legitimate and valuable online certifications for free. Having these on your resume will help you stand out as you shift careers in marketing.

Ann McFerran, Glamnetic


Build Your Own Website To Showcase or Practise Critical Skills

Don’t wait to get hired to start earning real-world marketing experience. Build yourself a website that serves as a resume to show off your skills, using your marketing prowess and SEO skills to start building credibility for yourself. Don’t have any marketing skills yet? Your website can be your experimental sandbox. Whether you choose to build your own marketing business or simply want to create a powerful digital resume, you can use your website to build critical skills, contacts, and qualified leads for the jobs you want.

John Li, Fig Loans


Make The Change Gradual

Pivoting to an entirely different career can be a heavy undertaking, particularly if your core competencies presently lie elsewhere. Before making the switch, ensure that you have the necessary skills, network, and industry knowledge to carry you through periods of initial turbulence. These three factors dictate your level of success in making a career pivot. If you're not sure exactly what you need, speak with individuals who have direct experience in the profession. This arms you with valuable perspective and strengthens your network in the process. Should one or more of those areas be lacking, don't jump in at the deep end and hope for the best. Instead, take a step back, be patient, and address them one at a time. A slow and steady approach is the best way to thoroughly develop the right skills and prepare yourself for the transition as much as possible. That way, you're much more likely to reach your career goals and find success.

Patrick Casey, Felix


Gain Relevant Experience With Your Current Role

Taking on marketing-oriented responsibilities while at a current position is one of the best ways to gain relevant experience and make a career pivot. It can be difficult to find the necessary time it takes to get the right training for a career change in addition to the obligations of a current full time role. That’s why it’s important to seek relevant experience wherever it can be found for those who are looking to direct themselves on a specific career path in marketing. Building experience can look like writing content for a current employer’s company blog or assisting that company with the inner workings of an advertising campaign. There are many facets when it comes to the marketing world and the best way to find a niche is to cultivate relevant experience while at a current position.

Liza Kirsh, DYMAPAK


Job-Shadow Someone With Experience

The best way to learn is by doing; if you want to change your career, try shadowing someone and observing them in a professional work environment. Even if you can only do this for a few hours a week, you will learn practical tools and on-the-job training that is often more valuable than years at school. There are many great reasons to job shadow, but one of the best is to decide if your skillset really fits this job you want to do. You will learn more about marketing, of course, but you also find out if it's the right job for you. One easy way to start job shadowing is to reach out to your contacts and find out if they are connected with someone in the area of marketing you are interested in. You can also try reaching out to people you admire on LinkedIn. Tell them your goal, and see if they might be interested in having you shadow them for a week. You may make great contact, and once you're on the inside, you have access to more job opportunities.

Ouriel Lemmel, WinIt


Accumulate Performance Metrics To Boost Your Chances

If you're looking to advance or adapt your career in marketing to changing industry trends, the most important detail to keep track of is just how well your campaigns work for your company. Marketing has several different focuses, from data analytics to creative pursuits, that makes it more important than ever to have a good idea of how you can impact a marketing team. This is often important because if you're transitioning between roles or even companies, you might not be interviewing with a marketing professional. Having metrics like return on investment or conversion rates can help an average person, like an HR rep or CEO understand your value. Having in-depth industry knowledge is great, but without having performance metrics, you might find that you have difficulty transitioning between careers, so keep a portfolio that can tell the story of your work better than your resume alone.

Kyle Risley, Lift Vault


Create New Networks Toward The Change

One solid idea when changing careers in marketing is to make new connections while still maintaining your existing network. Networking is one of the most crucial elements in marketing and every contact matters. Never forget the value of what was learned and who taught you. Expanding one’s entire digital network, learning from others about potential career paths, it is all part of the experience.

Kevin Callahan, Flatline Van Co.


Leverage Existing Relationships and Create Incentives

When you want to switch careers within marketing, start by leveraging your existing relationships. For example, if you've brought success to a digital marketing client and are thinking of going into publicity, then offer that client a publicity add-on at a reduced rate. You've already established trust, and they'll be receptive to seeing what additional value you can bring them. Just be sure to set expectations appropriately so you don't lose the existing contract if your new services don't produce results.

Dennis Consorte, Snackable Solutions


Find a Reliable Marketing Mentor

You need to have a reliable mentor that will help you with your career transition in marketing. Every great marketer always starts from zero, and each relies on the knowledge shared by the people who first introduced them to the subject. A good mentor understands your needs and allows you to learn marketing at a pace that you can cope with. When you find that person, take it as an open window to grow and discover new things. Never be afraid to ask technical questions, and do not hold back when you have something to say. Your mentor will listen to you and do everything to help you succeed in your chosen career.

Allan Stolc, Bankly.dk


Strengthen Your Goals With Research

If you are thinking of changing your career in marketing, then make sure that you are doing the research beforehand. What is your ultimate goal? Do you want to stay with marketing or do you want to branch out into something new? Are there any prerequisites that you need to have met by the time of application? These are all questions that need answers for a successful transition. Doing some research beforehand and having an idea about what is your ultimate goal will help tremendously in career change. You can use this information as a guideline for yourself when applying for jobs. 

Know your interest and passion: Marketing professionals should have deep knowledge about the products or services offered by their company since it is their job to promote them. They should also be passionate about what they do since working in marketing is not an easy task and requires long hours of dedication.

Donta Hallmon, I Peep BXS


Consider a Paid Test Project Before Making The Switch

When considering a career change, it’s easy to imagine all of the benefits of your new role based on your research and conversations with others—even before you’ve actually worked in that role. That’s why I recommend engaging a company in a “test pilot” project so that you can see what your new role might really feel like, day-by-day and hour-by-hour. With marketing freelancing platforms like MarketerHire, GrowthMentor, and Upwork you can find a freelance client to test drive your next big career move before quitting your current role and taking the leap.

Zach Grove, Zach Grove


Commit a 100% To The Effort

My advice is if you are going to go for it, then go 100%!  There are so many different areas within marketing, it can be hard to know what to pick. You may think social media is what you want to do, but find out email marketing is actually it! I would suggest trying your hand at as many areas as you can, in as little time as possible. See what you like best and go for it!

Rory Heffernan, Agile Digital Strategy


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