An engineer by profession, blogger by chance and a marketer by choice, I found my true calling in the Digital Marketing field not by luck but by a yearning to grow and accomplish something worthwhile. Here’s my story on what I understood about the lifecycle of a marketer, the invaluable lessons I learned in my adventurous journey and how I found my dream job across seven seas in less than 30 days.
How it all began?
Born and brought up in India, I finished my education as Electronics & Telecommunications engineer from MIT Pune (India) in June 2013. In pursuit of improving my writing skills, I started experimenting with blogging and began writing about food. To complement my blogging activities, I invested significant time promoting myself on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook trying to drive indirect traffic to my blog.
At this stage, I was approached by a few start-ups to help them in social media marketing which I agreed to do without any second thought. Even though there were no monetary transactions involved, working for a start-up was an experience in itself Working with a start-up meant full autonomy of my work, considerable resources at hand and a lot of room for experimentation and that’s where I learned the most practical aspects of Digital Marketing.
The Lesson for Marketer: A marketer learns the most practical lessons only by experimenting and staying open-minded towards new experiences in life.
What happened next?
After blogging for 6-8 months and pursuing my job as a Programmer Analyst Trainee with Cognizant Technology Solutions India for seven months, I left my job to pursue MBA at Indian Institute of Management Udaipur (IIMU). I pro-actively participated in conducting digital marketing activities for many on-campus events including TEDxIIMU and Audacity, the first cultural festival of IIMU. I wrote several articles for magazines and blogs to stay up-to-date on latest trends in marketing.
While pursuing my education, I completed several free certification courses with Hubspot Academy in content marketing, inbound marketing, social media marketing, etc. which enabled me to stay relevant and up-to-date on latest trends in digital marketing.
The Lesson for Marketer: Be proactive and take initiatives wherever you go.
Landing my first job in marketing
Once I completed my MBA, I applied for several marketing role openings and landed a job as a part of Discover Trainee Program by Vodafone Group. In my 1.5 years experience with Vodafone, I gained experience in B2C sales, B2B sales, consumer marketing and product management.
While working with Vodafone, I trained on several internal resources like Dot Native Digital Marketing Course and some other certification courses like PRINCE 2 project methodology, Twitter In-Flight Marketing, etc. These free certification courses empowered me to stay relevant with latest trends and also add weight to my profile.
The Lesson for Marketer: Don’t do certifications for the sake of adding weight to profile, but focus on adding to your existing knowledge.
A Bold Career Move
I left my job at Vodafone on Dec 17 to move to Amsterdam along with my husband. Moving to an entirely new continent, a new culture and a completely different job market, I struggled initially with rejections (given my profile did not have strength in one particular domain).
I first focused on creating a robust Digital Marketing Resume and a relevant & impactful cover letter. While looking for a job, I also focused on strengthening my digital marketing skills with Google AdWords Fundamentals Certification, Google Digital Sales Certification and some data analytics skills with IBM Certification Courses. I soon landed a few interviews of which one particularly interesting was the role of Digital Marketing and Customer Service Manager with SuperSaaS: An Online Appointment Scheduling Software.
The Lesson for a Marketer: A strong resume speaks about you and represents your personality on one piece of paper. Make sure it’s worth for a recruiter’s time!
After thoroughly reading about the organization, understanding the industry scenario and carefully researching about the competitors, I created a sample Digital Marketing Strategy plan for SuperSaaS in the form of a 10-slide Powerpoint presentation. I was not sure if I would get an opportunity to discuss my presentation during the interview, but I was determined to make an impression.
During the meeting, I found a chance to mention that I had created a sample Digital Marketing strategy plan for SuperSaaS and if they allow me 10 minutes time, I would be happy to elaborate on the same. They happily agreed to let me show the presentation.
The one hour interview extended to a 2+ hours conversation about the company strategy, the challenges faced by the company and the pricing strategy for SuperSaaS. I ended up having lunch with them and spending more quality time with the team.
The Lesson for Marketer: Always read about the organisation and try to think out of the box about the challenges from organisations’ perspective. Marketers have the toughest job of looking for new perspectives of same old problems that organisations are going through, and that’s the value addition we make to the organisation we work for!
I was chosen among all candidates for the position of Digital Marketing and Customer Service Manager. I am happy and excited to go to work each day since my job allows me to a lot of room to implement new ideas, take initiatives and for experimentation. I only understood the basics of Google AdWords and Google Analytics before joining SuperSaaS, but now I work day-in-day-out with this software. And, FYI No, I don’t know everything there is to know about Analytics and AdWords, but I make sure I keep myself updated with courses from Digital Grads, Google Analytics for Beginners and Google Digital Garage Workshops.
The Lesson for Marketer: Never stop learning, because the day you stop learning you will stop growing.
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