I have been out of college for almost a year now, and the one thing I have learned in the last 10 months is that graduating from college does not necessarily make you “real world” ready. You read your textbooks, you take your tests, but nothing can compare to what you will learn in your first job.
1. Not everything will be black and white
In college, the right answer is always the right answer, and the wrong answer is, well, wrong. When in reality, digital marketers never have clear-cut answers to things. Life as a digital marketer is not the textbook definitions that have been drilled into your head over the last four years; it is subjective and ever-changing. You are entering a forever evolving industry where the ups and downs of that industry change your perspective and inevitably your everyday processes.
2. Expect the unexpected
The digital marketing industry is fast paced and changes not just from day-to-day, but from hour-to-hour. Staying ahead of the curve and up-to-date on industry news will forever be an important aspect of the job. With several players in the digital marketing field that control the performance of you or client’s goals, staying informed and knowing what is coming is vital! You need to be ready to react and realize that something that was once a huge success yesterday may not even be applicable today.
3. The basics of coding
As a marketing major, I could have never anticipated the need to know the general basics of coding. When working on the digital side of marketing knowing HTML and CSS code can make your everyday tasks a little easier, and elevate your understanding of the technology that is critical to your job.
4. Data, Data, Data…and more data
Entering digital marketing, you will be drowning in data. However, a lot of that data is meaningless, finding the core data points that prove that you are creating the anticipated outcomes is critical. It will take time to realize which data is important but once you figure out what those data points are, you will be able to back up the success of your campaigns and make better strategic marketing decisions. Data will take the guesswork out of your work and allow you to adapt to the changes happening around you.
5. Be ready to fail
You will make mistakes, it is inevitable. But the most important thing is that you learn from those mistakes. In the marketing field, you need to take chances, it is easy to be forgotten; stand out, push yourself out of your comfort zone and do not play it safe (even if it feels risky). Be ready to fail and start over, your results will eventually speak for themselves.