Writing that post brought back a lot memories and experiences from my 20+ years in marketing communications. I thought I’d start sharing them in the hopes that they help others as they chart their careers.
I want to be clear, my post that will be published on Spin Sucks is about being a communicator in a man’s world. This does not mean that I am bashing men in the business world. I am sharing experiences about how to be successful in those and other situations. That is the point of this post and others to come.
In addition, please keep in mind that my career started in 1994, a far cry from today – 2014.
Let’s get to it.
Like many people, I showed up to my first marketing job bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I worked in student loans. My job was to travel around the state of Florida to colleges and universities, building relationships with the financial aid departments so that they would list my bank as the preferred lender. I traveled throughout my home state, developed collateral, attended conferences…you name it, I did it – as part of a team. It was fabulous!!!
The VP of marketing was himself a young whipper-snapper who could do no wrong. Yet, he did have experience, knew the market and had good ideas, which meant there was a lot to learn from him. The manager was a strong woman who was a few years older than me, and she was in love with the VP. (Another story for another day.)
Back to the purpose of this post.
Be True To Yourself
At one of the first conferences I attended in this role, I learned that part of “entertaining clients” meant staying up half the night partying. Being in my twenties, this wasn’t an issue.
BUT! I didn’t want my career to begin as a a “party girl”. Here is what I chose to do:
- Enjoy the client dinner, getting to know my customers better
- Go to the dance club with everyone
- Leave the club between 10:30 and midnight with those clients who didn’t like to stay out late. (This made those customers happy while my colleagues stayed out late with the others.)
- Get a good night’s sleep
You don’t have to do everything the way someone else does it. Find your own way and be true to yourself.