It’s the start of a new week and that means it’s time for Career Inspiration. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent my weekends interviewing and having a chat with hard-working people. For those of you who’re new to Career Inspiration, the aim of these interviews is to help people looking for career ideas, a career change or simply an insight into what others do.
It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out about what others do and the journey they took to get there. So, I hope you enjoy today’s inspirational interview with Sara, a Marketing Executive and avid blogger.
What did you study at university and has it been beneficial for your current career path?
I studied graphic design for 2 years and changed to a teaching degree, which I really didn’t like either. None of them were particularly relevant to what I do these days, to be honest.
Did you always know you wanted to work in marketing?
Not really, no. When I was studying graphic design I was somewhat interested in advertising but not marketing specifically. I only understood I had an interest in marketing when I realised I could transfer the skills I had learned while blogging into a real job. This was a great thing for me as at the time I was doing something I wasn’t particularly keen on and was trying to figure out what direction I should be going. Seeing a way out of a job I hated and finding something I had a genuine interest in was almost like an epiphany and it kind of saved me from depression. That’s when I started learning about marketing a lot more.
When did you start your blog, Hello The Mushroom, and how has it played a part in your career?
I started it back in 2010, after I moved to the UK. I found myself living in a small town in Lincolnshire where not much happens and decided to go back to style blogging, as it was something I enjoyed doing when I was on Livejournal a few years before.
What transferrable skills did you pick up from blogging to help land your current job?
Social media, copywriting, organisational skills, multitasking, event organisation, networking, to name a few!
Please tell us about your current role.
I’m a marketing associate at a tech startup in London. At the moment it’s just me, so I’ve got my fingers on quite a few pies: managing our social media, organising our breakfast briefing events, creating content for the blog, planning the new website, creating collateral, liaising with the sales team… Uff!
What do you enjoy most about working for a startup?
As you can see, there’s a lot to be done and when you’re working for a small company you have to be able to do several different things. In my case I find it very motivating to be part of a company that is growing, so you see the results of your efforts straight away – you get to make decisions and implement them, instead of having to go through a large chain of command. Of course that with power comes responsibility but there’s always room for some error and correction.
What is a typical workday like?
Plan twitter posts, look at what influencers are talking about and do a few retweets/comments, research material for articles, have meetings with other people I work with.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
When you have to learn a whole new subject, in my case it was innovation. I worked in debt management before and moving into a different industry was quite challenging.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Like I mentioned before, when you see good results of your actions/work, especially when your colleagues recognise that you’re actually doing something useful, not just sat there on Twitter all day.
What advice would you give to others thinking of a career within marketing?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on social media – you have to start somewhere and experiment. There is no set of rules or recipe, as these things are constantly evolving, so apart from reading, you also have to put it into practise.
What keeps you motivated?
Learning learning learning!
What direction would you like to take your career in 2015?
I am not exactly sure of what my next step will be yet, but for now I am consolidating my newly found career, by learning as much as I can and gaining experience on the job.
I want to say a big thank you to Sara for taking part in Career Inspiration. It just goes to show that you can change your career path at any time in your life. There are no age limits, you just have to be prepared to work hard and teach yourself about the things you’re most interested in – blogging is an excellent way of doing just that. I hope you all enjoyed the interview. You can find Sara over on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.