Switching to Marketing? The Entry-Level Marketing Job You Should Seize
A flashy, lucrative job listing can revive your tired eyes quicker than a morning espresso. One click later, the description has your blood pumping. Yes, you are creative, confident, and outgoing. This caffeine is adrenaline with a dose of optimism.
Then, a hesitant scroll takes you to the “required” section. The first bullet reads, “At least two to three years of experience in the marketing industry.”
That would be two to three years you don’t technically have — yet.
Many professionals who want to gain marketing experience face this dizzying catch-22. It’s tough to gain experience in that field without experience in that field! If only someone would give you the chance to show off your expertise in knowing Theodore Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia” by heart.
But some of those positions you skipped over in search of greener pastures hold significant value. As posed in a Forbes article by Jeffrey Dorfman, “When did we get too proud for entry-level jobs?” And you don’t have to settle for mediocrity only to check off the years until you’re qualified for the positions you’d kill to land.
Brand Ambassador Jobs Are Underrated
The hardest skills to prove on a resume are “soft,” such as the ability to talk to people. Can you converse with a CEO without stumbling over your words? Do you rein in shy members during team projects?
This is where your former jobs say more than just a bulleted list of skills. And one of the best marketing-career springboards is incredibly underrated: serving as a brand ambassador, a fancy term for being excited about a company and spreading that passion to others.
What you lack in power as a brand ambassador can be made up for with enthusiasm and hard work. Before you say, “I’m not interested in putting on a lanyard and handing out swag,” consider how new-age marketing has evolved toward campaigns that allow consumers to feel and interact with products.
How Being a Brand Ambassador Can Jump-Start Your Marketing Career
Your responsibilities as a brand ambassador can help you develop essential talents and shape your future in unexpected ways:
- You’ll get a feel for how to interact with different types of people
While you’re shaking hands and distributing koozies, you’ll also learn how to mingle with a wide array of individuals — clients and casual browsers alike. Soon, you’ll find common ground with strangers through keen observation. Someone’s wearing a Chicago Cubs cap? That’s funny because, as it turns out, you love baseball — and making fun of 100 years of the Cubs’ failures. (Disclosure: I’m a Cardinals fan.)
- You could be tasked with a multitude of jobs depending on the event
Your natural inclinations have led to a career that’s all about people. Even so, you might not be ready to take on the intense negotiations that come with more responsibility. Every obstacle you overcome is a step closer to authority. Those fires you put out will become talking points for your next big interview.
- You’ll learn the meaning of hard work
Some companies require their brand ambassadors to work 16-hour days. Seriously. The good news is that you’re earning your chops in your desired field of work. “These positions are not your typical desk job,” wrote Kimberly Taylor of Escalate. “Preparation, coordination, and execution of mobile tours is extremely hard work.”
- You can blend into all work environments
As you regularly engage with new co-workers and companies, you’ll grace every situation with your adaptable presence. The ability to be a part of a team and acclimate to unique management approaches can make you a stronger leader.
- You may pinpoint your exact future career goals
So many jobs fall under the umbrella of interests labeled “marketing.” One fresh relationship or experience could result in a clear vision toward a professional path.
On top of the experience gained, there are the lessons you’ll always carry. One of the most difficult is honoring personal accountability. You’ll frequently witness co-workers getting thrown under the bus for mistakes made by others.
Even when you’re at fault, accountability sets you apart from the rest. Recognize your humanity, and focus on finding a solution. Combine the work ethic required to be a brand ambassador with the ability to cooperate with a team, and you’ll be ready for any career you choose.
So get back to your search, future marketing gurus. The job listing that should make your heart race is right within your grasp.
Anthony Russo has been a self-employed business owner for more than five years, and his seven-figure agency, Identity Marketing, is recognized among the top companies in the field of experiential promotional marketing. Russo is also a professional speaker and an emcee for large national events.