Looking for good career advice? Work for a start-up

I posted an article on this SEO forum sharing some insights into working for a  start-up during my career in digital marketing, I hope you find some time to take a read. The post focuses on some of the key skills acquired and the day to day activities I was involved in such as setting up a partnership program, building external relationships with suppliers and agencies –  it should provide some inspiration to you that working for a start up is sound career advice.

It provided me with a really good overview of how a business is run – something I believe is a key skill to have working in digital marketing, to be able to demonstrate a well-rounded compliment of skills. But most importantly, it gave me some life-skills I still use to this day:

  • Think creatively – There was no large marketing budget to fall back on, there is no marketing agency at your beckoning call and usually there are a number of larger competitors operating in your sector.
  • Learn to fail – You can’t stand still in a start-up, you have to keep on pushing yourself and the company in not being afraid to try something different, putting something out there in the market that maybe, this time it’s going to connect. If you fail you fail, dust yourself off and get back on it again – but it didn’t stop me from dusting myself off and trying again, not giving up.
  • Hustle – Whether negotiating over-ride fees with affiliate programs, learning to always get a deal on commission rates – just so you can say to yourself that you’ve gone that extra mile for your business to drive a better margin.
  • Adapt your skills – You need to dive straight in and acquire as much knowledge as you can across the organisation.
  • Teach – In a start-up it was common that the business may not have the time (or budget) for you to take a week off on a distance learning digital marketing course, you had to teach yourself on the job, read industry blogs and forum and apply your knowledge. At the same time, it is important you give the time to train up staff in the company.
  • Ship – not being afraid to push the button on your new affiliate promotion, website deal, email campaign etc etc – Whatever it is, making sure you are continuing to deliver and to continue to raise the bar.

At some stage in your career work for a start-up,  the wealth of experience you can learn is unlimited. Getting yourself involved in a real business where you need to make real decisions that constantly puts you in a challenging environment is second to none. As the latest university leavers begin their search for their first job, I would recommend ignoring graduate schemes and perhaps think more laterally by getting yourself involved in a small business, a business that’s going to be able to provide you with a wealth of experience on how an organisation makes decisions from the board and how it impacts the day to day running. Hope you get a chance to read my post

In the current economic climate, it’s pleasing to read a lot of positive press focused on the growth in the creation of start-ups, people taking the initiative and launching their own ventures. According to an article by real business, during 2011, there were 396,000 start-ups created compared to 362,000 in 2010. In reply to this growing trend,  http://www.startups.co.uk/ has been launched as a resource to starting in business.


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