This is one hell of an industry to break into, whether you like it or not, whether you are talented or not (even though I think a majority of the old stalwarts are more administrative than creative), in the marketing industry, you really have to prove yourself.
As a graduate, you're basically competing with people who have far superior experience and qualifications than you have. Then there are people who have far fewer qualifications but have been in the industry for years ... these are the "know-it-alls"... and
people who accidentally fell into their jobs and have no vision or desire to move on - they are sitting there like bags of potatoes just waiting to get picked up and thrown to the next level.
On the other hand you're also competing with people just like you; new graduates looking to build their careers. Then there are the experienced ones divided into two categories; people who have been in the industry for years with great qualifications but
they still have that ambition to proceed to greater heights and those who lack qualifications but can boast of a lot of experience, are motivated, full of passion, ooze creativity and want to achieve even more. With all these different characters, you as a new graduate (who has just got his/her first job) want it all. You want to be the marketing manager for that blue-chip company; you want to be the brand manager for that multinational brand; you want to be MD of a world-class agency; you want ... you want ... you want!Fight the good fight
Apart from the basic challenges from the above-mentioned competitors that you will face as a new recruit, you have to fight familiarity; fight friendships that have been formed over decades of business between industry stalwarts; fight being seen as wet behind ears - do all these whilst trying to make your own mark and bring a point of differentiation. After all, you are tomorrow's stalwart.
Though some people may have it while others may not, the ability to form relationships and network is a really important industry tool. The skill comes in handy when you find yourself at an industry function, conference or other event when everyone is having drinks ... we all know how much marketers love their drink! You're standing alone in a dark corner where no one can see you (or doesn't even bother to try to notice you...); while everyone you know is chatting to someone; your colleagues are having friendly chats to former colleagues, catching up on news and reminiscing about the past; while your bosses talk shop with future clients... You, on the other hand, don't know what to do with yourself. The ability to walk over to a person and start a conversation will determine whether you spend the after party by yourself on social media tweeting away or getting to know new people and forming your own relationships. Wallflowers
As you look around the room you start to notice a few people like you, standing alone in the corner not engaging with anyone; being dragged around and introduced by their colleagues while you see the fear and shyness in their eyes. Then you come to realise that you're not alone after all.
All these people who are now free and are chatting to everyone, engaging with everyone, have in the past been where you are now. They were once interns, they were once new in the industry, they once also had to form relationships and
, last but not least (no really, this might even be the most important factor), they had to prove themselves
. Your colleagues had to earn their respect. Through their work and their ability to form networks they had to build these very relationships that they now enjoy.
Though marketing may be about talent rather than administrative (well that's just my opinion anyway), due to the fact that it's an art and as such, some form of creativity is needed in order to achieve, one's ability to form meaningful relationships is rather important. These relationships will form the base of your career, they will form and shape the rest of your professional working life (or so I've been told). So I say ... yes
, this is just me, just my views and experiences, my opinions!
Though talent is critical in order to succeed in this business, one's ability to form relationships is just as important, if not more important. To any newcomer, any new graduate or any person looking to make it in the media and marketing industry, relationships are more important than you will ever imagine, so start talking, start socialising ... not only on social media - start being a true marketer or else you will find that the industry is not very nice to newcomers.