Want to be known as a superstar professional but don’t know where to start? Cassandra Morello, Senior Marketing & Program Specialist, has been where you’ve been and shares her soft skills focus areas that’ll get any young professional up to speed.
Sometimes a professional career move might be exactly that: a physical relocation from one end of the globe to the other. Despite the ongoing pandemic, immigration to Canada is slowly but surely increasing with many international professionals and international students ready for their new chapter in their professional journeys.
It’s not easy to admit that imposter syndrome hits us all from time to time. It’s that nagging sensation that shoots to the front of your thoughts as you go about your workday until it’s all you hear: that you are a fraud and don’t belong here. It’s a belief rooted in self-doubt and fear that somehow you, yes you, just lucked out, in getting where you are today.
Whether working from home or getting ready for distance learning (also known as remote learning), one thing is for sure: this fall, the pumpkin spice latte flavour isn’t enough to make everything seem normal. The disruption of the last six months has left many across the board still adjusting and finding their rhythm to move forward.
To me, communication is a critical component for both professional and everyday life. Without marketing and communications support, the world we know today would be a very different place. Forms of communication in various settings, particularly a corporate environment, and how communication processes, information technologies, and mass media shape and transform our societies, cultures, and perspectives.
At some point in your career, the presentation skill you outlined on your resume is suddenly going to come into play. Are you prepared to present last season’s campaign results? Lead a team scrum session? Or are you introducing a client to the rest of the department? It’s a soft skill that demands time and a place sure, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected. No matter your title, possessing strong presentation skills involves more than just droning on and on in a clear voice. Being a stronger presenter means building off those communication skills you already possess.
With today ‘s preventative realities settling in, the idea of networking in a socially distanced world feels like a math equation that just doesn’t add up. Suddenly that simple gesture of asking someone out for coffee is complicated, to say the least. Yet it doesn’t mean that networking is off the table. Staying connected is now more important than ever. That’s exactly why online networking is flourishing and thriving thanks to technology and a good internet connection.
Needless to say, one of the many results of working from home in the last few months has manifested itself in all things videos: video meetings, video backgrounds, you name it. If you have a webcam or a smartphone, suddenly video meetings are possible with zero excuses. All at once, everyone is scrambling to figure out the best practices for shooting at home - from video backgrounds to more technical inquiries (am I on mute?). What once used to be the last resort for videography and exclusive to YouTubers, video home production has skyrocketed to an essential skill any young professional should have in their wheelhouse
It seems like everyone and their mother is constantly asking you about what your next steps are in your career plan. You have some idea on what your career development plan looks like, but you don’t have all the answers. When you talk to your friends, classmates, or trusted colleagues, that layer of ambiguity seems normal.
I started my marketing career at General Motors, two weeks after my last day at university. It all happened so quickly; I barely had a chance to catch up. I love the automotive industry and wanted to experience everything it had to offer, so after a few years in manufacturing, I moved over to retail. I always wanted to be my own boss… at age seven I drew up a business plan to start a bakery and convinced friends to lend me money. In 2011, after reading Richard Branson’s ‘Losing My Virginity” twice, I quit my job and started a marketing consultancy.
What integral values have shaped Emily Baillie’s career path? She has a journey that weaves from senior-level positions to entrepreneurial and academic roles. We were curious to learn that she’s pinpointed her career growth down to these simple three values: that’s right, three.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way information can influence people’s beliefs and behaviours. This curiosity led me to study Communications in my undergrad and seek marketing and communications roles after graduation. After taking on increasingly senior positions, I struck out on my own and launched Compass Content Marketing. Around the same time, I began teaching digital marketing courses at the college and university level. Now, I am affiliated with Humber College and McMaster University, and I regularly speak at marketing and business-related events across Ontario.
Would it be a surprise to you to learn that most athletes have a key skill that has nothing to do with their ab muscles? It’s a skill that works well with receiving constructive feedback and comes down to listening. Not just any listening either; we’re talking about active listening. Those coaches on the sidelines need to deliver advice fast, and their players need to cut through the adrenaline, distraction, and noise to listen well and follow through on the field, or court (pick your sport).
Growing up I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, which is what I originally pursued after high school. As I headed down that path I realized that while I loved the idea of educating, I had a lot of passions and skills that I likely wouldn’t get to call upon as a school teacher. After a lot of research and self-reflection, I became focused on marketing, and more specifically the field of PR, which seemed to check all the boxes for me. All at once, my life plan switched pretty drastically.
The uncomfortable truth of constructive or critical feedback is that it’s meant to evoke change. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, it certainly puts you on the spot and it can be a lot to process in the moment. It may make you feel out of control but just remember it’s a metamorphosis phase. There’s a change coming, and it’s going to be for the better.
If I were to describe myself in one word, it would be passionate. Whether it’s about the welfare of our environment, my favourite TV series, or a new project I’m working on, I always care a littletoomuch. But once I’m invested in something, I become extremely dedicated towards it and am constantly sharing it with other people. Working within marketing
My interests include traveling to experience different cultures, playing musical instruments, speech arts, analyzing legal issues, and of course, marketing! What drew me into marketing is its flexibility and the role it plays in different industries. I can think outside the box and be creative with the content and graphics I create. What I love about marketing is the freedom I get to express with my ideas in all creative and unique ways
Contrary to popular belief, career success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a progression with highs and lows and it starts with you. Your attitude. Your resilience. It’s not determined by how many hours you clock in, or the fancy blazers you buy, or how many LinkedIn connections you have. It’s about a strong work ethic and channeling that energy into action.
Instead of neglecting your LinkedIn profile, why not use it to its’ full power to professionally network? It’s more than just an online resume. A strong LinkedIn presence is like a blazing fire: it lets everyone know you’re out there and ready. LinkedIn has become the top professional social network and it’s brimming with countless resources and opportunities.
Let’s be clear: a video interview isn’t as scary as it seems. Just think of sweet Dorothy of Kansas who was petrified to speak to the great and terrible Oz. Thanks to Toto’s curtain pulling, it turns out that Oz wasn’t as terrifying as he first appeared. For years, video interviewing has been surrounded by speculation and weariness. That’s right, years. It’s been around for some time, and one thing is for certain:it’s here to stay in today’s new world.
Starting your professional development journey might feel like finding yourself up a creek with no paddle. You know you need to do something to move forward but you’re just not sure where to start. Especially now when it seems like every direction is frozen and blocked off to you. What if we told you that’s not true? That now is the right time to get moving, to thaw out that uncertainty so you can work on yourself.
To video resume or not, that is indeed the question during an already stressful job search. CMA NXT challenges its’ users to push their creative boundaries and try it out for themselves. For inspiration, look at Sheldon Rodrigues, VP Marketing & Strategic Initiatives, CMA, video resume, and how it landed him a job as a newcomer to Canada.
It’s time to try to bake some bread because why not, seems easy enough. So, you start by (hopefully) finding a recipe, gathering ingredients, and your key equipment. You dream of the light aired fluffiness perfection that’s worthy of an Instagram post.
When job searching, we tend to list the many challenges and fears we face, laying them brick by brick until it is a massive wall. How are you going to climb over it? What do you need to start? Yes, the job market is tumultuous and with today’s unprecedented circumstances, there is a fog of uncertainty. But there’s one undeniable and unwavering fact: your amazing potential.
Reacting with mindfulness in the workplace is the perfect defense against adversarial thoughts. But what is mindfulness? It is the ability to be present in the moment and take effective action. There’s nothing to lose by practicing mindfulness, but a lot to gain, like empowerment and better outcomes in difficult situations.
"I’m very interested in seeing how content is going to continue to play a role in marketing and in business success. Content is everything nowadays, and it’s critical to stand out from all the clutter. It’s essential for engaging consumers, creating brand loyalty, and it will be interesting to see how it will be used to market to the next generation. With content, also comes influencers, which is another trend I’m excited to continue following and see how it impacts the industry. "
I got started in marketing because someone took a chance on me! Given both my undergraduate and master’s degrees were in disciplines outside of business and marketing, I didn’t really have a leg up on other candidates in this field. Understanding my disadvantage on paper, I was determined to get in front of as many people as possible and tell my personal story firsthand and highlight all of the transferrable skills I had acquired that would help me succeed in sponsorship and marketing.
"My greatest achievement would have to be helping grow a small business through its marketing and communications. I was able to grow their following as well as learn so many new ways to target customers, create content, and learn more about a new industry, barbering. Taking general lessons learnt in class and online and then actually applying them, has been so beneficial and personally rewarding."
My biggest challenge was finding a marketing position on the client-side that I would be happy with. Client-side opportunities, especially intern positions, are much rarer than they are on the agency side. Once I landed my first job at Mercedes, the biggest challenge was adapting to the practices for corporate culture.
I view success as creating and implementing programs that empower marketing and business development professionals to drive top-line growth within their organizations. And on a personal level, establishing yourself as an agent of change within your firm and as a trusted resource to both your colleagues and peers in the industry.
"I started my marketing career working for Wunderman which is a direct response marketing agency. I was a shared resource between the account service and media departments. It was actually a perfect entry-level role - I learned very quickly about how to measure a campaign and the how to apply those results and insights on the creative development and the media buy. I got a big picture view very early on in my career."
"My proudest achievement has been the work I've done as Vice President at the Digital Enterprise Management Association at the University of Toronto Mississauga. With my team we successfully organized and executed over 12 individual and collaborative events throughout the school year that contributed to the personal and professional development of UTM students."
I love the storytelling aspect of marketing. When marketing is done well,it creates a story around a product or service that enhances a consumer’s enjoyment of it.Nike understands this implicitly when they market their performance apparel and shoes. That brand building and storytelling is the reason I got into marketing in the first place and continues to be the reason I enjoy it today.
"I got my foot in the door through a reference. In university, I joined a literary journal and became friends with my Editor-in-Chief and mentor, who eventually decided to pursue marketing as well. I reached out to them post-university and was lucky enough to get an interview with Brainrider through them. The rest is history."
"In addition to marketing, I am also very passionate about technology. I have personally invested in some technology companies and enjoy researching the latest technology developments in my spare time. I hope to be able to use some of the technologies of the future within marketing and hopefully trailblaze and innovate with some creative uses of our newest technologies in a marketing context."
"Technology has always played a role in growing marketing. What’s important for marketers is to stay abreast of all the technologies that the consumer is demanding. Being ahead of what’s next shows a continued commitment and engagement with the client. Embrace the change and see it as an opportunity to be even more connected with your customers.”
"My advice to studentslooking to get into the industry would beto get real-lifeexperience; volunteer, seek relevant summer placements or internships, and find mentors! If you come across someone’s career profile that sparks your interest, setup an informational interview or ask to grab a coffee. Growing your network is a must in the marketing industry and never stop learning!"
"As a student interested in pursuing a career in marketing, first, establish your own set of core values. Live them out with integrity leading the way. Second, keep learning, try new things and be a team player."
"Finding myself, was my biggest challenge when I first started out. It may seem trite but sometimes you have to ‘kiss a couple frogs before you find your prince’. The important thing is to get everything you can out of every role you take. It’s surprising how two jobs in completely different industries, could have transferable skills that will allow you to grow and strengthen your skill set."
"Canadian work experience is one of the biggest challenges that I face when I am applying for internships. I have international experience in corporate communications, but I still feel like it is not enough for the Canadian workplace."
“I want to come up with unique creative solutions to every problem. And I want to do it in a way that puts consumers first. This means breaking the stigma that marketing is shady. It means ensuring that there will be no more "false" advertising.”
“There have been so many times in my career that I have stepped out of my comfort zone, sometimes not having a solid plan, that has turned out for the better. Whether it was that I made a decision to leave a job, get in front of a classroom and teach, incorporate my business, or take any other sort of risk, it has always paid off for me in the end. Always find that silver lining and stay positive.”
“When I was 13, I blew up the microwave. The day started like any other, only I wanted to have a hot chocolate in hand for my walk to school. I popped my thermos in the microwave, went upstairs to grab my things for school, and returned to a kitchen full of black smoke. My brother quickly followed and asked ever so lovingly ‘Why the hell would you put a tin thermos in the microwave?’”
The NXT Blog - Every great story has a beginning, middle, and end. It has a point of conflict, sometimes disaster, triumph, and lessons learned. The Storybook is where you will find stories about marketers journeys, their advice for young professionals, and their insights on soft skill development to help you succeed in your own journey.