"I graduated from university with a medical degree, but I’ve always been a marketer at heart. While in school, I started exploring business and work opportunities that exposed me to the world of marketing and communications. I developed a passion for building brands and some years later, I decided to pursue a career in strategic brand management."
We hate to break it to you, but workplace mistakes are going to be made … by you. Remember, even the best of the best stumble from time to time. Working professionals may juggle multiple priorities and tasks but at the end of the day, they’re still human. (Gasp, we know!) The key to getting over messing up at work is all about your recovery.
"That said, growing up in a Gujarati family, I have learned a lot about businesses and how to run them. Once I complete my education, I aspire to be a businessman and look forward to the day when I can set out on my own, with my marketing firm that will create advertising campaigns for brands in the luxury sector. ."
Like two opposing storms coming together, workplace conflicts disrupt the natural flow and good vibes of a team. Instead of moving forward, united and strong, workplace conflict puts a full stop to any kind of productivity. It seems everyone and everything is waiting with bated breath to see how it will play out. Which begs the question, when you’re in the middle of it all, how do you resolve the conflict?
"During this two-to-three-month period of pandemic life, living without friends or family in a small apartment in London, Ontario, I came to terms with an important realization. This passion project taught me there is always something I can build and create from scratch regardless of my living situation changing or getting derailed."
Before raising your flag of victory after receiving notice that a job offer is coming your way, let us remind you to prepare to negotiate. You’ve done an incredible job showcasing you’d be a great fit for said job. Does that mean you say yes to the initial job offer without hesitation?
"Whether I am driving a car and listening to ads on the radio, seeing ads on billboards, or entertaining myself with television or social media, I see ads. I am fascinated by how brands convey their message to their target audience to delight their customers and achieve measurable business objectives."
An informational interview switches the roles around: instead of being interview for a role, you’re doing the interviewing for a change and getting the answers you need. Consider it a routine practice both prior to graduating and throughout your career. Actively engaging in them indicates you’re open to the many career possibilities that are out there and have a curious nature to match.
"Before coming to Canada, I was in a project marketing management role across many different industries. Realizing that simply having the general know-how of business wasn’t enough, I decided to pursue an academic path at Douglas College, entering the Sales and Marketing program."
There’s always a bit of workplace competition brewing within a company’s culture. As business and marketing professionals, we’re natural change-makers and creative thinkers. Sometimes that competitiveness can be on the lighter side, fueling everyone consistently while other times… let’s just say, it’s a tad strong and ruins the pot.
Think your volunteering days are over and done once you leave your post-secondary behind? Or believe that volunteering seems more up the alley of a junior professional? That’s a misconception that’ll lead you to miss out on the many benefits voluntary opportunities have to offer.
" It’s easy for imposter syndrome to sneak in and feel as though you do not have enough experience, or you are not good enough – but it only takes one opportunity to launch your career! It’s important to stay confident and to apply to positions that are relevant to your skillset and where you want to grow."
"I want to help create an organizational culture that is predicated on inclusion and celebrating the diversity of employees. A culture that includes passionate employees wanting to make a difference in racialized/marginalized communities by creating/offering programs to youth that will provide opportunities to excel in a bevy of different ways. "
"Coming from the music industry with 5 years in the business, my biggest realization was figuring out how to market music after it was created – it was and still is the most difficult part for most independent musicians. Life in the digital space changes so fast that sometimes we miss the signs and find ourselves behind the curve."
It’s time for a change of pace and switching industries is the career shift that makes the most sense for you. Even though you’re eager and feel confident it’s the right move, it can also feel a bit like starting over which could stop you in your tracks before you even really begin. You may be asking yourself if your experience holds up and whether you can learn an entire industry quickly enough to make an impact.
"However, coming to Canada has been my dream ever since I studied a semester abroad here thanks to an ELAP scholarship from the Canadian Government. I fell in love with this country and when I returned home, as the scholarship required, I made a promise to myself to do everything in my hands to come back someday. "
It happens to the best of us where suddenly all those yes’s pile up to an impossible mountain. Setting work boundaries might seem like another peak to climb, but the result ensures that your performance continues to rise, rather than fall. You need to look out for yourself because after all, no one else will.
"Being a social person, I love networking and making connections that are more than just professional partnerships. A lot of my educational background comes from finance but being an avid social media user myself, I started my career as an entrepreneur and used the potential of social media to help generate revenue for my business."
With the right kind of mentorship, imagine the career trajectory you could experience knowing you have a pro to turn to for support, advice, and insight. A bright light on your career path especially during times of uncertainty where you might feel you’re walking blindly forward. Finding that mentor may seem impossible. So where do you start?
Not having the right technical skills as a marketer can feel discouraging. You know you’re capable of developing them so why wait to learn them? In today’s world, digital skills and soft skills development are in high demand. It’s a strong combo for a candidate applying for that dream role.
There’s nothing like the rush after an interview. The pressure is off, and you’ll be tempted to want to put your feet up. Before you do, remember, the follow-through is waiting in the wings. After experiencing the pressure of the interview process, it can seem like a big ask to do more.
There are various degrees of burnout syndrome and it all depends on the circumstances. Academic burnout, job burnout, the list goes on. It’s safe to say that admitting to feeling burnt out is no longer considered abnormal nor the taboo topic it once was.
A strong and good resume is your ticket in during a job search, requiring the craft of your resume writing to be top-notch. That kind of pressure on a piece of paper can be soul-crushing which is why we’re here to offer some resume help. Whether it’s resume building from the ground up or an overall resume refresh, these standards are bound to get you ahead of the competition.
Although this is the perfect time of year to strategically think about career goals, remember, everyone wrestles with finding that perfect balance. Avoid the trap of succumbing to overhyped new years resolution vibes by setting smart objectives that will manifest into career wins.
Much like the exhale after a long stretch, the end of a year can feel like that moment of relief to many of us. It’s been a year unlike any other with many facing unexpected career shifts, zoom fatigue and uncertainty in every corner. With the new year approaching fast and furiously, many are hoping for a fresh start in all things, including their marketing careers. But where exactly should you focus your efforts? With marketing trends bursting on the scene to meet consumer demands new paths are being paved.
This year, online events and virtual conferences have grown immensely, delivering a broad array of content and experiences. With so many possibilities available, it’s easy to overlook one or two in all the excitement. That’s why we wanted to recap this year’s virtual awards show of the fall season, the 2020 CMA Awards Show to highlight not only the amazing winners, but also how Canadian marketers came together for an evening of celebration.
In the hustle and bustle of every day, it’s easy to get caught up in your new work from home routine and be unmindful of how far you’ve come. Whether it’s the virtual classroom or virtual onboarding, these experiences are learnings much like the harvest before the winter season: necessary, useful and in abundance! That’s why we reached out to our CMA NXT community to bring reflections and insights on the last few months’ virtual adjustments. Their new perspectives and tips are exactly what you’ll need to prepare for the winter term and season.
There are many considerations for the creative professional who is ready to strut their stuff upon entering the job market. It’s more than just pulling together a creative resume or portfolio; making an impression requires professionalism. Showcasing your ideas and passion for the craft requires some foresight in order to be seen and taken seriously as a creative industry professional.
A powerful personal brand speaks to the masses about who you are, what you stand for and what you can deliver. It may feel a bit ego-centric to focus on, especially if you believe your work should speak for itself. Here’s the thing: think of all the brands you love and champion and how they make you feel. Those brands have successfully connected with you by building on key values you share. Now think of your personal brand doing the same thing. Not that big of a stretch now, is it?
"I began my marketing career in my fourth year as a member of the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery team. Upon graduating, I was applying to every role that had “marketing” in its job description. After countless coffee chats and 100s of job applications, I realized that this approach did not work. It was one of my mentors who pointed out my lack of focus and suggested understanding what each role in marketing actually entailed and to self-evaluate my attitude and aptitude for success in those roles."
Throughout any career journey, there’s going to be hurdles and sprints which feel massively disruptive. Navigating each stage, like the tiring job search or interview process, may seem like a train that’s suddenly delayed. There’s a sense of being stuck when all you want is to move forward. Luckily, you’re not the only passenger, and a new perspective is sometimes all it takes to clear the tunnel vision.
The concept of workplace has transformed in the last few months with remote work remaining steadfast. Lunchroom coffee top-ups look quite different in our own kitchens. Much like acclimating to an upcoming winter season, there were grumbles, there were new sweaters and new routines to get us through. With that in mind, what are we to expect once the green light is given for a return to the office after months of working at
"My first career job post-graduation was a Sales Consultant role at an energy consulting firm. I took the opportunity to learn sales, one aspect of marketing, and better understand the B2B marketplace. A few months later, the company I worked for was seeking a full-time Marketing Manager and I applied internally. Perhaps it was a bit of luck, but if I didn’t accept that initial Sales Consultant job and give it a shot, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become a Marketing Manager."
Starting out in your marketing career is much like entering a destination in Google maps: there’s more than one way to get there. It’s good to have a general sense of where you’re headed on your career path, especially if you have a dream role or industry in mind, but it’s a fine balancing act between expectations and reality. It may seem like many professionals fall into their marketing niche. How do you stumble upon that magic? Is there a way to jumpstart a key move in your career? We explore some methods to get to the bottom of this, so you feel less lost and more found.
When you think of work culture, you either fall into the glass half full or glass half-empty category. The glass half-full pictures perfect harmony between different values and personalities creating a job environment of growth and innovation. While the glass half-empty could be described as Meryl Streeps’ perfectly arched eyebrow from The Devil Wears Prada (terrifying, we know). But we’re here to remind you that work culture is always in flux because it requires work from all involved, and that means you too.
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 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.