Juliette Rivers, Senior Coordinator, CMA NXT Ambassador at the Canadian Marketing Association, shares the two things that drew her to marketing, what young marketers need to learn, her battle with mental health and how a generation can influence change.
Although I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career, I knew I was good at two things. First, the marketing field would allow me to approach challenges from different perspectives. Second, working with a team would let me contribute and help bring out the best in others. What drew me to marketing was that certain aspects allow you to get and evaluate results, then change direction quickly when needed, which is a dynamic I enjoy. It's like a safety net giving you time to fix things if something goes wrong.
Marketers need to learn to value growth and recognition. As you start to make a name for yourself in the profession, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you learn from them, they will push you and your career forward. Learning to value your progress and growth will help you find your voice and confidently champion your accomplishments. Young marketers need to absorb knowledge like a sponge. Give yourself credit for learning how to do things you didn’t know how to do before.
My main challenge in breaking into marketing was proving I knew what I was doing. I graduated from an undergraduate program in June of 2022, which may not have appeared to have anything to do with marketing at first glance. I needed to show what I was capable of, so I sought certifications to fill the void of experience on my resume. With my newly acquired knowledge and my educational background in consumer behaviour, my future employer(s) would know they could mould me into whatever they needed without starting at square one.
While having an end goal is good, committing to a specific path early on will limit your growth. As a recent graduate, I absorb as much information as possible. I aim to continue working in a creative environment guided by my interests and talents. If you’re in the same stage, don’t sell yourself short. Marketing will expand your thinking, so don’t hesitate to allow yourself to be influenced by ideas or perspectives you haven’t considered yet.
I’m proud to be part of the generation (Z) shining a light on social issues and changing how companies do business. The problems my generation is pointing out are resonating with other generations as well. While I haven’t been in marketing long enough to know the full extent, there’s no doubt things are changing. Corporate responsibility is more significant than ever. As part of HubSpot’s 2022 State of Consumer Trends Report, they uncovered insights confirming that consumers expect companies to look after their employees, the planet, and give back to their communities.
These three insights influence consumer decisions to purchase products and services from one company over another. I wouldn’t be surprised if more companies started marketing their impact on social issues just as much as their products. These are things brands should be sharing today. Unfortunately, companies refusing to embrace transparency are perceived to be hiding something. It will be interesting to watch if more companies decide to focus their marketing on addressing issues like Dawn advocating for wildlife protection or Dove changing our perception of beauty.
I’m proud to have achieved my undergraduate degree and learning to champion myself. While I don’t have an extensive list of professional accomplishments yet, I know it’s on the way. As someone who struggles with mental health, standing up for myself and being confident in my skills is a win. It may be an unconventional achievement to some, but for me, it’s huge. I’m proud that I’ve made it this far and that my future has begun to take shape.
I’ve been fortunate with my career so far, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I was lucky to gain much-needed experience and develop my people skills while working at McDonald’s through high school and university, which also paid for my education. My first job was at a non-profit summer camp, which just happened to be co-owned by a seasoned marketer! I learned a lot on a small team where I could have an impact. It was invigorating to have the freedom to experiment under the guidance of a professional marketer. These experiences helped me identify areas where I needed to improve. After graduating, I was fortunate to secure a position and submerge myself in a field I loved.
I’m still learning which marketing aspects excite me. However, I want to work with numbers and be able to check the results of my work often – so I’ll likely find my place in a digital marketing role.