Every work experience holds learning and opportunity hand in hand and Liz Oke, Principal at lizokeMarketing understood that when she pivoted from PR to marketing. Thanks to her curiosity and resolve, she’s become an agile marketer ready for any change.
Learning about my own values in my career has been my bigger challenge. Figuring out what interested me, what I wanted, and didn't want. When I first started in the workforce after university, it was an eye-opening experience. When you first start as a junior, you realize that there is so much more to learn on the job. You learn to be agile, adapt quickly to business challenges, lose the ego, and work hard!
I started my career in PR, then pivoted to graphic design, illustration and became an entrepreneur designing knitwear in my 20s. I worked for a wide variety of big brand clients in various industries in PR, and smaller brands in my early freelance days. Thanks to this range of experiences, it helped me decide what sorts of industries and clients interested me the most.It also helped me round out a wide range of knowledge and industry experience. At age 27, I landed in marketing.
There have been so many times in my career that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and sometimes not having a solid plan has worked out for the better. Whether it was that I decided 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 offfor me in the end. Always find that silver lining and stay positive.
Every morning, I set aside time to read or watch videos related to marketing excellence, martech (the blend of marketing and technology) and sales enablement, which helps me stay current and be ready for new changes. Another way you can learn is by going to conferences, reaching out and asking questions to the people who intrigue you. You can never stop learning.
The top values I would say make a great marketer:
We live in an exciting time. The word digital is overused, but with the emergence of the internet, we are experiencing an exciting period of change and growth in the realm of marketing. This is what keeps me motivated, the excitement of what the possibilities are for the future with tech, and how it integrates with and enhances our lives.
I do believe we will be communicating much differently in the next decade than how we are communicating now. Our devices will be vastly different, our internet much faster, the media, how we seek information online and the channels we use will be much different also. How does this impact marketing? Since marketing is a major communication vehicle, marketers need to be futurists to adapt and change our practices to align with media preferences, devices and channels to reach our audiences effectively.
Have a plan for your career, and yet stay open to twists and turns that may deviate from your plan. It is ok to be agile. When you are first starting out, you may not land your dream job right away, but always see that each working experience you have, you can take away something of value that you can apply for your career as you move forward. In every working experience that I have had, I have taken away something of value from the whole experience.