As you could tell from my last post, I was in a career transition mode in December. I’m excited to share that I officially joined One Mighty Roar to lead marketing for our Internet of Things platform, Robin.
One Mighty Roar began as a digital marketing agency. Through client work we developed a few different products. One of the products was technology for connected experiences, so now we are rolling those capabilities out into a spin-off Internet of Things platform called Robin. We launch this spring and you can sign up for our beta here, although I think the audience that reads this blog would be more interested in just learning about the Internet of Things and subscribing to our blog.
I’m going to share what led to my decision to join OMR as it could be helpful to others weighing their options and considering their next career moves. Here are my tips:
1) Don’t Do Shit You Don’t Want to Do
To plan my next move, I made a list of marketing tasks and categorized them:
- Things I’m good at
- Things I like
- Things I don’t like
- Things that I haven’t tried yet
- Things I am not good at
I did this because I needed to be honest with myself about what I like to do and what I don’t like to do. If you don’t want to write eBooks, don’t write eBooks. There are a lot of different kinds of marketing roles out there. Don’t settle.
2) Find the Right Culture
I really love marketing, but every job has its ups and downs. The people you work with make all the difference. I worked for OMR part-time at first because I wanted to see if the culture was right for both sides. Once I got to know the team, there was no way in hell I could pass up the opportunity to work with them.
You can’t establish culture from the top down with ping pong tables and forced team bonding activities. Culture is an organic reflection of the founders. Sam and Zach are some of the most positive people I’ve ever met. They are kind, respectful, funny, fair, direct, ambitious and hard working. Everyone else at OMR mirrors this, and it makes for a really great place to work.
3) Look for a Product You Want to Market (and give things a chance)
When it comes to technology, I’m picky and I can be skeptical. I actually think my skepticism helps me in marketing because I can relate to the concerns of people outside of the early adopter crowd.
I resolved my skepticism about Robin when I learned more about the amazing use cases for the Internet of Things. I’m eager to see how it will change the world for the better. This is something I am excited to market. It feels a lot different this time.
4) Find an Environment That Values Your Experience So You Can Try New Things
Your 20’s are a critical time for learning and trying new things, so you’ve got to find a company that will let you manage things you don’t have experience in yet. Trust doesn’t come out of thin air, but in the right environment, managers empower employees based on their track records on related projects.
It’s not enough to find a company that values new ideas, though. It’s important to work somewhere that values your track record so you are empowered to pursue those ideas and learn. I have a lot of startup marketing experience. Some people see value in that, but some people see more value in management consulting experience or MBAs. It’s important to know how your company views your experience.
5) Realize That Big Companies Have Issues Too
I considered going to a big company instead of doing another startup. I was pretty burned out and thought “stability” could be a good thing.
After learning more about some big companies, I was surprised to learn they have the same issues that startups are notorious for – lack of budget, turnover, bad management, etc. The desire to avoid the bad stuff wasn’t a good enough reason for me to detour and do tasks I was less than jazzed about just for the sake of “stability.”
With new technology (like the Internet of Things!) and marketing channels all around us, marketing is changing a lot right now. This causes tension, so “stability” is hard to come by. Managers have to adjust to the changing landscape, build their teams and fill roles they’ve never hired for before. If you’re a 20-something marketer just starting your career, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
“Stability” doesn’t inherently exist. “Stability” is not stagnation, it’s the infrastructure that gives a company the ability to keep moving forward. Startup or big company, every employee has a responsibility to drive the structure, communication and process that create “stability.”
6) Build the Tool Box
Up until now I’ve avoided asking questions and admitting when I don’t know things. This has led to a ton of late nights of stumbling around and figuring stuff out on my own. This was bullshit and I was completely wrong.
I have a new approach. This is how I see my role at OMR: I’m a project manager and I have this tool box. The tool box is a collection of my own skills, my experience, marketing blogs with great advice, vendors, systems, future hires and mentors. It’s my job to pull in the right tool to get the job done. Sometimes the right tool is my own skill set, and sometimes that right tool is advice from a mentor.
I’m just the person coordinating these resources. When I ask questions, I’m just pulling in another resource from the tool box. When someone tells me there is a skill I need to work on, it’s not a comment about me. It’s a suggestion for the tool box.
I am this separate entity – a daughter, girlfriend, sister, friend and I am defined by how I treat others and show my gratitude. That’s who I am. It’s different than the tool box.
I cannot thank those who agreed to meet with me and give me advice during this transition enough. This post is my way of paying that forward, and I hope it was beneficial for someone out there. The comments are yours. I would love to hear your questions and feedback.