Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Man in the Mirror

...or in my case, Woman in the Mirror

Brick Wall: The career path

One of my favorite 80's songs, Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson, states "Take a look at yourself, and then make a...change."

It was an overwhelming feeling when I took a look at my current job and realized that I needed to change my career path if I wanted to be successful. I truly believe that the future of marketing is on the Internet, an area of marketing that I don't have any background or experience in. Seeing many of my friends lose their jobs in the last few months (I would call them "traditional" marketing roles), only confirmed my belief. I took some time to listen to contacts, small business owners and clients about some of their business concerns. One question consistently came up, "How do I have a bigger presence online?" I hear it at work. I hear it from friends. I hear it at businesses that I frequent. The answer was right in front of me! The Internet isn't going anywhere, and business owners HAVE to have a presence on it. It was clear what I had to do.

So to bring you up-to-speed...First, I decided that I will pick my life up and move more than 1,000 miles away, thus willingly entering the category of the unemployed. Then, I made the decision to search for career opportunities in which I have no experience whatsoever. If my friends knew what I was planning, they might officially label me as insane.

In my efforts to break down this particular brick wall, I've found numerous resources on the Web and through recommendations from friends. And the exciting but unexpected outcome of all of this is that I have found an extreme passion for this field of marketing and immersed myself into learning more about it. Now, I might have even found an opportunity to practice the skills I've been researching and reading about.

One of the best pieces of business advice I've ever heard was from Dean Akers, CEO of Ideal Image. Dean said, "When it comes to your own career goals, make an investment in yourself." In order to gain experience in Internet marketing, I've got to make some investments, like investing in the time it will take learn and implement these techniques so that I can add them to my resume. I need to invest in seminars, books, webinars, memberships, etc. to surround myself with the experts in this field. And the investment starts now as I have just agreed to take on an internship with a local marketing firm!

If I hadn't looked in the mirror to "take a look at yourself and make a change" then I wouldn't have discovered this new passion in my life. I haven't knocked through this brick wall yet, but I'm on my way there.

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