In all honesty, I’m not too sure there is such thing as a safe job anymore. The world will always need Doctors and Accountants for some time to come, and for some, this type of profession has great appeal, but for those in the digital and marketing sector things are a little different. The speed at which this sector changes and innovates may create new jobs, bluster, and excitement, but it is making it harder for marketers to keep up with the ever increasing demands of this space.
This is why it’s important to keep pushing on with your career and to develop new skills and broaden your digital know-how. Don’t wait for a career break to find you; keep looking forward and discover ways that can truly enhance your career. You don’t have to go in at the deep end either, it’s sometimes very rational and sensible to build a career in stages, but whatever you do, don’t stay in a job that isn’t developing you because you will end up feeling hemmed in and frustrated.
It’s all over the press that demand for digital marketing professionals is drastically exceeding supply. If I had a common line from employers this year, it’s – “I’m really struggling to find the right person with the right set of digital skills”. This may be negative for some but for those who are prepared to keep moving and pressing forward, only one thing will happen, your salary will go up and up, and your career will prosper.
Digital and marketing salaries are rising faster than I’ve ever seen in the last two years. What’s more, I can’t see the pace of growth slowing down. For example, the average salary for a skilled Digital Marketing Executive in Birmingham or Manchester, the two cities where we handle a lot of recruitment, is between £23,000 – £25,000, and a credible Digital Marketing Manager can get well above £40,000. It’s not just managerial level either, digital marketing positions are experiencing a salary surge. Entry level digital roles are coming in at £20,000 such is the continuing demand.
We are also seeing more digital savvy candidates receive significant salary increases, and a fair few have been above 20% on their basic salary. Clearly this is industry specific and some, such as tech and professional services, do pay better than others. That old expression of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ may need modifying somewhat when it comes to building a fruitful career in this new marketing era. For people that have been quite happy to chug along and put up with a role that isn’t really developing them, could find themselves in a tricky position over the coming years. From what I’ve observed, my advice would be – don’t wait for things to break or your career to stagnate. In fact, do the complete opposite and keep looking for ways that will energise you, keep you mentally stretched, and challenged. This may mean taking on more responsibility in your current role or taking the plunge and seeking new horizons. As soon as you feel too comfortable in a role, it may be a sign to give things a bit of a shake. I’m not saying that you should treat your career like you’re competing in a Formula One race, but I’d genuinely advise against staying in a role too long, stagnating, and getting left behind.
As I’ve got a tad older, you begin to realise that we owe it to ourselves to do better, learn new things, meet interesting people and give it the best shot we can. It’s not sensible to just meander along anymore, and the more you do with your career, the more thrilling it will become, that is if you’re prepared to take a risk, work hard, and take the odd risk. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t but staying in a one-dimensional role for too long won’t be fruitful in the long run.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve spent a lot of time with the marketing graduates at BCU and have been totally blown away by some of the people I’ve met. It’s quite clear to see that some are destined for incredible careers in the digital marketing arena and it would not surprise me if a few are running their own agencies in years to come. This new marketing landscape is also providing endless opportunities and quite a few have already boosted their career chances by helping companies with their websites or building them powerful social media presences, and others that haven’t managed to get placements have started their own blogs and contributed to relevant online conversations. Over the last year, there have been plenty of examples of people who have been hired by our clients after showcasing their talent and abilities through social media. Quite clearly, these aren’t people that are standing still with their careers.
My honest advice is that not all of us will become famous sports or rock stars, but it is important to work hard at building a damn good career, and most of all – enjoy it. If you put enough work into developing your skills and expertise, finding out what you excel at, then you’ll keep moving forward. And if it doesn’t go to plan, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You’ll be a lot more content trying to get your dream job (and salary for that matter!) than never trying at all.