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Navigating a Career Pivot: Tips for Shifting Careers in Marketing

Are you unsatisfied with your current marketing career? Maybe you’re feeling stagnant? Under-challenged? Do you wonder if you’d be better suited for a different career in marketing? Perhaps your current role just isn’t the right fit for you.

If you’re looking to explore other marketing prospects, these tips will help you navigate your evolving career path! Although the thought of shifting careers can be daunting, with the right preparation and research, pursuing an alternative career in marketing can be a life-changing opportunity to expand your skills and pursue new possibilities.

Reflect on your reasons for pivoting

Before making the leap, the first step of any career change is reflection. Understanding your reasons for seeking out new opportunities is crucial to your upcoming job search. Consider your current role and assess what contributed to wanting to pursue other branches of marketing.

According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Marketing Job Outlook, marketers are leaving their positions at an unprecedented rate. The Great Reshuffle can be attributed to a number of reasons – marketers are seeking fulfillment, promotions/salary increases, new challenges, and prioritizing remote opportunities.

Similarly, Lean In’s 2022 Women in the Workforce details a parallel trend with female workers as a whole. Women are leaving their companies at an astonishing rate, with many citing a lack of representation in leadership, disproportionate advancement opportunities, and the desire for improved work culture as primary motivators in their transitions.

It’s also helpful to determine if the motives for your career shift are circumstantial or role-specific. Recognizing the role-specific shortcomings of your current position and what aspects of your career are important to you, will help you identify suitable career prospects.

Do your research!

Research will be an integral step in your career pivot. As you prepare for your upcoming job search, take stock of your skills and experience. What are your strengths? Do these align with your interests? What are your favorite tasks in your current role? Most importantly, how can you apply your existing skills to other divisions of marketing? Connecting your previous experience and abilities with your future goals is the crux of any career pivot.

For example, if you’re data-driven and are a skilled analyst, roles involving growth marketing and search engine optimization can be a natural extension in your career. Alternatively, marketers with a passion for Internet culture and building community may find success in social media marketing or influencer marketing.

There is a wealth of resources at your disposal to help you researching the in’s and out’s of marketing careers. To support your general understanding of various marketing verticals, job boards like LinkedIn can offer concrete examples of skills, qualifications, and expectations associated with a specialty. Additionally, LinkedIn can illuminate the diverse career paths taken by people in your target industry. Greater exposure to successful non-linear career pivots can be extremely reassuring, working to boost your motivation and self-confidence.

Staying up to date with industry news may also familiarize you with different specialties and growing innovations that can broaden your career outlook. New branches of marketing are surfacing at an incredible rate. Researching these developments may help you recognize growing trends that you can capitalize on in the future.

Engage your network

Don’t be afraid to lean on your network. Expanding your network and connecting with others is always beneficial – especially when pivoting your career.  Your friends, family, mentors, and colleagues can provide invaluable insights into the industry and open doors to fantastic opportunities.

Reaching out to your professional network may also offer a candid lens into a position’s day-to-day responsibilities that you might not be aware of. Your connections, particularly those that you have a pre-existing relationship with, are likely to share more nuanced information about their experiences versus those that you’ve only shared digital interactions with. This insight is particularly helpful as you’re narrowing down prospects to determine what’s best fit for you.

Act intentionally

While pivoting your career may be a daunting challenge, approaching your transition with intention is the foundation for your success. Understanding the risks and weighing potential benefits is a preliminary step in your journey.

It may be tempting to dive into a career change and hope for the best. However, reckless endeavors heavily rely on chance and can carry detrimental consequences to your career trajectory, finances, and personal life. Instead, keeping both potential risks and benefits in mind through each phase of your transition reinforces the need for rational direction and preparedness.

Upskilling and positioning yourself for your target field

After reflecting, researching, and connecting with your network with the intention of identifying the best marketing career for you, you’re ready to start thinking about strategically positioning yourself in your desired sector of marketing.

Some questions to consider are: How might your experience lend itself to opportunities in this other marketing areas? What skills are critical to landing a job in this field?

Prioritizing upskilling and proactively working to expand your abilities will help you effectively position yourself in your job search. Signing up for an online course, trainings, or independently learning (via newsletters, podcasts, and articles) are excellent avenues for acquiring knowledge and new skills. Investing your time and effort into relevant upskilling can also evidence your commitment to pivoting your career for prospective employers.

Pivoting your career to a different sector of marketing can be an intimidating undertaking. It’s important to remember that the transition won’t happen overnight. Be patient and focus on the steps you need to take to make the switch. Take the time to research various career prospects, expand your network, and refine your skillset. With the right preparation and research, you can successfully transition to a fulfilling, rewarding career.

For a detailed playbook into navigating your career shift, check out our step-by-step guide for female marketers who want to change careers. 


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