The 5 things I’ve learned from my career change to digital marketing

After obtaining a degree in Accounting and Finance, becoming a part-qualified Management Accountant and having worked in the industry for six years, I realised that I had made a massive mistake. I wasn’t born to look at numbers all day. I thought to myself, surely there has to be more to life. The biggest thing I was missing from my career was a sense of satisfaction and sense of achievement. Producing hundreds of accounts each year was rewarding at first, but I was doing the same thing day in and day out so the novelty wore off. I knew I wanted a career where I could be creative and express myself so I started searching and networking. A few months later I managed to find a job in digital marketing. Funnily enough, this was through an ex-manager that hired me for my first accounting job (the power of networking)!

During my time at The Bolt Way, I have learnt so many things. Aside from getting to know the ‘language’ in this industry, I’m learning the ‘Bolt’ way of doing things. Of course, you have to complete the relevant training, especially when changing careers. I had to learn the ropes and I still am. I couldn’t apply my knowledge of accounting, only my existing skills. Here are some of the things I have learnt during my transition from accounting to digital:

  1. Facebook and Google have their own fully certified training platforms. Being from a non-digital background, I had no idea this was actually a thing! Gone are the days when Facebook was all about updating your status and checking what your friends and family are up to. Now, businesses can utilise Facebook to achieve their marketing strategy, create brand awareness, encourage users to take certain actions. Who would have thought!
  2. Creativity is a skill that everyone has, but you just have to explore your creative side in order to unlock your potential. If you are a regular user of social media, or even if you find yourself reading blogs after searching on Google, you are already on the right track. Obviously, practice makes perfect, so the more social media posts and blogs you create content for, the better you will get But as long as you have the passion, you too can do it!
  3. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an expert, I feel that digital marketing doesn’t have the hierarchical structure that I was always subjected to in accounting. No idea is a bad idea in this field, and no person is too senior or too junior to provide their input. All the ideas that I have put forward have been approved, because everyone is working towards a common goal to give our clients the best. You don’t necessarily have to have been in this career for years in order to give good ideas, unlike accounting.
  4. You get to learn so much about your clients and their businesses. With clients operating in different industries and producing social content for them, you find yourself talking their language pretty quickly. Prior to working in digital, I wouldn’t know anything about facilities management or even gaming apps. But after talking to clients and researching the industries, I now have more knowledge than I ever did before. I’m not saying I am an expert yet, but the exposure I have gotten at The Bolt Way is fantastic and exactly what I needed. Without sounding too cliché, I am learning something new every day.
  5. Without sounding too naive, I didn’t actually know what was meant by ‘keywords,’ and ‘SEO’. I thought when you search for something on Google, companies that have paid for an ad will appear on the first page, and all other search results are just picked at random. This is obviously not the case as companies compete on keywords in order to rank higher on results pages; they even have to compete for spaces for ads. I had no idea competition was so fierce online!

I am still on the first step in my digital marketing career. However, with challenge comes change and perseverance is key. If you find yourself at a crossroad, and you want to cry every time you think about work (I’m talking about more than just that Sunday night feeling), my advice would be to get out of there as soon as you can. There is something out there for you but you just have to find it. You have to be patient with the job search, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, be eager to learn and be open-minded. Most importantly, you must believe in yourself. If you can believe, then you can achieve. 

Written by: Thomas Coughlan

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