10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting into Marketing

May 30 2018, 12:31am

career lessons learned

Recently, I've gotten to thinking it would be fun to go to a middle school or high school career fair and share my experiences. Not sure what's to account for this, given that, for the longest time, I didn't want to have anything to do with high school.

In lieu of speaking at a career fair, for now, I thought it would be good to create a list of the top 10 things I wish I knew before I got into marketing. Most of this can also be applied broadly regardless of career.

1. You Don't Need to Wait for Others to Give You Experience

Nothing says you're a go-getter like creating your own internship or building something that people can understand/appreciate. Just because people won't call you back or pay you, doesn't mean opportunities are not there.

2. Don't be Afraid to Try Something New

If you never try, then you'll never fully know. The best you can ever do is assume. Trying allows you to determine with more surety what you like and don't like much more easily.

3. Any Job is Made More Fun When it's Turned into a Game

A job that's just a series of actions is not much different in principle than a pushing cubes around in a board game. What makes the two different is mindset. Turning a job into a game with specific goals and outcomes can make even the most tedious of tasks fun.

4. Don't Settle for Less

People will try to get you to settle for less. Know your worth and never settle.

5. Learn How You Learn Best

Sitting in a classroom is not for everyone. I learn best by getting my hands dirty—questioning and trying new things. Some people learn best by wrote memorization. Discover how you learn best and reap the benefits of efficient learning.

6. Boast a Little

As an Asian American, this can be a little hard to do, but living in a culture that strongly promotes those who stick out, boasting a little can go a long way.

7. Learn What Makes Someone Tick First, Not Their Title

Titles mean much less than getting to know someone. If you can introduce someone via what they do and what they're interested in, others are much more likely to remember and appreciate that introduction.

8. Understand That Your Skills Can be Used for Evil

Marketing is like Star Wars with a dark and light side. Understand the dark, but gravitate towards the light.

9. Give Theater a Whirl

I used to be so shy. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone at Cal by being a part of Theatre Rice, I was able to become much more able to speak confidently in front of others. It's probably one of the skills that's served me the most in my career.

10. Take a Career Assessment Test

Last but not least, this is a good one because it gave me a better understanding of where I was coming from. It told me, in more concrete terms, what I thought I wanted to do in life. Sometimes, all we need is a little definition to understand where to go next.

What are your thoughts on these lessons learned?