In this guest post, John Clay, the AMI’s professional advancement chair, talks about what the current climate means for marketers starting out in their career, and the importance of mentorship relationships at a time like this…
“It’s not the strongest or fittest that survive, but those who can adapt”, was aptly quoted by Charles Darwin. A recent Gartner HR survey has revealed 88 per cent of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home due to coronavirus, while most organisations are focusing on measures such as more effective use of technology and freezing new hiring to cut costs.
Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to all of our lives, but, when it is over, will much have changed? This is surely impossible to predict. What we can clearly begin to see, though, is that, in many ways, particularly for marketers living in rural, regional and remote communities, the current pandemic has accelerated a more digitally connected Australia.
Both in the short and long term, the emergence of remote working – adapting to connectivity issues and new technologies – brings about its own set of challenges. In particular, for many early career marketers and graduates, the employment landscape we once knew has evolved. These shifts highlight the importance of building a support network to provide mentoring guidance.
In order to build and develop a successful career in marketing and communications, my key tokens of advice are to invest time and energy in developing skills and, importantly, to have some good mentors to help you along the way. One of my current roles is teaching marketing at university to around 200 students who have some great talent and energy. At the start of their careers, these emerging marketers are the future of our industry.
“Lock down sucks” is a phrase I have heard a few times. I can empathise; when I was the same age, being told to stay indoors would have been frustrating. It still is today. We understand that times are tough. In this imposed pause of liberties, we have a responsibility to support early career marketers as best as we can. We thrive in a collaborative environment with a strong support system and, in my experience, building a mentoring relationship is one of the best decisions you could make in your marketing career.
As we battle with some hardships of Covid-19, we also become more open-minded, such as moving into a world where remote delivery of most things becomes normalized. Mentorship should be accessible to everyone. Face-to-face coffee meetings between a mentor and mentee can be nice, but these are often a luxury afforded to mentees based in metropolitan areas. Online programs are crucial to ensure we represent all of Australia, and do not risk missing out on some of the best upcoming marketing talent. Virtual learning platforms enable access to content for engaging conversations between a mentor and mentee, no matter where they are based.
I agree, “lock down sucks”, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this isolation period can be used beneficially and productively. Invest some of the surplus time you have on your hands now in a meaningful mentor program, and you never know how your career might reap the rewards when we bounce back from this pandemic.
To learn about AMI’s Emerging Marketers Mentoring Program, visit: https://ami.org.au/emerging-marketers/
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