How My Career Has Been “Set Up”: Part 2
So, in high school I knew what I was interested in and I was going to pursue it.
I’m grateful for my cousin Nokwanda who reminded me what my passion was when I got confused over what to study in university. I had actually been considering Political Science… me! I was definitely misguided, I’m not wired for politics. Here’s a breakdown of what followed:
I attended the University of KwaZulu Natal, studied towards a bachelor degree in Management and Communication Studies.
In my first year I volunteered at Durban Youth Radio (DYR) as a Communications Specialist.
In my second year and during my spare time I started working at Bloom Marketing as an Account Assistant during vacations. I am ever so grateful to Nox Luthuli, the founder and MD, for giving me that opportunity.
I graduated and started working full-time at Bloom Marketing. I was there for four years, my last position being a Senior Account Executive - big title, don’t be fooled. While working I pursued a BCom Honours Degree in Marketing Management.
I then moved to Sage, which I am proud to say is a FTSE100 company, working in the marketing team for a business intelligence product. I have been here for five years, I’m now a Product Marketing Manager and I enjoy what I do!
What’s next? Well, I’m going to grow as a product marketer and continue to build my career in the software industry. I’m also interested in the banking industry, so I might explore that as well. I also really, really yearn for another degree so that's in the plans. Watch this space!
Take outs from my career journey:
Get direction: As early as possible, figure out your interest/s, get the relevant education and a foot in the door ideally working for a company that specialises in your interest.
Gain experience just in that field: Get clued up about all its facets (in marketing these are constantly evolving) and then focus on one that will be relevant for years to come and build your credibility around it e.g. digital marketing for those interested in the field.
Choose your employer well: I'm only on my second "real" employer (DYR was a volunteer arrangement), and I have been fortunate to have worked for the right companies til now. It hasn't been deliberate to be honest, just pure fortune/blessing. In future it most definitely will be deliberate and very well thought through. Who you've worked for and with says a lot about what you've been exposed to; it can really affect your credibility. I would suggest starting out at a smaller company where you can have your finger in many different pies, then specialise and build your career in a worthwhile corporate company.
Don't stop school: If you want to stay relevant, keep getting skilled up. It could be in the software that's becoming popular in your industry or line or work. Fortunately at Sage we're encouraged to take online courses every month, and this has been afforded to us at no cost - another reason why I'm so fortunate to have landed a job here!