A decade and change. That’s how long I’ve been working for my current employer, my day job. Yes, I have one of those. Digital Mic Drop is my passion project and my day job keeps the lights on at home.
I work as a digital marketer for one of the world’s largest networks of job boards and since 2007, I’ve had the privilege to work in a bunch of different roles spanning from customer care to sales to leadership and now marketing.
Working for a brand – or an industry for that matter – for a decade has its pros and cons. That’s why I’ve decided to wear more than one hat.
In the Pros-column:
You’ve clocked enough time to get really good at your job. Sort of like commercial airline pilots. After a certain number of hours, they’re bound to be good at their jobs. Hopefully. Don’t get me wrong, this post is not about me tooting my own horn, far from it.
What I’m saying is that if you stick around for 10 years, or if your employer decides to keep you around for literally twenty seasons of Friends (that’s a long time!), you’re bound to pick up a lot of knowledge, industry experience and tricks of the trade. Or, you’re just really good at faking it.
In my different roles at my current company, I have spent enormous amounts of time working with all kinds of companies, both staffing companies, one-man-bands, national brands, global brands… and I’ve learned how to help, sell to- and market to these brands.
In the Cons-column:
You’ve clocked enough time to get really stuck in a rut. As a marketer, working for the same brand for ten years can be devastating to your creativity. You get comfortable, you recycle way too much stuff, you start using the same wordage and you revive your ‘best’ old ideas that were never brought to fruition a couple of years ago. (Maybe they were put in the parking lot for a reason?)
The power of wearing multiple hats
In an attempt to avoid the latter, ending up in a nasty rut, I started freelancing as a digital marketing consultant for multiple brands a few years back and I still love it!
I’ve realized that by wearing these multiple hats, by working for both consumer- and corporate brands that are miles away from my day job brand in the recruitment industry, I am more likely to step outside my box and bring new, creative ideas into my day job. At the same time, I am able to use my years of experience working in marketing for a big brand to help these often smaller brands succeed with their digital marketing.
The first brand I started freelancing for was a consumer brand that organizes these wild Holi-festival-inspired fun runs where people run 5K and get completely caked in bright color powder. This freelance gig was an instant eye opener where I realized how stuffy my day job writing had become and I was able to take some of the happy-go-lucky, whimsical writing I was doing for the fun runs and apply it to my jobseeker audience.
On the flipside; I was able to apply my SEO knowledge that I had gained from running and developing a major job board in Sweden to both a small event agency in Canada which was struggling to rank on Google as well as to a globally recognized yoga portal which was ranking pretty ok but wanted to make that final push to overtake the competition.
So it really does work both ways. The best part about it is that it fuels my creativity and my marketing knowledge-bank two ways.
The point is
Don’t be afraid to try on a few more hats and take on extracurricular copywriting assignments, a web design project or whatever your skill set allows. Chances are that it’ll serve as an eye-opener, a creativity booster, a way to hone your skills, and plus – you’ll most likely make a few bucks doing it.
What are your experiences is from working for multiple brands?