Nathan: Do you think … It sounds to me like there should be this opportunity you mentioned it earlier in the interview that people are just in jobs for a shorter and shorter period of time nowadays than 10 years or 30 years ago. That I just got hired at a company, Marketing Firm 101, and I should start now thinking about my next job at Marketing Firm XYZ maybe two years from now or three years from now and start building those relationships with that company, with the small group of companies where I want to be a senior director. For Nate Isaacs, I’m a senior content strategist. My next title I want to go after is a director level title. And I should just start looking for those marketing companies that are gonna have a marketing director and start building those relationships or … And that might be something I’m planning to do this three years from now. I could start writing Linkedin Pulse posts. I can start holding one day conferences about marketing director leadership or whatever. I can start working my way back. Franklin Covey’s begin with the end in mind type of stuff.
Mac: I’m a big fan of reverse mapping. And I think if you know where you want to be, it makes it a lot easier to get there. And I recognize, particularly for people at the start of their careers who are three, five years out of college, when they look ahead for the next 35 or 40 years that they’re gonna be in the workplace, I think it would … No one expects them to know where they want to be at year 25 or 30. But I think everybody should have a general idea of where they want to be in the next five or 10 years. And it really helps to have specific positions in mind. Because when you know that, a couple things happen. You have the opportunity to find people who have those jobs and say to that person, “What is this like? What does it take to get here? What kinds of experiences, skills, certifications should I acquire over the next three, five, 10 years in order to get to this spot?”
Mac: And we can learn so much from others. And this comes back to networking again. My experience has been people are very generous and we’re generally wired to want to help others. And I can count on one hand the number of people and I’ve spoken to thousands over the years who’ve said no when I’ve asked for help. But you’ve gotta be specific when you make the request. So if you ask somebody just for coffee or say you just want to pick their brain, if you’re not more specific than that, you’re probably not gonna get a lot out of that conversation. So Nathan, to your point, yes, you need to know where you want to be in the next five or 10 years. I think it’s always useful to talk to people who have those positions, ask them how they got there, and then work back from those opportunities and think about how you spend your time and how you can get the skills you need to have those positions yourself one day.
Helen: On that note, because our show is very geared towards marketers, I just want to know, do you have any insights specifically for people working in the marketing field about searching for a job or just networking or doing a better job because marketers could always use a refresher in marketing themselves?
Mac: I think marketers start with a big advantage in a job search because they’ve got the communication skills that can be so helpful in both sharing their expertise and being of service to others. They know how to write, they know how to make presentations, they know how to build relationships. When I see marketers struggle, Helen, it’s because they haven’t put those skills in the context of a job search. And again, how we spend our time is so important and because marketers … Many marketers like people in other occupations may not look for work frequently. They come to it only every five, 10, 15 years. They think that the way to do it is to look at job boards. And they spend … There’s a danger there if you’re spending 80, 90, 100% of your time on job boards, you’re missing out on the best positions. So I would … My advice to marketers would be just get good at job hunting as a skill and then play to your natural advantages and your strengths. And put your communication skills to good use in both sharing your expertise and being of service to others.
Nathan: And with that in mind, on the opposite end, any advice to marketing companies that are hiring marketers? What should they be thinking about as they either write those job descriptions or just set out a path on what they’re gonna be hiring for the next year or two?
Mac: I think for small companies and even medium sized ones that may not have full time HR staff or even just part-time people, they need to invest in helping their staff learn how to get good at hiring, just as people who are thinking about their careers need to get good at job hunting as a skill. So you’re not gonna get the best results if you turn to people who got hired to do other things to write your job descriptions and manage a hiring process if you don’t give them training in how to do that. So I would encourage particularly small companies, before they post their next announcement, invest some time in helping people learn how to not only write good job postings, but how to get out of their existing networks, and candidly, their bubbles. And reach out to new communities, particularly diverse communities. You can learn how to do that, but it does take an investment in time and in educating your staff and how to do it well.
Nathan: Mac, I really appreciate your time today. I was just wondering how do I learn more about you, Mac’s List, and the Find Your Dream Job podcast?
Mac: You can visit our website macslist.org. And we publish, as I said, about 500 jobs there every month as well as many articles about how to look for work. We have a section for employers too, Nathan, that provides a lot of advice about how to do effective job postings and how to improve recruitment. Every quarter we do a live webinar about how to tap the hidden job market. And I do take questions from people and people can sign up for that by visiting macslist.org/rethinkmarketing. And to catch the podcast, we publish every Wednesday. Find Your Dream Job. Visit us on iTunes or go to the Mac’s List website, macslist.org/podcast.