10 things to do in your 20s to build a great marketing career

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  1. Experiment  – Try several marketing specializations, and find out what you are most successful at. Eventually, you will find that you start liking what you are most successful at. Success breeds passion.
  2. Think of money as an outcome, not as a goal  – You have a long career ahead of you. Do not worry about money right now. Optimize for learning your craft; the money will come eventually.
  3. Chase your Consumer – Figuratively, of course. Learn to walk a mile in your consumer’s shoes. Know what makes them tick. Understand their pain points, aspirations, fears, and sources of happiness. Knowing your consumer inside out will instantly make you a better marketer. Remember, you are officially the voice of your consumer in the company
  4. Peruse your Product – Understand your product/service inside out. 
  5. Your network is your net worth – Build connections, and nurture them by adding genuine value to others. Eventually, who you know will matter as much as what you know to move ahead in your career. 
  6. Never stop learning – Continuous upskilling is the name of the game. Always keep updating yourself on new tech, skillsets, and consumer trends. All research does not come from books and courses. Keep on top of cultural and societal trends as well. 
  7. Learn to communicate – A lot of marketing is all about communication, whether it be internally to your stakeholders, or externally to your consumers. Business communication is about being clear – in your intent and your intonation. Make sure you communicate (both verbal & written) in a way that your audience understands the message and buys what you have to say. 
  8. Learn how to lead – Eventually, you will need to shoulder leadership responsibilities in your career. And the single most important tenet of leadership is to earn the trust of your team members. Once you have their trust, you can demand their best performance at work. This trait is applicable not just to marketers. 
  9. Be curious about other functions – You cannot be a great marketer without having a basic idea of how P&L sheets work, what are the operating systems of your business, how your product is made, or how sales budgets are fixed. Don’t think marketing is all about running ads and creating cool content. 
  10. Take care of your health – While this is not strictly marketing career advice, it is important nonetheless. Without health, everything else becomes useless. Eat good food on time, hydrate and sleep well, and exercise moderately. 

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