Valentine’s Day has come and gone for 2021, but that doesn’t mean the love parade has to stop. And while I’m usually all about self-love celebrations, the love fest you need most in your life right now isn’t about you. It’s about your marketing career.
Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. Your lack of enthusiasm for your career choices lately has been noted, and I humbly demand that you rectify the situation immediately.
Feeling drained from it all is understandable. There’s no denying that a marketing career has its stressful side. Even just a bad case of creative burnout is enough to daydream about pursuing job listings and flirting with a new career.
Deep down, you know you’re not ready to break up with your marketing career. But there’s no denying that you’re stuck in a rut. And it’s not good for your mental health to stay there.
Here are the steps you can take to bounce back and show your marketing career some love:
1. Recognize the difference between acceptance, gratitude, and love.
Doing more to invest in your relationship with your marketing career does not mean you suddenly have to love every second of every day. That approach sounds exhausting.
But you can start to shift your outlook on aspects that you’ve previously labeled as “bad.” To find areas of acceptance, identify when you feel most frustrated during the day, and try to uncover the source of your emotions.
Then, see if there are ways around it with new habits. If you hate sitting in front of your computer all day in the same spot, try something new:
- Work at a standing desk or next to a high countertop.
- Look into purchasing blue light filter glasses.
- Establish multiple tiny workspaces around your home or office where you can relocate as necessary.
The “bad” is so much easier to stomach when you feel like you at least have some control over it.
Gratitude is also a small change that can have a big impact on your day. When you’ve had a really crappy time at work lately, start with the bar on the ground. I often celebrate when the sun rises and sets, when I survive the day without yelling at anyone, and when I successfully get out of bed in the morning.
While I can expect that these will all happen most days, I find it reassuring to tell myself, “Well, at least some things went right.” You need to find that low bar for your work life. Practice saying, “At least I was punctual today” or “I may not have gotten it in on time, but at least I’m proud of my proposal.” It doesn’t make all the negatives go away, and it shouldn’t! But these small moments of gratitude give you a chance to feel like you’re on the right track.
And love for your career? That’s when you feel like your blood is full of fireworks and your heart is on fire. In a good way! Keep reading to learn more about how to find that feeling.
2. Remember what you love about your marketing career.
As simple as it sounds, practicing gratitude is crucial to pushing through creativity anxiety. It gives you a chance to see the big picture and look beyond the draining details you might be struggling with day-to-day.
After all, you got into (and stayed in) your marketing career for a reason. So if you feel like you’ve lost sight of that “why,” take a step back and journal how you feel about your career.
Several studies highlight that the act of writing down what you’re grateful for does wonders for your worldview and physical health:
- Research by A.M. Wood and colleagues in 2010 demonstrated that gratitude is related to traits such as positive emotional function, lower dysfunction, and positive social relationships.
- Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough proved through their 2011 research that 10 weeks of keeping a gratitude journal made people more optimistic, and they felt better about their lives.
- A 2015 study from the Chopra Foundation discovered the correlation that keeping a gratitude journal can help reduce risk for cardiac arrest.
If you don’t know how to start a gratitude journal to improve your outlook of your career, start by just writing down one thing a day that you are grateful for. If you’d like to do more than that, here are some prompts to dive deeper:
- What are three things from your workday that made you smile? What can you do to ensure those glimmers of happiness occur more often?
- What made you happiest when you first started your marketing career? What makes you happiest now?
- What’s happened in your career this past week that you are grateful for? This past year?
- How do you think your perception of marketing has changed in the past five years? What do you think caused that change?
- Are you proud of how far you’ve come in your career?
- What made you most excited to start a marketing career? Have you become less excited about it over time? Why or why not?
3. Surround yourself with more positivity.
It’s challenging to find your way back to loving your marketing career when everyone around you disses on it.
Maybe your family doesn’t understand anything about marketing and doesn’t take the time to understand the jargon. When you try to talk about it, they may be dismissive or derogatory toward it. Or maybe co-workers constantly complaining about tasks makes you dread them too, even though you never really minded it before their attitude influenced yours.
According to a study from Leadership IQ, finding meaning in your job accounts for 24% of inspiration at work, and optimism explains 30% of inspiration at work. Those are difficult to practice when you feel like the world around you puts down the work you do.
Finding blogs, books, or professional connections that are passionate about the industry can be so refreshing. You can also make a list of what you love about your marketing career to keep nearby and look at throughout the day. Having a constant reminder of the positives can help balance out all the negatives.
And just in case you need some inspiration to get started, here’s my list of top 10 reasons I love content marketing:
1. You get to write every day.
Not every marketer specializes in copywriting, and not every writer is in love with blog posts. But I, for one, could stomach almost any industry so long as my position gave me an excuse to write frequently. It grabs my number one slot.
2. You achieve the perfect left brain/right brain balance.
Marketing requires creative thinkers, every job posting in the industry will tell you that. But the job also lends itself to organization, analysis, and strategy. Both sides of your brain have never been happier!
3. You get to work with a bunch of creative people.
Almost everyone at your agency or in your marketing department is an out-of-the-box thinker and creative problem-solver just like you! You learn a lot surrounded by so many amazing brains.
4. You can network with the coolest people on the planet.
As with any career, your connections aren’t limited to just your co-workers. But since almost every company needs marketers, you could build a professional network spanning across many industries to get all kinds of insight!
5. You’re always in-the-know of new research and trends.
Finding new research and keeping up with trends takes work. But, in a way, continuous learning is built into your job. You’ll always stumble across something new that can enrich your understanding of the world.
6. You get to see the results of your hard work.
Metrics are everything in marketing. Not only will you see your writing get published and go out into the world, but you can also look at the evidence of what it does for your company and clients. You always have proof that your work matters.
7. You see behind the curtain of businesses.
A marketing career gives you an automatic inside scoop on how various companies run. With a marketing agency, for instance, you get a taste of so many businesses. They all have slightly different structures, values, and goals, and it’s all fascinating to observe.
8. You do independent work and collaboration.
I’m an introvert, and I love getting to sit alone in my workspace, play my power playlist (full of classical music, naturally), and knock out tasks. But there’s also nothing that quite compares to the thrill of doing a joint brainstorming session and feeling so inspired afterward. It really is the best of both worlds.
9. The work lends itself to WFH and flexible hours.
In the working world, the pandemic made two things very clear. First, that employees will be safer and enjoy better mental health with remote work and flexible hours. And second, that not all jobs work well with that structure. Luckily, marketing positions are one of those that get along nicely with nontraditional formats.
10. You get paid to sleuth around social media.
This one isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But! When checking out competitors, looking for trends, and paying attention to which influencers capture an audience, you get to hang out on social media during the workday. It’s for a purpose, of course, but it’s definitely a fun brag to bring up around your friends.