Career Advice for Students, Salespeople, and Marketers


As 2020 comes to a close, many people are wondering how they can improve their skills and careers. For students, it’s a question of “how can I do more _____-related marketing work?”. For network associates, it’s “what should I learn to become better at my job?”. The answers vary, but my personal advice stems from Ross Simmonds’ I-Shaped Marketer.

This article will extend the examples Ross Simmonds used in his introduction of the I-Shaped Marketer, helping provide more relevance to sales professionals, marketers, and business intelligence people.

What is the I-Shaped Marketer?

The I-Shaped Marketer is an adaption of a classic concept known as the T-Shaped Marketer.

However, the issue Ross Simmonds notes with the T-Shaped Marketer is the emphasis on skillset, not allowing the employee to adapt or extend their skillset into managerial aspects of their profession. It’s for this reason that Ross introduces the I-Shaped Marketer.

Image extracted from the article "T-Shaped Marketers: Here’s What You Evolve Into Next" on www.RossSimmonds.com.

The I-Shaped Marketer for Data-Driven Professionals

Over the semester, students asked me how they can advance their careers in a direction that emphasizes data and analytics (as part of sales and marketing operations). The following image articulates what I believe is essential for their advancement and progression in such a career.

This illustration is only an example, but consider your own role and ways the I-Shaped Marketer framework would apply to your career’s development.

Tips for Learning the Layers of Your Profession:

  1. Ask your network to refer someone skilled in your line of work.
  2. Talk to experts online.
  3. Google the career path for people with similar job titles.
  4. Dive in and learn as you go.

Thanks for Reading

I’m Colin and I have an unhealthy obsession with marketing.

I’ve studied business, marketing, computer science, CRMs, and analytics in order to dissect and understand sales and marketing operations.

As a result, I now teach marketing at Cape Breton University and share my findings with fellow managers and business owners.

For more articles like this one, visit the Marketing Qualified Blog.