How I Got Started In My Career as a Marketer

Accounting or Marketing?

My career in marketing wasn’t intentional.

Originally, I started as an accounting student who was driven by numbers, math, and doing entry-level bookkeeping. It wasn’t that I was bad at accounting, it just didn’t feel like the right career move for me.

As a business student, marketing seemed like the calm, cool, sexy field. Where I was studying Financial Accounting, they were studying Consumer Behaviour. Where I enrolled in Taxation, they enrolled in Marketing Communications.

Back then, there was a deadline to declare your major. Once decided, you had to take a specific set of classes. Originally, I anticipated completing an Accounting major.

But thoughts kept ring through my head: What if you open a business? How will you market it? What about HR? Operations? These are all necessary components of running a business.

As most students would have, I called my parents to talk me off the ledge. I was most passionate about Marketing, but it was a scary move. Choosing Marketing meant I’d be breaking our family chain of Chartered Accountants. Choosing Marketing meant I’d be wandering into the unknown of career connections, close-to-home expertise, and more.

My parents really encouraged me to think about the decision. They suggest other areas of business such as Information Systems and HR Management, but I couldn’t break my curiosity about marketing.

So with the deadline closing in, I took the leap and switched to marketing.

What Does Career Projectory Look Like in Marketing?

Marketing doesn’t have the same clear career path as what you’d find in Accounting (to my knowledge).

There are no Chartered Accountant designations. There are no CFAs. At first glance, it all looks like a mess.

But here’s how it went for me.

I started off by picking the field of marketing I’d like to specialize in. The options I considered for myself were Print Marketing, Event Marketing, and Digital Marketing.

When I chose Digital Marketing, I sought out an educational program specifically for Digital Marketing. I found the University of Toronto’s Digital Marketing Management program.

I enrolled in their program while still completing my studies at St. Francis Xavier University. It wasn’t easy, but I got through it.

The program had us creating YouTube videos, running social media accounts, setting up ads, and reading analytics.

Among these fields, we were encouraged to find the sub-field of Digital Marketing we enjoyed most and to gain skills in that area.

During that time, I chose Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

My final assignment was to apply everything I had learned into one capstone project. Since I didn’t know how to build websites (yet), I created a YouTube video teaching people how to do one of my favourite sports, paddle boarding.

seo project: paddle boarding tutorial

Lesson of the Story

Marketing has its ups and downs.

Sometimes we carry complete confidence in ourselves but are thrown for a loop when we encounter ACTUAL marketing professionals. The ones that know how to build and grow empires.

But no matter the journey, I encourage all aspiring marketers to believe in the process.

Do something. Find the part you liked about doing it. Zero in on that area and build depth.

If you’re not really passionate about it, do something else. Create a YouTube video, start an Instagram account for one of your hobbies, or help a local band grow.

You’ll find your field. You just need to figure out where your passions and talents line up.