How to start your career during a pandemic

April 2, 2021

There I was: first day on the job, fresh out of college, excited to take on the B2B marketing industry. But there was just one problem: the Zoom link for my first agency meeting wasn’t working.

If you’re like me and started a job within the last year, this scenario may sound familiar. The anxiety of being the new person at the office is real. Except you’re not at the office — you’re at home, quietly panicking and clicking around trying to figure out what’s going on!

Entry-level marketers like me have had to build relationships with coworkers, learn agency structures and processes, engage with clients, and produce effective solutions and campaigns for the first time — all through a computer screen.

So yes, my first day at FVM did include some technical hiccups. But, like many others, I’ve tackled technical issues, set up a daily routine to keep on task, and stayed in close contact with my (cool and awesome) co-workers. While I’m not quite “thriving while working from home” yet, I have become more efficient, focused, and prepared to take on each day as it comes. Here are five tips on how I got here:

1. Communicate with your team.

As entry-level talent, a major part of our job is learning the processes, information, skills, and tools to succeed as we move up the ranks. In the office, it’s easy to stop by your mentor’s desk and ask a quick question, or listen in on conversations or meetings that relate to a situation you may be going through.

Those little conversations played a major part of in creating a successful learning environment for entry-level account executives. But working from home, it’s up to you to go out of your way to ask questions and make those conversations happen with your managers and mentors. Reach out over the chat function — you’ll never regret asking a question that builds your experience and relationships.

2. Google it!

Take advantage of the fact we can search and get answers to almost any question. The great thing about working with tools like Google Ads and Google Analytics is that Google’s search and help functions are available 24/7 to provide answers, insights, and tips.

It’s important to take the initiative in educating yourself, and Google should be one of your first stops for help. Read articles, take online courses, watch YouTube videos, and stay eager to learn on your own as well as from others.

3. Take the time to listen.

When you get started, it can be tempting to immediately put your stamp on the work. But sometimes, your role will be to just listen. Pay attention to meetings, feedback, and other’s thoughts and opinions.

Through listening, you’ll find yourself learning how to run meetings, how to speak to clients, what questions to ask, what feedback to give, and more. You’ll have opportunities to speak and be heard, but don’t feel the need to talk just for the sake of talking. Be open, take notes, observe your coworkers, and soak in all you can!

4. Go easy on yourself.

As you read earlier, I had to quickly learn not to get tripped up over small hiccups. Technology failures and mistakes come with any job. Take it in stride, prepare to the extent that you can, and recover with a smile!

Don’t get me wrong — when I first joined FVM, I wanted to be perfect. But as we know from the past year, things don’t always go as planned. So don’t beat yourself over mistakes or setbacks — life goes on, and so does business.

5. Be confident — you went to school for this!

As they say, confidence is key. Keep learning, growing, and building your confidence both as an employee and an individual.

You’ll inevitably face bumps in the road in your new job. Just remember you spent your college years studying your industry, learning the basics, and sharpening the skills. Now it’s the fun part — putting what you know into practice and shining!

So if you find yourself locked out of a Zoom meeting, take a breath and remember you’re not alone. You’re starting your career virtually in the midst of a pandemic. It hasn’t been done before, and we are all learning as we go. Just be prepared, open, and confident, bringing a smile every day — you’ve got this!

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