It’s a proud moment. You stand with your parents, sweating in the summer heat with your degree in hand. You are ready to conquer the world. Those marketing classes prepared you for the real workplace, right?

Unfortunately, what I found with my recent entrance into full-time marketing is they prepared me very little for the way that work actually happens. Sure, I learned theories, and I learned about marketing tools. But the way that most companies solve and implement marketing solutions is very different than what I had thought. Hopefully this list helps you better prepare for life in a marketing company:

  1. You will need to become very good at multi-tasking. You don’t just work on one project or for one company; you will be handling many clients, so take good notes to keep track of each one.
  2. It’s not all about press releases. You do more than just write press releases. You might be working on social media campaigns, copy for websites, media training, planning events and much more.
  3. You might need to work from home. It’s not always a 9-5 job. You might need to respond to emails or take your work home to meet deadlines or finish tasks.
  4. You don’t have to do anything alone. There is a lot of team work – like it or not. You do not have to handle an entire client or project alone. Working together on projects in school is something teachers usually push upon you and you think, “The real world doesn’t work like this.” Wrong. Your ability to reach out and ask for help will sharpen your skills faster.
  5. You can be comfortable. Not every marketing company calls for a suit and tie appearance. You can relax and express yourself.
  6. Not every article has to be by the book. Sometimes you can have fun with your writing and be edgy, which is a nice change of pace from what you learn in school.
  7. You might hate it. Sometimes you won’t see eye-to-eye with the client and their vision, but it’s their company and their decision. If the client is happy and the marketing goals are met, it was a job well done. You have to put your taste aside sometimes.
  8. Research isn’t just for the classroom. You will need to do a lot of research on your client to best understand what it is they do. How are you supposed to write a blog for a company if you don’t first know their industry and their role in it? Research is always important.
  9. Don’t be scared to be creative. Have an idea but it sounds crazy and out there? Voice it! Your team members are there to support you and your ideas, no matter how crazy they might seem. Hey, that crazy idea just might be brilliant.

Article written by

account coordinator/social media strategist/Harry Potter magic wielder