Spending a lifetime deciding on a career

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David Wing is the founder of Wing Digital Marketing, a B2B marketing and thought leadership consultancy that positions brands/businesses and their c-suite as industry experts. He is also rather opinionated and passionate.

Biggest fuck up?

The biggest fuck up in my career (to date) was the time it took me to decide on a career and invest serious attention to it and my abilities. I had little to no clue what I wanted to do with myself when I left school. I wandered through a film degree and then began odd jobs that had no benefit.

Ultimately, it was my fiction writing interest that saw me gravitate towards copywriting, social media management and ultimately, a new (then) area of marketing – ‘Influencer’.

It’s the lack of commitment that made me worry. I had no idea what to do until I fell into this line of work…and loved it!

This sounds like a self-betterment rant, but it’s more about the fact that I’m in my very early forties and have been in marketing for less than 10 years. It took so long, too long to decide on what I wanted. I s uppose it boils down to confidence, which I lacked and had to build bit by bit. 

I bounced from agency to agency, learning skills, accepting responsibility, trying harder and reading everything. I finally found a place, but I should have found it years ago.

Rant

What pisses me off?…guru shit, know-it-all crap and self-praising bollocks.

I work in Influencer Marketing, and what I see day in and day out on my favoured social channel – LinkedIn, is the same posts. Posts that don’t actually offer the insight that they claim to give. I’d like to see professionals offering key, day-to-day process info. Something that would help those that are learning or businesses that are thinking about dipping their toes in the influencer realm. 

I try to share insights or news or simply encourage and take part in podcasts and webinars where people from every industry can ask a simple or complicated question. And while I might not have all the answers, I try to help. 

In the office, I find (or found) frustration in the lack of trust that management would often show in allowing people to work from home from time to time, even as I grew into senior roles and had shown my abilities.

And now look at us – remote workers, all of us. It’ll be fascinating to see how office workplace vs home workplace ends up and how business owners seek to justify returning to the ‘norms’ when loyalty and professionalism are thriving from home. Influencer marketing is a worldwide activation, why shouldn’t we work wherever we like?

Mentorship. I miss it. I would have liked to have had it. I think it should be a given in the industry. We have awards, but where’s the one that says ‘Best Support Person’? Where’s the application section that demands an entry for the person without whom all this ‘ROI’ would be impossible? 

I’d also like to see Influencer Marketing become an equal voice in business budgets. The results are there to see and read, so why not try? It doesn’t need to cost the world, and like any marketing effort, it simply needs to be tailored to your customer/consumer requirements. Do your research, Influencer Marketing works.

Useful advice 

Have confidence in yourself and always ask questions.

Sounds trite and tired, but the confidence is something I lacked until my education caught up, and then it grew. 

Questions…always ask, but choose who you ask wisely. Not all your colleagues will have the right answer, and your boss might be too busy to mentor you. Do your research, see if you can find the answer yourself, and if you’re still unsure, ask. Ultimately, as a young or new employee, you’re there to learn and develop. No one expects you to have all the answers.

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