EJ is the Head of Digital Marketing at Endeavour Group
1. Why did you choose advertising/marketing as a career path?
I started out as a copywriter, a role that complemented my skills and interests at the time. I enjoyed writing, and using it to influence, persuade, and win people over.
While the love of writing didn’t last, I still enjoy being in marketing, as it satisfies my creative and technical sides, and allows me to reach and connect with people in increasingly innovative ways through digital and technology.
2. What's the best advice you'd give to your younger self who's just started their career?
Keep learning. As much as you can, as fast as you can. It’ll be worth it.
3. What do you look for when hiring young people?
In a word – ambition. Young people with drive, a growth mindset, and a willingness to adapt and improve really stand out, and will grow to become invaluable to a team and organisation given enough time. That said, there is a huge difference between ambition and entitlement, and it helps when someone can distinguish the two.
4. How do I make my resume stand out?
For those just starting out, listing things like extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, completed courses, and earned certifications can help make up for a lack of relevant work experience. These can show initiative, work ethic, and the determination to do what it takes to succeed.
5. What skills have been most beneficial for you?
A lot of skills have been beneficial, but being able to communicate effectively is paramount. Communication will be necessary at every stage of your career, in any role, on any team, for any company. For those considering more technical marketing roles, effective communication skills are even more (not less!) important.
6. Do you need a degree?
Personally, I don’t think so. For sure, a degree helps, but the lack of one isn’t damning. Many experts in my current field (digital marketing and technology) were largely self-taught because that stuff wasn’t taught in school (it either didn’t exist at the time or had yet to be widely adopted). That hasn’t stopped them from finding success. More than a degree, you need a growth mindset and an unquenchable thirst for learning in whatever form it takes.
7. What was a key lesson you learnt in your career to date?
Nothing will be handed to you; if you want something, you have to take it.
Also, don’t assume it’s enough to just do good work. You have to learn how to get that work seen and acknowledged by peers, managers, and stakeholders."
8. Have your reasons for joining the industry changed over time?
Yes, I don’t prioritise the same things I did when I started out. But there are reasons that have persisted, and others that I later discovered and have grown over time.
An example of the latter – as my field has become more and more embedded into marketing, I’ve really enjoyed being at the forefront of an ever-evolving industry. It’s one of the main reasons I do what I do today.
9. Have you ever failed? How did you react?
Of course! I’ve never met a high achiever who hasn’t also experienced failure at some point in their career. No one is perfect and it’s a numbers game – the more times you try to achieve something, the more times you will succeed but also fail.
Yes, some failures hit harder than others, and there are a couple of ways I’ve dealt with those. First, keep trying – a failure is only a failure if you let it end there. Second, gain perspective – nothing is ever a total failure, so what have you learned from it that can help you in the future?
10. If you had the chance to re-do your career knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I could write a book on this with the amount of material I have to work with.
But if I had to narrow it down, I would have put more effort into building and nurturing a professional network earlier in my career. Investing time and effort into self-development is important, but building a network can also pay huge dividends.