It’s Christmas Eve. The presents are laid out under the tree, everything is decorated and soon the smell of looking Christmas dinner will be filling the house.
And yet, my mind is strangely filled with self-development.
I’ve been working my way through a series of online modules to one of Google’s Digital Marketing certificates. It’s a foundation course, so it’s a bit of everything; social media, email marketing, effective website curation and paid search. I thought it would be a complete slog, like the Analytics portion of the Google Academy, but to be honest I’m finding it fascinating. Some of it is just covering the basics, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s also highlighted areas I wasn’t so knowledgeable of which I want to get good at, like paid search. The fascinating thing about PPC (pay per click ads) on Google is that they can be the fundamental aspect of digital which actually result in more clicks and, therefore, more sales.
To be perfectly frank, I’m now thinking I want to shift my career focus away from social media and into aspects like this which can help with my new goal: business development. Having worked both in-house and in an agency environment, I’m very tired of all the fluff which surrounds marketing and PR. So much of it is just people making work out of work; a rather vapid existence of pointlessness and, as Jane Austen would say, “a quick succession of busy nothings”.
I really don’t want that to be what I do every day. I want to be on a board one day, helping guide a major international business on the best routes to take to improve. That’s where the true creativity is in the world of work, I think. It’s not in copywriting teams, marketing meetings or even in Graphic Design summits. It’s in the people who have the best minds, knowledge and savvy to make a real difference to the top level of a business.
Perhaps it’s that I have a mind that gets bored very easily. Perhaps it’s just that fundamental human need to be at the top of the power scale, or to try to be there, anyway. Perhaps it’s that I’m just tired of working with people who I find unbelievably dim. But most of all I think it’s a simple need to get to the true heart of where those ideas are birthed and where they come from. I truly think it’s the place where I will be able to offer and contribute most, above the waterline of pointless middle managers who do and achieve nothing; who take your work and ideas and simply paste their name on top of them (watched it literally happen).
My Dad is encouraging me to take courses in management to try and advance my career, but my instinct is simply telling me that that is not the right route for me. It’s not a desire to manage people that I have, and when I have managed people in the past, I’ve found it remarkably easy (I simply take everything I’ve seen most of the managers I’ve worked under do and do the exact opposite). The result was that I found they responded and gave excellent work in return. But become one of the middle management morons isn’t something I’m striving after, and from what I’ve seen it seems very easy to fall into a trap there from which you don’t emerge from the rest of your career. Plus it seems like a rather awful neutral ground; you don’t get to do the work you enjoy and instead spend your day being simply a pointless go-between between those with authority and those with talent. Like some sort of dreadful corporate Hermes.
It’s not a position I see myself envying.
But going into this new company in January, I hope that I’ll have the space and authority to make a difference. That’s not just the unfounded optimism of a new employee; it’s what they’ve stated that they want. And it’s back into the world of poker, which I love.
But this notion of paid search is really fascinating me. It seems to be what I’ve been longing to find in social media work but unable to capture. A method that’s actually going to make a real difference to the fundamental difference to the conversions of a business. The great advantage with paid search/PPC is that, through creative copywriting and right targeting, you’re communicating with people when they want to be communicated with and not when you’re just interrupting their personal time as with most advertising. Therefore, naturally it is usually the aspect of digital which yields the best results.
Perhaps that’s an odd thought for Christmas Eve. But when I get fired up about an idea or a new project that tends to be what happens; it consumes me. I suppose that’s why I want to be in the aforementioned position. I love being slightly obsessed with my work, I actually long to be in a position where I can really be involved with it, not just following the empty commands from some air-headed twit.