Back when I was getting ready to go to college, finding a job was admittedly not a huge thought weighing on my mind.
But at some point I did sit down with my dad and ask for his opinion about whether it made sense to go to the small liberal arts college I had my mind set on, or whether I should attempt to do something more “marketable” (though I’m sure at that stage I had no idea what that word even meant).
In his infinite wisdom, my dad said, “Melissa, most of the jobs that will exist when you graduate haven’t even been invented yet. So forget about training for a specific job.”
Now, my first real job after college was teaching English in Japan, which was not exactly a new profession, but flash forward a few more years, and, like always, my father was right.
My current job title is “Content Marketing Manager,” which I get a big kick out of, since when I started I had never even heard of content marketing before.
So what exactly is content marketing? And how did I get a job doing something I didn’t know anything about?
Let’s start with the definition: The basic idea of content marketing is that you create blog posts, infographics, videos, and other types of “content” to help educate potential customers. You share information with them freely to establish yourself (or the organization you represent) as an authority figure, educate them about the problem they’re experiencing, and present your goods or services as a possible solution.
And how did I manage to get a job in this field I’d never even heard of?
Well, it just so happens that I actually already knew a lot about creating content from my years working as a writer and editor.
It turns out that all those blog posts, articles, podcasts, and other things I’d been doing in my previous jobs were examples of “content.” And the journalistic training I’d received in interviewing, fact-checking, and proofreading helped to ensure that the content I created lived up to a certain standard.
I was also really lucky that the person who created my position and hired me (Teresa Torres) already understood that, so even though the job title was “Content Marketing Specialist,” she spelled out very clearly that it was a full-time writing position and used writing samples as the main way she evaluated candidates.
This is not to say that I already knew everything about content marketing—far from it! There’s always more to learn about analytics, headline writing, SEO, social media, and tons of other related topics. And I’m grateful to companies like Copyblogger for leading the way—not only do they write about content marketing in an educational and entertaining manner, but their entire business is built on content marketing, so they provide an excellent example to aspire to.
There are a few takeaways from this post:
- Don’t assume that you’re not suitable for a job just because you’ve never heard of it!
- If you’re the one hiring someone, be open-minded about the hiring process. Think about which skills the person will already need to possess, and which ones they can learn on the job.
- Father (or at least my father) really does know best.
Thanks for reading! Have you been hired for a job you’d never heard of? Want to talk to me about content marketing? Feel free to reach out!
I originally published this post on LinkedIn. You can find it here: “How I landed a content marketing job (without knowing what it meant).”