The responsible way to boost your career (written by Sherilyn Shackell)

Who’s responsible for your career development? Well, put simply – you are.

The Marketing Academy is delighted to collaborate with Marketing Week to bring you this supplement on career development. The start of a new year never fails to spark a flurry of marketers evaluating their levels of job satisfaction, reassessing their life aspirations and praying that this is the year their career will soar and their dreams will become reality.

But you cannot rely on your employers to make it happen for you. In a climate that is financially fragile and changeable at best, employers are hit with a double whammy; reduced promotion prospects for their people as the workforce suffers enforced reduction, and shrinking budgets for training and development. To succeed in this environment you need to take matters into your own hands.

In our view, great talent is out there in abundance, and the pool of intelligent, enthusiastic, driven and committed individuals is growing. The Marketing Academy Scholarship is in its fourth year and during this time more than 1,000 marketers have been nominated for a place on the programme. The sheer talent we see coming through our selection process year after year is as humbling as it is exciting. And they are all looking to develop their skills, advance their careers and broaden their horizons.

So, we firmly believe that the best leaders take 100 per cent responsibility for their own success, the decisions they make and the outcome of their actions. Taking personal responsibility is never more necessary than with your own career. If you wait for someone else to come along and teach you, develop you and inspire you then you may wait forever. It is your responsibility to take decisive action, seek out inspiration, open your mind to opportunity, surround yourself with the right people, and make positive life choices based on your values, passions and potential.

One of the most important things you can do to unlock your future is to give yourself the gift of time. Time to focus on your own learning, development and advancement. Time to think, to reflect and to grow. Time to seek out and connect with people who know more than you do – inside and outside of your company, inside and outside of your industry. Time to find ways to enrich your life and therefore your experience. Your employer will benefit from this too. How much better might you perform, how much more could you achieve, and how many other people will you impact with new-found enthusiasm, knowledge and wisdom?

A favourite quote of The Marketing Academy is ‘knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment’. Not as easy as it sounds – it can be hard to know where to start, but rest assured that if you decide to ‘be the best you can possibly be’ then your future will be remarkable. The following pages will give you some tips but always remember: there is no one more able to control the success of your career than you.

I’d like to wish all the readers a 2013 full of excitement, opportunities and positive change.

This article orignially appeared in the career development edition of Marketing Week 17th January 2013

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The Scholarship – a 9 month, free, part time program for 30 of the UK’s fastest rising stars in Marketing, Advertising, Media and Communications.

The Fellowship – Equips CMOs and Marketing Directors with the tools, knowledge and insight to make the move onto Boards and into General Management / MD / CEO roles.

12 month full paid Marketing Apprenticeship for young adults who because of challenging backgrounds, lack qualifications or poor life choices are normally overlooked for this kind of work experience