Thursday, July 31, 2014

Digital & social media, an unconventional career

I had written the following article for the readers of  Daily Pioneer Newspaper

I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

If one is contemplating to take digital and social media as a career option, here is a word of caution. This option is unlike the traditional career path that your friends may want to pursue.

Unlike doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers, the trajectory of digital and social media is very different —  it is not clearly outlined in an employee manual. In fact, one will have to create ones own career roadmap. One will have to draw on all of the resources, learn to trust yourself and do it all while the people around you tell you to ‘get a real job’.

If you’re looking toward a career in social media management, it’s best to start building the roadmap as early as possible, since one won’t get any examples or past veterans to idolize an option available to more traditional media careers.

Here is what every aspiring digital and social media professional should know about this career.

It’s all about communication and creativity:
If you are good with words and images ,if you have the gift of the gab varying right from slapstick to intense ,there is a brand suitable to your characteristic. So hone the skills. As an official representative of a brand, a social media manager has to have clarity, accuracy and tact in communicating with customers, employees and the media.

Build personal social media handles:
This will help you to create strong connections by expressing a sincere, earnest attitude and you’ll have better chances of success.

Pursue an educational qualification in communications and creative:All digital and social media enthusiast need to have a skill such kind of courses will come in handy

Learn more about brands and marketing: 
Read books, articles and talk to people remotely connected with this discipline. Even if social media roles aren’t immediately available in India and still growing this can potentially open the door to a full-time social media role when the company is ready to take their marketing strategy to the next level, which happens quite often.

Volunteer for an NGO:Try volunteering for an NGO and help them in building a robust social media. Apart from giving one a reason of being a part of a worthy cause this will help one in creating connections and gives one a feel of the job with much less pressure.

The good news: 
Social media management is GenX’s playground so people in this field if they are good grow very fast with less cluttered hierarchy. So, what are the kind of designation that exist in this field today is something left to the imagination of individual organization and varies from; manager digital and social media, digital evangelist, Internet marketing manager, etc.

The road less travelled may not have the navigation compass or the map but the journey is worth it, we choose it because something within us tells us we must. So, keep climbing because the view from the summit is truly breath taking.