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(Read time = 2 minutes) To all of you energetic, enthusiastic marketing, communications and social media mavens… to the consultants, the wanna-be’s and the interns in-the-making… Whether you’re on the client side or agency side, here’s a piece of career advice from a seasoned, savvy, and oft-scared veteran.
Turn back now!!! Get out while you can!! This business is addictive!!!
If the American Cancer Society knew about B2B marketing communications, they would make every publisher slap a warning label on every marketing textbook, every blog and every single tweet: ” Warning – this job will stick to you forever; ingest at your own risk; if the conndition persists, count your blessings and seek professional mentoring.”
I know this from proud and personal experience.
You see, I had this plan. Retire after my multi-decades as a branding, PR and marketing communications professional. Play golf. Teach at the university level. Play golf. Explore Social Media. Play golf. Entertain the grandkids. Play golf.
But I only got it less than half right.
I “retired” six odd months ago, and I had accepted an adjunct teaching job at a CA prestigious university; ponied up some pennies and took my wifeand self on a short second honeymoon. Then, I got caught up on LinkedIN and started my Facebook Page which, of course, resulted in signing I up for my Twitter account. I even played golf. Once. I even had time to start a corporate learning business to take marketing training to technology companies.
Twenty-seven days later, I was back at work.
First my former employer followed through with a consulting contract. Then a long-time colleague put me together with an extremely promising company with a great strategic communications challenge. Then there were the graduate students who needed tutorial assistance with class projects and the papers to grade. Within 45 days I felt alive, challenged and having the time of my life.
Oh, and then this voice from my PR past called with an offer to blog, test the social media waters and stay intellectually current. Damn you, my old-dog friend! You see, B2B communications is not job, it’s not career, and it’s not a profession. To be done well, it has to be a passion.
The beautiful thing is I’m doing what I truly love to do: teaching some of the best and brightest students at a university and on corporate campuses; molding ideas, positioning them, fighting the marketing fight on two fronts. And now writing a blog. In other words, I’m making a mockery of retirement.
So … run, hide, become a lawyer or CMO of a start-up, or a knuckle-baller in the grapefruit league. Whatever, ’cause once the marcom bug bites, you just can’t shake the fevor, you just can’t stop. And that’s all goodness, it’s just (thank goodness) not real retirement.
Oh, one good piece of news. I’ve dropped two strokes off my handicap. It must be because I’m retired.
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