As the owner of a small business, a marketing agency, and growing company, it’s important to help prospective and current team members understand what it takes to grow their careers here at LimeLight.
We seek to hire team members who are borderline obsessed with what they do, who are hungry to learn new things, who seek feedback for ongoing growth, and who are not satisfied with mediocre results.
As you can imagine, these types of people are also passionate about growing in their careers, taking more responsibility and getting promotions. So, setting a clear vision for what it takes to get there is important.
Let’s face it, – it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of managing your day-to-day work, feeling busy and stressed, and letting things like emails, meetings, and instant messages distract you from nailing the things which will drive you closer to your career goals.
The best marketers, designers, developers, project managers, (the list goes on) – know the recipe for advancing their careers.
Whether you’re an intern desiring to move to full-time, a job seeker wanting to work at LimeLight, or an experienced marketing manager who wants to jump to Director or VP, these eight things can help get you there.
NOTE: I stole these 8 tips directly from Drift, who we love and follow here at LimeLight. When I read their blog post on this topic I thought they nailed it and I’m a big believer in not recreating the wheel. (Work smarter not harder.) So, hats off to Drift for sharing great content and for giving us these tips which I’ve provided my own insight on. You can also learn a lot about hiring and marketing on their podcast, Seeking Wisdom.
Be an owner
Our team is small and our organization is flat. We expect every team member to own your area of expertise, whether it is design, development, marketing, sales, etc.
The only way we will grow into our best vision is if every single person on the team acts like an owner.
Most people love the idea of ownership – but here’s the catch. Ownership means you are fully accountable. (Awe – not so attractive.) You develop the plan to hit goals. You own figuring out solutions when it doesn’t work. You own getting others on board to support the effort.
In order to advance to the next step in your career, it needs to be obvious to everyone in the organization you are the owner in your area of expertise.
Plan and forecast
With ownership comes a deep understanding of your area of expertise. With a deep understanding comes the ability to plan and forecast.
We are building a best-in-class growth driven agency at LimeLight. This means in order to take the next step in your career, you need to be able to plan and forecast within your role.
What are your goals for this month? Next month? Next quarter? What’s your game plan to get there? Are you on-track? If not, can you correct the course? If you were accountable for creating a 6-month plan for your role, could you do it?
Raise the bar
We seek to work with great companies. Great clients. People who trust us and chose us as their growth partner. They seek us out for our expertise and for producing results which help grow their business. That means we can’t settle for good enough.
Have you raised the bar? Have you raised the bar for design? For development? For content? For video? For lead generation?
In order to advance in your career and take on new responsibility at LimeLight, it needs to be obvious that you consistently raise the bar for quality and production in your role.
Master your craft
This goes hand-in-hand with raising the bar. We expect you to develop mastery of your craft / your area of focus on the team.
To do this you’ll treat your focus as a craft – you’ll be hungry to learn throughout your entire career and you’ll never stop striving to be better. You’ll be excited to share your learnings with others. You’ll have favorite books, podcasts, videos, mentors, and role models that you can speak about on the fly.
With this mastery, you’ll apply it to creating systems, job aids, and checklists to train the next person and to share your knowledge with your team and clients. Your knowledge can scale with the right system to enable it.
Push the pace
Here’s one of the unique parts of working in an agency or any billable professional services field.
Not only are you expected to do great work, but you are expected to do it fast while maintaining quality.
Do you push the pace within your team? Do you find ways to do things faster and to be more efficient? Do you eliminate waste and rework for efficiency? Speed is one of our advantages. To grow in your career at LimeLight you need to be someone that pushes the pace – someone who delivers great results in less time.
Maybe you’re behind pace toward reaching a goal, or the agency is behind schedule on a project. Are you coming up with ideas to get ahead? Can you move fast and adapt at the last minute when needed?
This skill is ever so important, and difficult to teach. It’s closely tied to ownership.
Do you manage your manager?
Do you know what he or she expects and do you know how to build trust and get what you need from him/her? Do you take problems or solutions to them? Do you approach them with options A & B or do you come to them looking for direction? Do you help them look good or are you more concerned about getting the credit?
I get there are bad bosses out there, but I believe the most successful people in their careers learned early how to manage up – even with the difficult boss.
You have to manage up, down, and sideways.
No really – be coachable.
Seek out input and advice from others, and make it easy for people to give you feedback even if it is hard to hear. If you ask for feedback but become defensive when it’s offered, people will simply stop helping you get better.
My greatest growth has come from getting feedback which was difficult to swallow. Feedback that was humbling. Feedback that made me rethink how I would handle the situation differently in the future.
The definition of being coachable is not just taking feedback, but also putting it into action to get better.
Develop your team
(or those around you)
Most people think that in order to climb the career ladder you must manage people, and some people go that route for the wrong reason.
You don’t have to manage people to grow in your career at LimeLight. You can be an individual contributor who is a leader, gets promotions, and takes on more responsibility.
If you do want to be a people manager, you must prove you can develop your team and make people successful.
Do you want to be a people manager? Start small. Start with an intern or a younger person on your team who can grow with the help of a mentor. Prove you can get others to be successful and your leadership style will make others want to follow you.
Interested in working at LimeLight? We’d love to hear from you. Visit our careers page to send us your resume.