I learned 2 career-altering lessons early on in my career. And guess how I learned them?? From my OWN mistakes.

I touched the hot stove once, and realized I didn’t want to feel that again. Ok that was a bad analogy, but you get my point.

Yet I still see everyone from entry level Marketers to Marketing leaders making these 2 mistakes that I did when just starting out.

The first, and possibly MOST important lesson? Connect the goals in your role to the key company and Marketing goals.

The second, and still possibly MOST important lesson? Align your personal goals to make your boss look good.

You might think I’m crazy for the second one but trust me, if you master these then your career path will be aimed for the stars.

Lesson 1: Connecting Your Goals to the Key Company and Marketing Goals

Early on I was not aligning my goals with the company’s overall objectives.

Without a doubt I was achieving my own goals, but I wasn’t making the impact that the leaders cared about. I was getting lost in the whirlwind of daily tasks, executing, and didn’t spend enough time stepping back to ask the right questions from leadership and align my efforts with their goals.

SO, here’s how to make it happen so you can skip the growing pains:

🔐: Understand the Company’s Objectives

Tip: Schedule a meeting with your manager or a senior leader to discuss the company’s annual goals. Get all the nitty gritty answers to questions about revenue targets, customer acquisition, brand awareness, and anything on the horizon.

Action: Write down EVERYTHING you can during the meeting, identify how your role and current projects can directly impact these goals, and put a plan together to make it happen.

🗺: Break Down Marketing Goals

Tip: Once you have a clear understanding of the company’s objectives, map out the Marketing goals that support each individual company objective. Increasing social media engagement, increasing lead volume for a certain customer profile, reducing churn, whatever it is get familiar.

Action: Create a roadmap that aligns your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks with these Marketing goals. This will help you get out of the daily grind of executing and into a more strategic position WITHIN your role. With a clearer picture of the overarching goals, you will be able to prioritize with much more success.

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📝: Set SMART Goals

Tip: Your personal goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (aka SMART).

Action: Write down your goals, I love the Notes App on my phone for something like this. I have my notes on a widget so every time I log onto my phone I see a preview of them.

Once you jot them down, review them regularly to ensure they stay aligned with the company’s priorities (which will inevitably change over time). This is a great way to hold YOURSELF accountable, and PLUS when the time comes you can even leverage these SMART goals (and how you exceeded them) in your meetings to get that promotion.

✅: Think Impact

Tip: When considering projects or ideas, always ask yourself how this will make an impact on the company’s key goals. Not to say that projects that won’t have a major impact on the company’s key goals are irrelevant, but they’re DEFINITELY lower on the totem pole. Especially for our one-person Marketing teams out there, time is a scarce resource. Sitting down to analyze the company’s key goals and focusing on your projects that will have the biggest impact on those goals, is a great way to be efficient with your time.

Action: Evaluate potential projects based on their ability to drive significant results that matter to leadership. We want BIG WINS with efficient effort.

❤️: Get Close with Finance

Tip: The Finance team understands the numbers and goals of the business better than anyone. Make it a point to build a strong relationship with them or find a point of reference within the Finance team that can help you gain deeper insights into the financial metrics that matter to leadership. Once you know those, you can trickle them back to the influence you have over the metrics.

Action: Schedule regular check-ins with key finance personnel to discuss budget allocations, ROI metrics, and how Marketing efforts can support financial goals. If you currently have no touchpoints with Finance, then ANY sort of contact with them is a win, even if it’s via email or Slack.

Lesson 2: Connect Your Goals to Make Your Boss Look Good

This is a lesson that could have an entire email dedicated to it. When you’re starting out in your career most often all of your focus is towards trying to keep your job, making sure you crush your goals, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If it’s one of your first “real-world” jobs then that’s only natural. But a key unlock to your growth is simply considering how your work reflects on your boss. If you can ensure your efforts reflect positively on your boss then you’ll win in 2 massive ways.

The first being you will be crushing at your job, making yourself look good. And the second being the fact that if you can make your boss look good and you’re in turn helping them with their career, then you’ll have a major advocate (your boss) the rest of your career.

Here’s how to do it:

🤔: Communicate Proactively

Tip: Keep your boss in the loop with regular updates on your progress. This builds trust and shows you’re on top of your responsibilities. Trust is one of the biggest compliments you can get from your teammates and managers, this is how you earn it.

Action: Set up a weekly check-in email or meeting to discuss your progress and any challenges you’re facing. Transparency, honesty, and consistent communication here are massive. 

👯‍♀️: Align with Their Goals

Tip: Understand your boss’s key priorities and goals before everything else. What are they being measured on? How can your work support their success?  

Action: Make a list of your boss’s top goals and identify the ways your work can contribute to achieving them. The legend Charlie Munger said it best, “Show me their incentives and I’ll tell you the outcomes.” Knowing your managers incentives and you will better understand why they operate the way they do.

🔥: Deliver Results

Tip: Focus on delivering high-quality work that exceeds expectations. This not only makes you look good but also reflects well on your boss. And if you make your boss look good, your boss is going to want to keep you around.

Action: Track your accomplishments and share significant milestones and successes with your boss, highlighting how your contributions help the team and company succeed.

This also plays directly into growth via promotion or a raise, you don’t want to just dump all of your accomplishments and milestones on your boss all at once. You should be frequently showcasing the tremendous impact you’re having, almost be annoying with it. This will make it a no-brainer in your boss’ mind when you look for upward mobility.

Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
Level up your marketing game

Zero BS. Just fun, unfiltered, industry insights with the game-changers behind some of the coolest companies from around the globe.

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