How do we stay joyful and happy while navigating the outcomes of both good and bad decisions we make in our career paths?
According to Olivia Hawkins, Associate Director of Global Media at VaynerMedia, finding a job that gets you out of bed every day might make all the difference.
We’re back again with guest host Noah Omri Levin, Director, Applied Analytics & Optimization – Media Lead at Search Discovery and host of the Digital Marketing Life podcast.
This week Noah spoke with Olivia about career longevity and happiness.
This post is based on a podcast with Olivia Hawkins. You can listen to the full episode here and below.
Worth the Wait
Do you know what you’re looking for?
When you’re first getting started on a career – for some, maybe even before you’ve graduated college – it’s easy to “check all the boxes”, taking every interview that comes your way.
Olivia was set to take as many interviews as possible. However, a mentor set her straight, advising her that this mentality would lead her to take the first job offer that came her way.
Olivia Hawkins: A lot of the phone interviews I’d had were much more salesy type jobs, things like that, not to say that I think I would be good or bad at, but it was just not what I was looking for as I graduated.
But also in hindsight, I look back on it and I’m like, I was three weeks away from graduating. That was a risky move, but if you know what you want, it’s worth the wait.
One of the things, and I’ve even talked about this with some of the newer members of our team, is you go through life and it’s all set out for you. You know exactly what you’re supposed to do the next year – you’re going to get Christmas break off, you’re going to get Spring break off, you’re going to get your Summer break off and it’s very clear.
Then when you start working, about three months in, and it kind of hits you like, “Oh, this is for ever.” So make sure it’s something that you enjoy – that you will land in a place where you feel like you can wake up and go to it every day.
Learn What You Want
You may not know what it is that you want at the beginning.
Every experience is a learning opportunity. You change over time, and what you want to do probably will as well.
Olivia Hawkins: I had realized that that was a little bit more my interest was, it sounds so shallow to be like pay to play or the short game. But you know with my background, especially at the first couple of years of my career when we were doing a lot more of direct response media
If you have the opportunity to spend someone else’s money in your career, I tell people to do it because it’s super fun. But also you can grow their business and show results.
I felt that a lot more that I can tell that story a lot more with paid than with some of the email marketing or SEO work that we had been doing.
Changes Come with Challenges
Olivia Hawkins: At Search Discovery we probably hovered around 15 at the most in the digital marketing space. Whereas when I started at Vayner it was probably about 120 in the media department and we’re much larger even now.
There were different disciplines. I had never heard of what was a media planner versus a media buyer or media investment and negotiation. There were a lot more terms and a much different glossary
I got a lot closer to communications planning and understanding, how many different messages do we have in-market across all of our different channels. So it was a very different challenge for me to figure out how that works and also at the same time sort of learning a new role in terms of planning versus buying.
Enjoy the Journey
Olivia Hawkins: I ended up working with Oreo and that’s the account that I sit with right now. It’s again, a sandwich cookie you might’ve heard of.
They’re like kind of addictive. It’s really funny because I probably already ate a few Oreos a week anyway just in general. But now it’s work. It’s like we go to a meeting and I bring them for brainstorms. If we need any inspiration, here’s some milk and cookies, which is great.
It’s a lot of fun. It’s a very fun brand. But again, it’s this interesting challenge of we don’t need to tell people that Oreos exist. Chances are you have a a box in your pantry.
it’s been really interesting because it’s also a lot than channels then I’m used to playing with, I primarily sit in a digital space, but we do dabble in some other areas like television as well.