Career Planning Essay

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Personal Career Advertising: Selling Oneself

Following the process recommended in the instructions has afforded me the opportunity to developing some insights into what the future might hold for me. I must admit that I was initially skeptical relative to both the suggestions made and . I reluctantly proceeded with the assignment with this skepticism in mind but quickly found myself enlightened.

Preparing in advance for assignments has never been one of my strengths. Since early in my educational career I have had to have deadlines imposed in order to motivate me to complete projects. This has resulted in my often submitting work that was less than my best. Even as I am reaching the end of my education I still struggle every day with this issue. I have learned to play games with myself by imposing artificial deadlines and providing periodic rewards for completing each step of a project but procrastinating remains my nemesis.

College for me has been an enlightening and enriching experience. I have been exposed to a variety of personalities that I would never have had the pleasure of knowing but for my time on campus. Being divorced from the safe confines of my high school and the individuals that I had spent my entire early years with has allowed me to see that there are a wealth of other ideas and opportunities available. In the safe confines of my high school I viewed the world much differently; much more narrowly. Today, I believe myself to be far more open-minded and amenable to change.

The college experience has also taught me that there is a phenomenal difference between the process of achieving good grades and receiving an education. For too long I was motivated purely by the process of making sure that I received a good grade in a course. This process allowed me to build my grade point average but it did not result in my being educated. Through my college experience I have learned to concentrate more fully on the course content and to garner as much as possible from that content and incorporate it into my life.

The process suggested in the instructions has opened horizons for me that I had not previously considered. My information system major affords me a variety of options. Ideally, an information system professional is concerned with the information that computer systems can provide a company but as information or knowledge is power there are many ways that information can be used within the corporate structure.

A strict information systems' career is not, in my view, an option for me. I enjoy social interaction and consider myself to be a gregarious personality. Incorporating these personality aspects into my educational background in informational systems was my goal as I progressed through this assignment.

Through considerable introspection I have decided that a career in some aspect of the advertising or marketing business would be a good fit for my skills and education. I have chosen this option because I feel that it offers me the best chance for success.

The field of advertising and marketing has taken on greater importance in our consumer oriented economy. As consumer tastes have changed and the world has become more globalized, competition has increased correspondingly between businesses. Information has taken on increased importance and the ability to not only collect information but also knowing how to utilize that information has assumed increased importance as well.

Advertising as a career has been around for a long time. Since the free marketing systeme appeared subsequent to the Industrial Revolution the importance of getting a business' name in front of the consumer has been important. Subsequent to the Second World War the advertising business grew geometrically and there is no reason to believe that there will be any significant decrease in its importance in the near future. Technology has changed the face of the advertising business but it has not decreased its importance. Staying abreast of the changes in communication is a must for a successful advertising professional. Television, radio, print and other media outlets are adapting to the technological changes in communication and it is imperative that the advertising business do the same.

As in any field, there are different levels in the advertising business. I recognize that I will be required to begin my career on an entry level but I ultimate goal is to acquire a managerial position. At this point, I am not sure what type of managerial position best fits my educational and personal skills and so I will leave my options open as to where I might eventually gear my career.

The salary range of advertising professionals varies considerably depending on the size of the firm, the location of the firm and the overall economic market. Due to its heavy dependence on economic conditions, advertising is subject to the inherent trends of the market. Salaries are extremely good during growth periods but can become quite meager during recessions. On an average, however, a yearly salary in the 75,000 range can be expected. This salary average is based upon a low salary of 25,000 per year and a top end salary of 140,000 a year. In addition to salary, one can usually anticipate receiving benefits such as health insurance, pension, paid vacations and disability but these benefits vary remarkably between agencies and companies particularly in today's employment market. Fringe benefits such as those listed have become a major concern for today's businesses and new employees must examine carefully what is being offered in considering any new position.

Whether to pursue a position with an outside advertising firm or an in-house position is an importance consideration. A position with an outside firm affords one with the opportunity to work on a variety of accounts and to broaden one's portfolio. This type of position is exciting but requires a high level of flexibility. Most such firms are located in larger cities as they are dependent on serving a volume of client so obviously choosing such route would require me to live in or near a major metropolitan area.

Working for an individual company's in-house advertising department offers the advantage of specialization. In this position my focus would be solely on that company's products and developing a consistent line of advertising to the company's specific demographic group. Working for such a firm would not necessarily require living near a large city but would limit one's exposure to a broad range of business contacts. Such a position can be quite insular.

Regardless of whether I worked for an outside agency or an in-house department there is a high likelihood that any position within the advertising business will require a substantial degree of travel. Meetings and training seminars are an important part of the advertising business. Exposure, exposure, exposure is an essential element of the advertising process and the more one can get his or her face and product in front of the public the better. Long hours, usually including many evenings and weekends, are a required part of the advertising employees' job. A traditional forty hour week is not part of the job description. A fifty to sixty hour work week is the likely norm. With these long hours also comes the likelihood of facing many deadlines and the resulting stress that accompanies such deadlines.

Now you might ask, "How does my education in information systems qualify me for a position in advertising?" As a mere gatherer and organizer of information I would have only marginal value to an advertising business but my education also affords me the ability to analyze the information and it is in this capacity that my true value rises to the surface. For an advertising campaign to succeed it must reach its target market effectively and efficiently. Through my education and training I am able to examine information and apply it to a given set of factors. I can filter information so that those in decision making positions within the corporation that I am working for can decide how to best utilize their precious, and often, scarce advertising dollars.

Attaining a bachelor's degree will likely be sufficient to enable me to obtain initial entry into the advertising business; however, my chances obtaining a managerial position are increased substantially by pursuing my master's degree. Depending on what area of the advertising business I ultimately find myself, what type of advanced degree I obtain will vary but the most likely pursuit would be an MBA. The area of specialization, whether finance, accounting or marketing, will be highly dependent on the nature of my position. An advanced degree in fine arts or information technology would also be a consideration.

In preparation for my entry into the advertising field I am considering seeking a summer internship with a local agency. As these positions are highly sought I must begin making preparations in this regard almost immediately. A professionally prepared resume and a carefully drawn cover letter drafted specially for each position is a necessity. My first…[continue]

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