So, you just landed a job as a bank or credit union marketing professional. First of all, congratulations. In this day and age and with the current economy, your hard work and determination is commendable.
Now the real work is about to begin.
As someone who spent years working in marketing and communications for financial institutions both large and small, looking back, I wish I’d had a list somewhat like the one below when I first started. Then again, I was just as young and headstrong as you probably are now. I might not have paid all that much attention to the list. Here’s hoping you today are smarter than me yesterday and can open yourself up just enough to derive a little benefit from these ideas.
With that in mind, below please find a list of tips for the new bank or credit union marketer.
- Diploma. While your college degree is important and probably got your foot in the door, it now means next to nothing. By all means, put it in a nice frame and hang it somewhere prominent in your office. But don’t assume it makes you any smarter or any better than anyone else.
- Old people. There are probably tellers at your financial institution that have worked the job longer than you’ve been alive. Swallow your pride and avail yourself to their (or other long-term employee) knowledge.
- Last victim. Odds are you inherited this job from someone who is no longer there. Assume the worst and be prepared to deal with any negative baggage your predecessor left behind in that position. You can make it brand-new — just accept the fact that some people will initially view you in the same light with which they held the person in the chair before you.
- Gossip. Office politics exist. You are not immune from them. The office grapevine also exists. You must do your best to stay out of it.
- Mentor. Find a mentor. Do it now. Seriously, if you don’t have a mentor, go out and find one. This blog will still be here when you get back. A mentor is your single best source of professional development and inspiration. And keep this in mind — just because your supervisor is your supervisor does not necessarily make them a natural mentor. You may very well have to look outside your immediate supervisor for this invaluable mentor relationship.
These are just a few of the tips I would offer new banking credit union marketing professionals. Other seasoned marketing professionals will certainly have their own. Seek them out and learn from them. You can save yourself a lot of heartache early on by admitting that you do not know everything and opening your mind to the experience of those that have been there before.
Oh … I almost forgot.
- Breakroom fridge. Don’t sneak other people’s food out of the breakroom refrigerator. It will escalate from nasty notes to full-blown semi-professional criminal investigation. You don’t want to go there. Bring your own snacks.