When I first started my career in search engine marketing, I thought salary, title, and company were everything. Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are super important. However, at the end of the day, I now advise placing the most emphasis on selecting the right manager.
Where is Your Search Marketing Career Going?
As you might know by now, Robert Kiyosaki is my favorite financial author and mentor. One of the things he constantly highlights is the velocity of money. The rich keep their money moving. It goes from one solid investment to another and doesn’t sit still. This velocity keeps the portfolios of the rich growing. Through this lens, it’s not really about where you’re investing now, but where you’re going to be investing next.
I really like this concept because it applies perfectly to your career in SEM. Seriously! Our industry is moving very fast. The best strategies today will be commonplace tomorrow. If you’re not thinking one step ahead, you’re destined to plateau. I personally place significantly less importance on where I am today versus where I’m heading tomorrow. Now, the crux of the issue: Without a great manager, you’re not going to have sufficient velocity to achieve that next level of excellence. You’ll be stuck. While your current salary, title, and company are important, all of this is worth a lot less if you’re going to plateau in the high velocity industry of SEM (where the value of tomorrow is tremendous).
Bad SEM People Managers Will Hold You Back
As you may know from prior posts, I place tremendous emphasis on good people management. People management gets me up each and every morning! There’s nothing better than mentoring my team to success and promotion. Unfortunately, not all PPC people managers think like this. We’re in a very young industry with many SEM team leads having just a few years of work experience. I’ll cut right to the point: A bad manager can wipe all the velocity out of your promising SEM career.
How might a bad manager accomplish this? The worst PPC people managers:
- Take personal credit for everything their team accomplishes
- Spend little or no time coaching their team
- Have low energy and are perfectly fine with a boring work environment
- Rarely give their team exposure to senior management
- Feel the need to compete with their own team members
- Focus exclusively on themselves
Great PPC People Managers Give You Velocity
Now, how does a great SEM people manager differ from a bad one? Basically, they avoid every single thing on the above list! It’s really fundamental: The best SEM people managers give you velocity. They give you education. They give you visibility. They set your SEM career up for long-term success. They are selfless and take no credit for your work. They take full credit for your training, your morale, your progress, and your contribution to the organization. Moreover, a great SEM people manager will be your mentor for life regardless of whether you still report to them.
To close out, I’m writing this article because I have been blessed with great managers. My first manager is my mentor and friend to this day and I owe a lot of my own success (and managerial style) to him. If you take one thing away from this article, please place all the emphasis in the world on picking the right manager in your next SEM career move.
Image of Select Button © iStockPhoto – lauriek