When it comes to finding qualified talent, it can be a challenge to land the perfect candidate that checks all your boxes. But what about promoting internally? It’s so essential, and often understated, to recognize initiative and ambition within your current talent pool. For Levy Online, it’s always been one of our goals to grow our talent from within.
Local UNLV graduate and team member, Jero Esguerra, is sharing some insight on how he went from being a digital marketing assistant to one of our most ambitious SEO account managers at Levy Online:
What did you find most helpful or supportive when you started?
Definitely having supportive teammates. Whenever I had a question, they took the time to answer everything, give me feedback or point me in the right direction. I also took the initiative to do research on my own and use the materials and resources provided to me, whether it be access to training software or mentors on my team.
How did your degree help you when it came to moving up in digital marketing?
I graduated from UNLV with a marketing degree and it helped me understand the “Four Ps” (price, product, promotion, and place) and all the essential marketing basics, which I then applied to the actual work I was doing. My education gave me the definition of SEO and other marketing terms, but it was the hands-on experience that really helped me to understand these concepts.
I also learned about the sales funnel and those aspects, what’s involved with the buying process and customer behaviors, and that definitely helped out when starting my career.
What has been your biggest challenge with moving up and taking on more responsibility?
There’s always a challenge with learning and taking on more, all while trying to implement new concepts and skills simultaneously, but it’s definitely not impossible. When you’re moving that fast, you may worry you’re not picking up everything you need to. But with initiative and the ability to think on your feet, you can learn more as you go and take advantage of opportunities as they come up.
With any promotion, it can be challenging to not feel overwhelmed at first, but you have to hold on to your drive. It takes a lot of research and time and being open to learning everything you can. But with that comes versatility. If a client wants something, I’m not stuck in a box. You have to have the ability to be creative and ambitious and research things you may not be familiar with to implement that successfully.
What is the biggest skill you’ve learned while working at Levy Online?
I’ve grown in terms of being a better communicator. Account management is pretty much all about communication and being able to have the client understand what you’re doing so they are comfortable with what you’re doing. Not everybody is an expert in digital marketing or SEO, and it’s our job as account managers to bring that insight to the table and communicate how it’s making a difference.
What skills do you feel are most important when moving up in an organization?
Initiative. You have to show initiative. You have to want it. You want to move forward, you want to learn, you want to progress to the next level. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Go to your superiors and ask them what you can improve on, what you need to do, and take it constructively. Always ask questions and always be open to learning.
Another skill is just being able to pick up on things very quickly. You don’t have a ton of time between being introduced to something new and having to implement that successfully, especially in digital marketing. Things are changing all the time and you have to keep up. Being able to learn quickly and stay up-to-date with everything is important. You have to be able to take in information as well move on to the next thing at the same time.
What is your process for learning new skills?
I am big on doing research on my own for the most part, but again, asking questions if I need to. I feel like if I ask questions immediately without having done some research before, I won’t retain it as quickly. I’m also a hands-on learner, so the more I do something, the better. When I research it and do it myself, it helps me understand the “why” behind something rather than just knowing how to do it. If you’re watching somebody doing something, you’re following along step by step but you don’t necessarily realize the benefits or what it can do or why you’re doing it.
How do you find balance when it comes to increased workload?
I’m able to take things one step at a time. Some people can get overwhelmed when there’s so much going on, but I’m able to break it down into smaller tasks and take them as they come. All of our task lists are long, but it’s really just realizing you literally have to take it to the chopping block, one task at a time, one step at a time. Sooner or later, you’re going to get to where you need to be and you’ve finished everything you need to do. Taking the first step is the most important thing and not having “analysis paralysis.” If you get trapped doing so much research, you may not be able to get started because you’re afraid you’re going to do it wrong.
Do you have any advice for young professionals coming up, especially in digital marketing?
Always be open to learning and always take the initiative to move forward. Don’t get stagnant. Once you feel like you’re in a safe spot, go forward. Don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable because that’s how you grow, not just in digital marketing, but in life. Being uncomfortable is where you realize who you are and what you can do, and you’re able to maximize your potential as much as possible.
Also, know your value. People might still think of interns as the people who get the coffee. Don’t let that happen. Show them you want to do something more and show your worth.