Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here
Close

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

The Modern Career Path: 8 Sales and Marketing Pros Explain How They Got Here

By John Becker

The Modern Career Path: 8 Sales and Marketing Pros Explain How They Got Here

My grandfather worked for the Long Island Railroad for 50 years. 

He started when he left school, and he rose through the ranks over the years, retiring with a healthy pension and a plaque commemorating his years of service. 

A few generations ago, this was a common story. You could find a job and work there until retirement, climbing along the way.

For most professionals today, their career path is anything but linear. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers today will hold more than 12 jobs over the course of their career — and that number keeps going up. 

And though you might once have been able to count on finding a position aligned with what you studied in school, that’s rarely the case today. Statistics show that there are clear financial benefits to completing a college degree, but only 27% of workers report that they use their degrees in their current jobs.  

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

The state of the modern career

So, what do modern careers in sales and marketing look like? How do professionals go from their first job hunt to managerial and leadership positions?

Below, you’ll hear eight different stories that describe eight very different paths, from traditional to one-of-a-kind.

For each, you’ll hear their current role, their career path story, and advice they’d give their younger selves if they could.

Like the statistics shared above, these folks have bounced around:

The diversity of these stories should yield one singular lesson: There are as many career paths as there are careers, and success is a product of determination and aptitude, along with a little luck thrown in. 

For the HR teams out there, you’ll find lessons too. Remember that anyone you hire is not done growing. They could find passions and develop expertise that neither of you anticipate. 

8 sales and marketing pros explain how they got here

Ready? Let's dive in and hear these stories, starting with Moby, a CEO from Australia.

1. Moby Siddique, CEO

Name and position: Moby Siddique, CEO

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes, I studied marketing and HR

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 5-8

Describe your career path: I fell in love with business studies at school because of my father, who was a trader. I studied marketing at college and found my way into digital marketing. I started out on the client side, but I felt like I didn’t totally understand the entire sphere of marketing, so I joined an agency. Eventually I got fed up with how the industry mistreated clients, and I wanted to do it better myself, so I started my own agency.

What advice would you give your younger self? Work across as many areas of marketing as possible (branding, paid, marketing automation). Don’t limit yourself in the extremes of working for only large corporates or small start-ups. Corporations give you exposure, but smaller companies force your skill development. Both are critical.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Having a mentor

2. Kevin Church, Director of Content SEO

Name and position: Kevin Church, Director of Content SEOKevin Church2

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes. Georgia State University; majored in English with a concentration in composition.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 5-8

Describe your career path: I discovered SEO in the very early days of the discipline (circa 2002) by cranking out copy for a content farm that provided backlinks to slightly shady "financial" websites. 

One day, I asked why we were doing what we were doing and started learning about keywords, semantic HTML, site structures, and from there, it took off. I worked at a small software firm doing SEO and customer support, and then doing just SEO for a large multinational gaming company before going freelance and getting really into the trenches. 

Vista hired me in 2015 and up until this year, I've been focused on in-house SEO. 

I am now at an agency helping them improve their content offerings to clients with an approach that thinks of the user first, and Google second.

What advice would you give your younger self? Be curious, but not too credulous. Stop chasing Google and go after the more important goal: helping the user.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Reading nonfiction outside of the business books I read for work. Learning how processes work in different disciplines (filmmaking, architecture, etc.) has really helped shake up how I approach my craft.

3. Doug DeMaio, Client Success Manager

Name and position: Doug DeMaio, Client Success Manager / Digital Marketing Freelancer

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes. I earned a degree in English (BA) and psychology (BA), as well as a master’s in education.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 5-8

Describe your career path: I started out wanting to write. I loved taking complicated ideas and making them simple. I studied English and psychology, and started working in education nonprofits. I made a switch to marketing while still working in a school. I realized that working in-house for a single school didn't have the trajectory I was looking for. Now I work for an agency, and I also manage my own clients outside of that.

What advice would you give your younger self? You know more than you think you do. Everyone has imposter syndrome. Just take one thing you know how to do well and sell it for more than you are making now.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Consuming and creating great content. I never took an actual college or grad course in marketing. I snatched up every free opportunity I could (shoutout, HubSpot Academy!), stacked certifications, and wrote about it every step of the way. 

Having an online presence and brand has helped me land clients, but it also helps me encode what I've learned so that I can draw on it more easily later on.

4. Brie Rangel, Chief Operating Officer

Name and position: Brie Rangel, Chief Operating Officer

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes. I studied journalism — specifically broadcast journalism. But I switched to advertising.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 5-8

Describe your career path: I started out as a graphic designer at a nonprofit, and then became the marketing director at the same nonprofit. This led me to be an agency account manager, then an agency director. Eventually I became services director, then COO.  

What advice would you give your younger self? Utilize networks to see what's possible. There's no way a 22-year-old knows what they want to do. Be curious and open-minded. Learn from others so you’re not always feeling like you have to figure it out on your own. Also, you could have kept the pink hair.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Taking big risks when I was in the position to do so and following my instinct. Whether things worked out or not, I always knew I'd learn more about myself and where to go next in the process.

5. Stephanie Baiocchi, Senior Director of Membership

Name and position: Stephanie Baiocchi, Senior Director of Membership

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes, Carthage College to study public relations and business, with a German minor.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 5-8

Describe your career path: I started out in entertainment booking and tourism because I love live events. I moved into marketing when the tour company I worked for got HubSpot and "gave it to the youngest person" they had. After using HubSpot for a few months I got the amazing opportunity to attend INBOUND. I met someone who ran an inbound marketing agency who offered me a job! I hopped between in-house and agency marketing for a bit before finding my current role.  

What advice would you give your younger self? Don't stay at a job you hate. Don't pass up a great opportunity. Even if people tell you not to change jobs so much, only you know when leaving makes sense. If it feels right, do it!

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Continuing to stay savvy with key software while always networking and building relationships with new people.

6. Ramona Sukhraj, Director of Content

Name and position: Ramona Sukhraj, Director of Content Ramona-Sukhraj-2022-square

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? I went to UConn and studied marketing at the school of business.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 2-4

Describe your career path: I graduated into the Great Recession and was told I’d never get a job in marketing; that I’d have to start in sales, but that’s not what I was passionate about, so I didn't back down. 

I applied for dozens of jobs and saw no luck. I started to get discouraged, but instead of losing hope, I got creative. While I spent months applying at large corporations, I eventually took a position as an unpaid marketing and PR intern at a nonprofit performing arts center. I learned scrappy but valuable traditional skills that serve me to this day, like writing press releases and event marketing. I also had the freedom to experiment with newer mediums like social media and blogging. 

From there, my first full-time position was at a small SaaS company. Shortly after that I moved on to an agency where I started as a marketing intern. Over the years I worked my way up to an account strategist before moving into the agency’s internal marketing and finding my passion in content. 

What advice would you give your younger self? No experience is too small. While I wouldn't go back and take "any job" like so many people were advising me, I would have opened up to different opportunities. Marketing is such a versatile field. You don't need to hold out for the full-time, corporate gig to get great experience to start building your resume.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Volunteer experience. While it may not be financially feasible for all, looking for a volunteer or unpaid opportunity for the weekends or in your free time may help you grow your skills dramatically and build your network. 

7. Jason Linde, Senior Growth Manager

Name and position: Jason Linde, Senior Growth Manager

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? I did. I studied design and visual communications

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 2-4

Describe your career path: My career has been 100% driven by my passions. There have been many "fork in the road" moments where I chose a path based on interests I’d developed along the way. At each step, I kept growing my skills within those passions.

What advice would you give your younger self? Don't be afraid to go bold and take those bigger leaps.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? My thirst for knowledge. I’ve always been keenly interested in understanding exactly how things work in my space. 

8. Jordan Benjamin, Channel Sales Manager

Name and position: Jordan Benjamin, Channel Sales Manager

Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? Yes. I studied international business administration and management.

How many different companies have you worked for in your career? 2-4

Describe your career path: I started out as a BDR making 100 cold calls a day. Next, I moved into an account executive role where I was more focused on closing deals. Today I work as a liaison between a SaaS platform and our partner businesses, helping them sell our product to their clients in ways that benefit all parties.

What advice would you give your younger self? Be curious. Take time to reflect and learn what's working and where you can improve.

What’s one thing that’s benefitted your growth? Getting comfortable hearing “no” and not taking it personally. The quicker you hear no, the faster you can move on to a deal more likely to close.

8 stories — and a million more

At IMPACT we tell our clients all the time: Hire for passion, energy, intelligence, and coachability

In many cases, your new hire doesn’t need industry experience to be successful. Instead, that outsider perspective can be valuable. Sometimes it is only someone from outside a field who can bring a fresh perspective and ask the right questions.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help businesses hire the right people to improve their sales and marketing, you can speak with our strategists to see what’s possible

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Recent Articles

The Modern Career Path: 8 Sales and Marketing Pros Explain How They Got Here
October 17, 2022 • 7 min read
13 Women in Marketing, Sales, and Business You Need to Follow
March 12, 2022 • 9 min read
21 Women on What It’s Like to Work in Marketing (Original Research)
March 2, 2021 • 9 min read
Women leaders: Here's how you can go on maternity leave and return, smoothly
November 20, 2020 • 13 min read
Gender equality in the workplace starts with company culture [Infographic]
June 21, 2020 • 3 min read
I Didn’t Want To Write About Being a Female C-level Executive, but Here I Am
May 21, 2020 • 6 min read
18 Tweets About Women’s Equality You Need to Read Today
August 26, 2019 • 4 min read
Practicing Mindfulness Amid Chaos [MarketHer]
August 14, 2019 • 2 min read
Mindfulness for Non-Meditators [MarketHer Ep. 63]
July 31, 2019 • 3 min read
I Sat in Silence for the First Time & Here Is What Happened [MarketHer]
July 24, 2019 • 4 min read
How Detoxing Your Life Can Improve its Quality [MarketHer]
July 17, 2019 • 4 min read
How Silence Can Change Your Life [MarketHer Ep. 61]
July 10, 2019 • 2 min read
Commitment To New Routines Takes Practice [MarketHer Ep. 60]
July 3, 2019 • 2 min read
How a Teacher-Turned-Business Owner Found Her Calling Through Mindful Meditation [MarketHer Ep. 59]
June 26, 2019 • 3 min read
Burnout: Why Ignoring it Was a Mistake & What I Did (Too Late) [MarketHer Ep. 58]
June 19, 2019 • 5 min read
Mindful Meditation is Not Easy. Tips from Chris Duprey on How He Got Started! [MarketHer Ep. 57]
June 12, 2019 • 2 min read
Mindfulness: Why it's Our New Theme in Life and at Work This Summer [MarketHer Ep. 56]
June 5, 2019 • 3 min read
How to Land Your Dream Job Despite The Challenges Life Throws at You! [MarketHer Ep. 55]
May 29, 2019 • 2 min read
Tips for Women to Succeed in a Male-Dominated Industry with Kim Walker [MarketHer Ep. 54]
May 22, 2019 • 2 min read
How Opportunities Can Arise in Big and Small Ways [MarketHer Ep. 53]
May 15, 2019 • 1 min read
When to Seize the Opportunity & Start a Business ft. Anna Russell from Tomboy Design [MarketHer Ep. 52]
May 8, 2019 • 2 min read
The "Not-so-fine" Art of Juggling it All [MarketHer]
May 1, 2019 • 4 min read
How to Control Your Future & Career as a Military Spouse [MarketHer Ep. 51]
April 24, 2019 • 5 min read
MarketHer & Liz Murphy - Find out What Juicy Content Advice Liz Has for You Today! [MarketHer Ep. 50]
April 17, 2019 • 1 min read
MarketHer is BACK and talking about Opportunities! [MarketHer Ep. 49]
April 10, 2019 • 3 min read