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How To Break Through In Your Industry

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No matter what career field you’re in, there are several tried and true ways to break through in your industry. There’s no definite step-by-step process, but I can give you five ways that will help you break through, show your skills and pay dividends.

Get as much experience as you can — paid or unpaid.

When I was interning at a small agency in Dallas, I started to handle the social media for several of our clients’ accounts. I didn’t take any social media classes in college, so I felt like I knew NOTHING about social media besides posting my #ootd on my personal accounts. So I took the initiative and asked the local gym where I had a membership to let me handle their Twitter account. The gym agreed, and I also got a special discount on my membership for doing so!

Continue to work on your communication skills — written and verbal.

I’m always trying to improve my writing skills, especially since I basically write content for a living! In order to do so without forgetting or putting it to the side, I subscribe to a free service called Daily Page that emails me prompts every morning so that it’s the first thing I do when I get into the office. This habit has helped me practice. It’s extremely helpful because most of the prompts are fun and easy; so it encourages my brain to think creatively and not freeze up. As for practicing my verbal skills, I go to a lot of networking events with the Career Management Center and with several groups outside of work. When I’m there, I try to do three things to improve my verbal skills when I meet people — make eye contact, repeat the person’s name back to them and learn at least one thing about them so I can remember to bring it up in conversation next time I see that person.

Always network — no matter where you are.

Whether you’re in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, on the plane, at an event or at an industry networking event, always be open to making connections. You never really know who you are going to meet next who may help land you the job of your dreams. I met a lady sitting next to me on the plane one time who was a production artist on movie sets! We still keep in contact today, and she has helped mentor my artist friend.

Market yourself as the industry expert — even if you don’t think you are.

Someone out there right now is marketing her - or himself - as the best in your industry. Even if they really aren’t the best, perception is reality. Start by marketing yourself as the best and then believe in that vision. It’s like the law of physics. It’s also the main idea of a book I’ve been reading. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale. Basically, the author suggests that if you create the image of success in your head, you’re already halfway there. All you have to do is execute.

Practice, study and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Improve your technical skills by practicing, reading up on industry articles and watching webinars. I subscribe to several industry blogs that go directly to my inbox so I can read up on tips whenever I get the chance. I also try to attend at least one panel a month to keep up with new ideas and trends. There are unlimited ways to practice your skills; you just have to find the time to attend and then implement them in your routine.

With these steps, you can get closer and closer to the industry professional you’ve set out to become.. But the two things you must have in order to break through in your industry are passion and a genuine love for your career. As long as you have those, then your fears and worry will slowly fade away and you will look back and think of how much all that hard work was worth it!

Gaby Mokry

Gaby is pursuing her MS Marketing program at The Jindal School of Management. Before coming to UT Dallas, she gained experience at traditional and digital advertising agencies. She appreciates a freshly brewed cup of joe and spends her free time surrounding herself with creative projects, Netflix binges and biking on White Rock Lake. Read more articles

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