052: Tracy’s Tale of Transition from Corporate to Creative Marketing (Office Hours)
On this special Office Hours episode, we are talking with Tracy about making a grand career change. After nearly a decade of working, after achieving a doctorate in physical therapy, Tracy transitioned to freelance work in marketing. Listen in to hear how she faced the questions, both from others and herself, the imposter syndrome, and the challenges of starting a new career.
An Optidge “Office Hours” Episode
Our Office Hours episodes are your go-to for details, how-to’s, and advice on specific marketing topics. Join our fellow Optidge team members, and sometimes even 1:1 teachings from Danny himself, in these shorter, marketing-focused episodes every few weeks. Get ready to get marketing!
Key Points + Topics
- [01:45] Tracy graduated from Damon College (now Damon University) in 2013 with a doctorate in physical therapy. She then spent nearly the next decade working her way up the corporate ladder to a management position as director of rehab. Her worries about her career path started early. After about three years of working as a staff therapist, she realized she did not enjoy the work environment. She loved working with people and problem-solving, but she was beginning to have panic attacks at the thought of working this 9-5 for the rest of her career. She tried various “side hustles” like MLMs and Etsy shops to try and fulfill her creative leanings, but nothing worked. Then, she decided to try and advance to higher positions (climb the corporate ladder) in hopes of those new roles giving her the satisfaction she craved. She finally admitted to herself that healthcare was not her passion. Then, the pandemic hit, and Tracy, along with many other 9-5ers) realized how much of an illusion “job security” in the corporate world truly was.
- [06:50] Before she officially transitioned from her corporate job, she certainly worked through all the usual doubts. The final straw that pushed her to make the jump was realizing, through the pandemic, that her job was no longer safe. She believes that God, fate, or the universe will put things in your path, not necessarily to test you, but to help you see what you truly want. After starting her freelance work, she got a call from her previous office, offering her old job back. Then she had to look at her future life and see which version of herself she wanted to move forward with. She recalls when she turned in her termination notice and how extremely excited and nervous she was. And how, for the next couple of weeks, she went through a bit of a grieving process for her previous profession. She’d been in the world of physical therapy and healthcare for over a decade, and she needed to process that loss. She knows she made the right choice. And, while she definitely misses some of her in-office friendships, she’s found new comradery in the digital marketing world.
- [10:05] There’s a concept in marketing that a consumer must see a product eight times before they make the decision to purchase. Tracy started speaking with other business owners and creative workers long before she left her PT work. That’s one of the great things about the ODEO program – it’s tailored to the needs and questions of people entering the digital marketing industry. Tracy knows how big of a difference it makes to have someone available to listen to your questions and give an honest response. Additionally, ODEO is one of the ways knowledge and training are far more available today than ten years ago. If you don’t have the “hard skills” for digital marketing, you can always learn it. And the soft skills you have from previous work, be that in an office or as a stay-at-home mom, can and do translate.
- [13:30] Many will think a university degree is necessary for working in marketing. Tracy admits her opinion might be a bit controversial. The longer she works, the more she believes that undergrad and graduate degrees aren’t all they were once cracked up to be. Though, doctors should probably still go to medical school. For other industries, there is now so much knowledge you can find outside of a classroom. ODEO is a perfect example of that. Additionally, with the plethora of conferences held today, networking and making connections are no longer relegated to formal degree programs.
- [15:50] “Just who do you think you are?” said the voice in Tracy’s head when she started to consider working in marketing. After working in one field for so long, getting an advanced degree, and working her way to middle management, it felt unimaginable that she would leave. Her parents were in the workforce at a time when you got set up with a company, maybe joined a union, and worked for that company your entire career. So, they were nervous for her but ultimately knew how determined and hardworking she was and were confident she could make it work. Tracy strongly encourages anyone else going through a similar transition to find someone who is or has gone through the same path as you. They should be a listening ear to help you express your worries without fear of judgment. She knows that judgment can come from many directions when making a shift like this. For people in your inner circle, make sure they feel heard and explain to them the incredible benefits and potential of the marketing industry and how your skills will translate. For people not in your inner circle, you’ll need to learn to draw boundaries for which opinions you will take in and which you won’t.
- [20:30] The practical and psychological implications of taking a large pay and title cut are a big thing to process. Tracy’s corporate salary was something her family relied on, so she made sure to save up a bit of a nest egg before leaving her job. She cut costs where she could build up those savings so it could supplement her income while she transitioned to freelance work. When it came to tackling the mindset piece, Tracy knew this new career path was the right choice for her, so she was willing to start a few rungs lower on the ladder to make that change. She also knows how much value companies and hiring managers see in people who just want to be of service and add value to the team.
- [28:00] Imposter syndrome is real, especially in those who are coming to a new industry later in their careers. One thing Tracy has found particularly helpful is to have an accountability buddy. This person can act as a sort of support to remind you of your achievements and talent when you begin to doubt. Another piece of advice she received from a previous coworker was, whenever the imposter syndrome gets particularly bad, to write out a list of all the accomplishments and skills you’ve grown since starting on this new path.
- [30:10] When starting a new career, you won’t have a list of projects, clients, and testimonials to leverage in interviews. When Tracy applied for her first job in marketing, she knew her job history would come up in the interview. So, she made sure to craft a powerful cover letter and create a custom two-minute introduction video using Canva that explained why she was a good fit for that company. In the interview, she made sure to stress her willingness to learn and how her skills from previous work would apply in this new position.
- [35:05] Now that she’s been “in the biz” for a few years now, Tracy has learned some pros and cons of working in the digital marketing space. She loves how every day of work is different from the last. In marketing, there are so many different angles to approach a problem. That dynamic environment, coupled with puzzles and problem-solving, is right up her alley. A challenge for her has been breaking out of the corporate mindset. When you’re one of thousands of employees of a large company, you operate in a different headspace. Now, she knows they’re all part of a team and are together, win or lose. She can have a quick chat with the owner and CEO about a new process to try, something that wouldn’t have been possible in the corporate world.
Guest + Episode Links
Danny Gavin Host 00:05
Hello everyone, I’m Danny Gavin, Founder of Optige, marketing Professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today’s guest is Tracy Murray, who is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Optige, and it’s a very special Office Hours episode. Tracy has been with us for almost two years. We’re excited to talk to her today because of her unique experiences with career change. She went from a corporate healthcare career as a director of rehabilitation and doctor of physical therapy to an independent contractor with her own business, working in marketing and operations, including with us here at Optige. Today, we’re going to be talking about transitioning to a marketing career from another field or later on in your career. How are you doing, Tracy?
Tracy Murray Guest 01:03
I’m good. Thank you so much for having me. It’s so nice, after being behind the scenes on producing for a while, to now actually get to sit in front of the camera.
Danny Gavin Host 01:12
Yeah, I don’t know why we didn’t include that in the intro. Tracy is the producer of the Digital Marketing Mentor and everyone should know that. We actually just won two awards for our work on the Digital Marketing Mentor the 19th annual Davey Awards. We won a gold for the complete podcast under the business podcast category and then we also won an award specifically for the episode with my uncle Louis a silver Davey for that. We’re all really excited here. Obviously, a lot of this has to do with the wonderful work that Tracy has done behind the scenes.
Tracy Murray Guest 01:40
We’ll count it without everybody else. It’s a team effort.
Danny Gavin Host 01:43
It’s always a team effort. Let’s jump into your educational and work background. How did you get here today?
Tracy Murray Guest 01:49
I originally graduated college back in 2013, from what was then Damon College it’s now Damon University with a doctorate of physical therapy, and then worked in the field oh gosh, probably nine years before making the transition to being an independent contractor and really finding a love of mixing marketing and operations together. I think, believe it or not, we got connected almost two years ago now.
Danny Gavin Host 02:22
Yeah, I don’t know where the time has flown. I just want to let people know Tracy is so thoughtful. Some of the gifts that she’s gotten me in the past have just been on point. She’s amazing, both transitioning but also just a thoughtful person all around. I wanted to give kudos for that. Let’s talk a little bit about your work as a staff therapist for seven years and then director of rehab. It’s crazy. You were managing a team of 24, thinking a team of 24, but yeah, it’s crazy. What did you enjoy? But what was the itch that moved you? You say, okay, I’m done with this.
Tracy Murray Guest 02:56
I would say the itch came early. I think part of it was I was so focused through school on let you pick your career and that’s what you learn about and that’s what you go into and that’s what you do. It was maybe about three years into being a staff therapist that I was like, oh boy, we have a problem. I love working with people, I love problems and creative problem solving, but I just did not love the environment that I was doing in a corporate environment, being in a nine to five, and realized I can’t do this forever. And it actually got to the point where I would have panic attacks thinking about I’m going to be doing this, stuck in this nine to five, for 40 more years. So that itch came early and I tried everything under the sun MLMs, etsy shops, writing and eventually it was like, okay, maybe if I just move up the corporate ladder, maybe that’ll solve it and that’ll give me what I want.
And I really loved a lot of my day to day, like team development and leadership. I love operations, starting to bring some of that marketing side. But again I just still felt so trapped by the confines of like that traditional work environment and with being where I was in healthcare. I could tell it wasn’t my passion. So those were kind of some of the things that I loved and didn’t love, and I think I really just stayed where I was because I was all those doubts and nerves that you have right making a big change. But then really, when the pandemic hit, I think I really realized, as many of us did, that the whole job security, stability is all just an illusion, that we, you know, tell ourselves our job is secure, and that really pushed me over the edge.
Danny Gavin Host 05:06
And that’s a little scary. Like you’ve never told me about that. You had panic attacks. I mean that’s serious and I guess it’s even scarier because, like you literally put a lot of time and effort into this, you get into it and like, oh my gosh, I really don’t like it. Like that’s pretty intense. I mean, did you at least have people to speak with, like, or did you keep it all inside?
Tracy Murray Guest 05:25
My husband is amazing. He has always been like that before there, like chase your dreams, we’ll figure it out, whatever you want to do. He went through the same thing. He’s no longer in physical therapy either, so he knew really where I was coming from. That was really, I think, when, like Instagram was really hitting its stride and starting to connect with all of these people that I had seen leave, like these, study corporate jobs and really create something completely different that direct support but then also kind of having I’m sure some of these people have no idea that I even exist, but they were part of, you know, my bigger support network.
Danny Gavin Host 06:11
Just something interesting. So I think I told you I went to a conference today and someone there was from HEB, which is a very big supermarket chain down here in Texas, and they were saying that during the three years after the pandemic they actually increased their work size by 50%. So what that means is right. So, like you know, if they had a hundred people then now they had 150 and a lot of hourly workers. It’s crazy, like that mass sort of exodus of these people who are like, ooh, I don’t need to do a corporate job anymore and let’s go and, you know, try something else and maybe I’ll work a couple hours in a grocery but then I can do something else here. And it’s pretty, pretty cool how those sort of opportunities opened up. How did you feel before, during and after making the transition from a traditional in-office job to a remote position in a new industry?
Tracy Murray Guest 06:55
So before I would say I had, you know, all those usual doubts and, like you said, what really pushed me over the edge was the pandemic and me personally, kind of that last straw was that my job was no longer safe. Like so many people, it was in question. You know, if this keeps going the way it is, a month, two months down the road, am I going to be employed”. So that was a big part of it and processing through that part first. So I’m getting over some of those doubts and it’s really funny, I think sometimes God, the universe, not tests us but puts things in our path to see what we truly want.
So I had actually gotten started this new career path, then got called back to my corporate job and they were like, just kidding, we actually still have a job for you. So went back for like two months and still kept doing this on the side until it got to the point where it was like, okay, I need to make a decision now. So it was really looking at, if I put myself 10 years in the future, which version of me and which version of my life is the one that I want to move forward with. So I think those were those big feelings that I was processing before it and then through that transition, and then when I made that decision and put in my notice, it was definitely one of those exciting but so nervous moments.
I remember the day that I was going into my resignation I was like I don’t know if I’m going to pass out on the way to the office because it’s all the emotions at once. And then afterwards it’s really interesting because as excited as you are about the new thing, this is also something maybe that you’ve known for a decade or for several years. So I actually, the first week after I left, it was almost kind of like a minor grieving process a little bit, which was really interesting. I was not expecting to feel any of that. But now, on the other side of it, about two years removed, two and a half, I tell people all the time you could not pay me to go back and give up a marketing career.
Danny Gavin Host 09:24
I’m sure with such a large team there must have been some relationships there which were hard to say goodbye to.
Tracy Murray Guest 09:30
Yeah, absolutely Really having that face-to-face and small team and working together in our department. But that’s also what translates so well to doing marketing and working for an agency or a company or a small business is that everybody’s still in it and we’re all either winning together or losing together. So losing that camaraderie was definitely hard, but it was very easy to find it again in the marketing world.
Danny Gavin Host 10:03
So did you talk to any other creative workers or marketers before you made the transition and if you did, do you remember any of the conversations that you had?
Tracy Murray Guest 10:12
I definitely did so. This was a long time coming, the transition, and I think it’s one of those things I don’t remember the exact phrase in sales of somebody has to see something eight times or nine times before they finally purchase. I had started to learn about this stuff and what kind of oh, that’s interesting, and then it would come back. So I ended up into a point where I started reaching out to people who were business owners or owners of horses, and that’s one of the things that I love and I’m sure you can see with creating ODO is you have such an understanding of people’s desires and really what their questions are, their doubts and what they need to help bridge that gap, and are so willing to take the time to chat with us and answer those things and really make us feel like we’re making the best decision and the most informed decision.
Danny Gavin Host 11:18
Yeah, I think it’s a beautiful thing about the marketing slash, creative industry. I mean, no matter where you’re at like whether it’s in the office, professional groups or, like you said, some of these courses, I just think it’s special. I think there’s people willing to reach out and help on every level.
Tracy Murray Guest 11:33
Yeah, absolutely, and I was saying that you reach out to, or students reach out to you, and you take time to answer those questions, and I think it is something that can make all the difference in the world.
Danny Gavin Host 11:45
If someone were to come to you with a similar story you know they’ve invested so much time and effort into a career, but they want to try something new and specifically marketing how would you counter their concerns?
Tracy Murray Guest 11:57
One of the big things now is we aren’t in the stage where we used to be 10, even five years ago in terms of knowledge, and there’s so much knowledge at our fingertips right, our phones are a computer that we have in our hands and can learn whatever it is that we need to in order to get the hard skills to where we need to go.
So I think that’s a big piece of when you hear those doubts of like oh yeah, but I don’t know if I have the skills to do it. You know there’s courses like Odeo. There’s so much that you can learn on YouTube and Google to get some of that hard knowledge down. And then really, a lot of those soft skills you either have that can transfer from, let’s say, a career you’re currently working in or, let’s say, you’re a stay-at-home mom. There are so many of those soft skills even just managing a household and managing all your kid’s schedules and school schedules and work schedules that translate directly into the type of work you’re going to be doing. Maybe that all translates into project management. I think that’s always my argument when I hear somebody that’s too nervous to take the lead because they don’t think they maybe know how to do the work.
Danny Gavin Host 13:28
Yeah, I think another question people have is they’ve never done marketing before. Doesn’t it seem like something you have to go to college or university for, or at least business school? It’s like don’t you need a degree for that? How can you do it without that?
Tracy Murray Guest 13:41
Absolutely. I know this may be a bit of a controversial opinion, but the older I get, the more that I do and see, the more I tend to lean on. College, and especially a graduate degree, isn’t as cracked up as it used to be, unless, of course, you’re going into that specific field, like a doctor should probably go to medical school. But I definitely think again, there’s just so much knowledge there that you can find it outside of a classroom. A perfect example is ODEO. I mean, you pack so much into that course that they would be learning in college for a fraction of the time and price without having to say okay, if I really want to change careers, I need to give up the next four years and go back to school.
Danny Gavin Host 14:43
Yeah, and I would say even some of the arguments when it comes to graduate degree is if you get your graduate degree and MBA, it’s like this group of people that you’re connecting with. But I would say, and I’m sure you can tell this, but through your, let’s say, courses or different certifications that you’ve done, I’m sure you’ve found your own community and people that you can talk to and relate with. So I think that you don’t need to get the degree, even for that. What do you think about that?
Tracy Murray Guest 15:07
Oh, 100%. I have connected and made such deep relationships with people online because it’s one of the good sides of social media today and I haven’t met them in person or another way. If somebody is worried about developing those connections, there are so many you were at one today. There are so many great conferences now that you can really take advantage of that and maybe going to one or two a year, even a community held conference or lunch and learn, can really start to build all of those connections without ever stepping foot into a classroom.
Danny Gavin Host 15:51
I think another concern that people have is and I think this was really real for you, right? I’ve been working in my field for 15 years could even be five years, or maybe you haven’t even worked in it all, but you just finished a four year degree in psychology and you just don’t want to do it. So when you’re involved in that, it’s where all of your connections are, your experience lies. How can I just start from square one? So how would you answer people?
Tracy Murray Guest 16:16
I definitely went through this. I mean, there was that voice in my head that was like, okay, and just, who do you think you are? Who’s going to give up six years of school, a doctorate? Like yes, it’s different than being like a medical doctor, but there’s still a connotation that comes with having a doctorate degree. You’re going to give that up? Okay, who do you think you are?
And I’ll preface this with I absolutely love to death my dad. His parents are the reason that I’m where I am today, and they grew up in a very different generation. They were born in the early 50s. So that was part of that doubt too, because they were, from the year, loyal to a company, to a union. You graduate school, you go into that job and, as long as it’s a secure job, that’s where you are forever. So I had to look at even, okay, how much of this mindset is mine and how much is it from all of the people in my world. So that was one of the big things that I had to work through and that’s where I really encourage people to find that person that can be that listening ear that can, without judgment, just let you kind of get it all off your chest and be that person that can really be your confidant. That definitely helps with sorting all of that out.
Danny Gavin Host 17:46
So how were your parents, when they found out about this change? Like? Were they up in arms, like what are you doing? So how did that conversation go?
Tracy Murray Guest 17:54
I think they were nervous and I’m sure there was a part of them that was like, oh, what is she doing? But along the same lines, I mean, they also knew that I’ve always kind of needed to be somebody who absolutely loved what I was doing. Combined with you know, I was going to figure out a way to make it work if I wanted it bad enough. But yeah, there were definitely some serious conversations.
Danny Gavin Host 18:24
But it sounds like overall, like they were in your corner. You sound like you have amazing parents. So the question is how would you coach someone to respond to a friend or family member who’s more like on the negative side? Right, they’re looking that, oh my gosh, you’re making a change in your career. It could affect your family life, it could you know who knows how stable this is going to be? Or they’re going to be saying like, oh, you don’t even know if you can do a good job. How would you coach them into dealing with that?
Tracy Murray Guest 18:51
So I think a part of that is kind of, you know, wiping clean that illusion. Like I think I said earlier, with the pandemic a lot of people thought like, yes, this is a secure job, it’s stable. You’re tossing that away. But kind of a lot of people realize, you know, it’s not as safe and stable as it was. So I think, kind of talking through with them about a career in marketing is growing. It’s one of the fastest growing fields. There is so much potential there. It is not going away anytime soon and is arguably more stable than other types of jobs or industries. So I think that’s part of it.
Those people who are in your inner circle, you know, your close friends, your family, who know you. It’s, of course, making sure they’re heard, because I think that’s part of it. They’re looking out for you. They don’t want to see you make a mistake. So it’s hearing them and really listening and not just, you know, getting defensive right away and then talking them through it and what your mindset is, what you’re planning to do. And then, of course, I think there’s the other side, especially now with social media, of people who aren’t in your inner circle and don’t know everything that’s going on and sometimes you know, you do have to draw that boundary of Okay, these opinions are not ones that I’m going to let affect me.
Danny Gavin Host 20:28
When people are looking to switch fields and go into digital marketing. I have quite a few people who, just like you, were in a previous situation for a long time whether it’s like an accountant for 10 years, or they might even a lawyer for five or 10 years and they’re used to making a certain salary six figures, even if it’s not six figures, but it’s going to be something significant, especially when you start up again brand new, whether it’s going to be a new job or whether it’s going to be being a freelancer. There’s going to be a sort of a cut right, a little bit of a cut, and starting from the bottom. Now, obviously it depends. Sometimes you can get into a new job where they see how much experience you have, and maybe you’ll get that bump. But especially, I guess even on the freelancer side of things, how did you deal with that and how can we help people see that, yes, you might have to start a little bit lower, but then you’re going to end up higher. So let’s chat through that a bit.
Tracy Murray Guest 21:18
That was definitely something that was a big concern or a thing to chat on for my family. My salary at my corporate job was a big factor and it was something we relied on, so it wasn’t just like, oh, it’s no big deal if this goes away so 100%. That was something we had to think through and one of the great tips that I had gotten when I was first thinking about all of this is, as much as you can to kind of try to build a little bit of a nest egg, which certainly in today’s world can be really difficult, but looking where you can cut things like that morning coffee run or that other time eating out, and where can you try and bank some of that and create this little egg so that when it comes time to leave you’re giving yourself a couple of weeks to get into the swing of things. If you’re going on your own to get some clients and some income coming in, and then it can at least supplement the first few months as you take a full-time job that maybe you take a pay cut, it can kind of supplement in there.
So that was one of the big things that really helped us. And then the other thing that helped me as well, being that I was going. The freelance route is that I looked at where can I kind of put things in while I’m still at my corporate job, so where can I maybe take on a smaller client here and there, and then that also gives you the benefit of learning as you’re going, so you’re not just jumping into having to learn at the same time as leaving your job. So that helped. But again, that was more of that freelance route on that second piece than taking a full-time position.
Danny Gavin Host 23:16
So I think those are really good practical pieces of advice. But what about the psychological side of things, where it’s kind of like, ooh, I’m worth this much and now I have to start more from the bottom? Did you have to wrestle with that at all? Or the desire to do this new career kind of overshadowed that?
Tracy Murray Guest 23:34
It absolutely was something and was from that thought of like, okay, I’ve worked my way up to that middle management role in a corporate environment and paid my dues and did the corporate ladder climb. So there certainly was that piece of okay. Now I’m kind of going back down, maybe not the first run, but several runs. But then I think at the end of the day it’s really number one, coming back to your why of why you’re doing this, and of course there’s going to be some of those compromises or sacrifices, but at the end of the day, if this is something you really want, it’s still a much better place than had you stayed where you were and stayed on that career path that just wasn’t fulfilling you or just was constantly banging up against the things that you needed to do and the flexibility you needed for your family. So certainly reminding the why was it?
And then I think the other piece was looking at the value add of like, yes, not jumping in at the same exact level and maybe having to take a pay cut or a title cut. But companies these days obviously have no good talent. We really want to hold on to that good talent. So if you’re just focused on I want to be of service and I want to really add value that is never going to go unnoticed in today’s workforce. So it’s something that, if you’re really adding that value and that experience, you could move up a lot quicker than maybe you had in a traditional corporate position.
Danny Gavin Host 25:23
And I’m so glad you mentioned that, because that’s really one of the points that I always tell people that when it comes to digital marketing, when it comes to marketing, your value is your experience. So as long as you, the more time you spend, the more notches you have on that belt, the more valuable you become and therefore you can rise that ladder. And I think what you’ve added more than I’ve ever thought about, is just like you said, if you’re there to serve, if not only are you getting experience but you’re valuable in an organization, people are going to want to keep you and they’re going to want to pay you well, and if they don’t, then there definitely will be another individual somewhere else who will see that. So I think, like you said, the opportunities to rise and to kind of increase your salary or increase the amount of money you’re bringing home can happen relatively quickly as long as you put yourself into it and gain that experience and do a great job.
Tracy Murray Guest 26:16
Yeah, so I think you nailed on another point there of it’s also looking at it. What are you learning when you’re in that role? How much extra knowledge gain are you getting while you’re working that, if you went and did it on your own, would end up being an expense for you.
Danny Gavin Host 26:35
Yeah, so in some ways, maybe you’re making a little bit less money, but you’re gaining this experience, which actually has a dollar value to it, so maybe you’re ending up higher than you really expected. So, now that you are doing marketing, are you leveraging your past experience or education and PT at all to help you?
Tracy Murray Guest 26:53
I am so much every single day, definitely on a lot of the management side, like problem solving, developing systems and processes and all of those skills, but then one of the big things of running such a big team is really learning how to take people and develop them. I heard a great quote the other day from a woman who runs an agency named Tiffany Soudar, and she was talking about leading leaders. I think that was a big thing. That translated over from what I used to do to what I do now. And that goes back to a great point for those people who are nervous about transferring skills is there’s so much that they are likely doing in their day or week now that, yeah, they may not look exactly the same, they may not be those same tasks, but the skills, the way they’re working with people, slide right into a marketing career.
Danny Gavin Host 28:01
So, even though I went to graduate school and studied marketing and also come from a marketing family, I still had imposter syndrome when I first started working in the industry, and obviously it pops in here and there as well. So I can only imagine how tense that must be for someone coming into the industry fresh from another discipline. How do you, or how did you, counter those thoughts in your own mind?
Tracy Murray Guest 28:23
It definitely was a thing. It’s a thing. Anytime I take on something new, there’s a little part of me like after we get off the call I’m like, yep, as soon as the Zoom goes away, that’s like okay, do I know how to do this? What do I do? So I think there’s always a part of that that stays with you and I think that is good. We need a little bit of that. We don’t run away with reckless abandon and make crazy changes or something like that.
But one of the things that really helped well, I’ll say there’s two. The first is finding an accountability or support person who has either done what you’ve done or is also going through it, that you can lean on each other or that can help you step away and realize you do have the capabilities. Then the second, I would say, is actually a piece of advice that I got from a past co-worker that was to really, if the imposter syndrome gets really bad, is to sit down and just write everything in bolded list of where you’ve come from, from where you started in the past, whether it’s year. Is this a new change you’ve made? When you look back on that list it’s like, wow, I actually did a lot. I can do a lot. It’s about calming that ego voice in your head, because at the end of the day, that voice is just trying to keep you safe. It’s not so much battling it as working through it.
Danny Gavin Host 30:07
Let’s take this a step further. Whenever you’re first beginning to pitch yourself whether it’s an employee looking for a job or as a contractor looking for new clients I’m sure people have concerns like what have you done this before? You might not necessarily have a book of references or testimonials in your back pocket or done a lot of work. How have you approached that? In India, we say a fresher, but how do you approach that?
Tracy Murray Guest 30:34
The first time that I faced it was trying to land that first client. I ended up working with a woman who runs a company helping agencies with operations and found her on a deed implied and then knew that this was likely going to come up in that job interview. My resume mentioned being in healthcare and this marking was a very far world away from that. I really leaned into those soft skills In my corporate job. I did a lot of hiring and I can tell you almost unanimously that hires will say we can teach the hard skills. It is much harder to teach those soft skills and to teach that personality in that fit.
I really leaned into and I’d give people that advice to really lean into some of those soft skills and make sure you at least touch upon that in the interviews and really let your personality come through. Then I of course made those comparisons. I’ve talked a few times about those transferring skills and this is what I did there and here’s how I think it would translate to working with you. Then the third piece is that I really talked about to you that I would be a fast learner. I am driven. I want to make this a success. I will figure out how to do all the things on my own and on my own time.
Danny Gavin Host 32:13
If you applied on Indeed, that means that either you had a really good cover letter or you had a special resume. Any tips on when it’s your first shot. What did you do to fit that marketing rule and kind of stand out from the crowd?
Tracy Murray Guest 32:27
I definitely created a cover letter. I am sure so many people are like, oh, because Indeed doesn’t make you do a cover letter or a lot of places don’t make you. But taking that extra time and showing that initiative and then one of the other things and it’s actually come up again with other clients. I went on Canva and instead of just a basic resume, I created a digital portfolio and then had a link that had like a two-minute intro video that I could customize each time to the job posting and just add it in. I think those are those little extra touches that show that somebody is willing to put in that extra effort just to talk to you. What are they going to do once there inside the company working with you?
Danny Gavin Host 33:26
Yeah, you just gotta make sure to switch out the video because you don’t want, like the, you know, the wrong video there. That could really mess things up. So, tracy, does it ever start to feel comfortable? When, if ever, did you finally feel settled and confident introducing yourself to new people? As, hey, I’m Tracy the marketing consultant, or Tracy the marketing strategist.
Tracy Murray Guest 33:46
It definitely took a while In the beginning. It would actually be. I would kind of say it and then I would kind of tell off and again, being such an amazing person, my husband would totally be like she’s amazing, this is what she does. And that really helped because then at some point I was like, okay, people are responding, well, I think I can do this right, I can put myself out there, and that really built that confidence. And I’m sure you may get this too, especially with people who are just looking into marketing, but what do you actually do? So I used to get a lot of those questions, a lot.
You know, I had like two former coworkers who looked at my LinkedIn and were like we love your LinkedIn, but I still don’t understand what you know, what do you actually do? That has really helped. The confidence is seeing that people are curious about it and how I can kind of give them, you know, a 30 second or two minute comparison to something they would understand. So I think that definitely building that confidence is seeing curiosity as opposed to like a judgment piece.
Danny Gavin Host 35:04
So what’s your favorite part of the job that you’re doing now, and then maybe, what’s one of the things that are a little bit more challenging?
Tracy Murray Guest 35:10
I absolutely love that no two days are the same.
There’s so many different angles that you can come at from something, different ways that you can look at a problem or, like different levels, you can dig in deeper.
So I just love that dynamic environment combined with the puzzle of figuring it all out. One of the challenging pieces interestingly enough for me has been breaking that corporate mindset. So corporate careers are great and there’s a different mindset when you’re working with a company who has thousands of employees, even if you have your small department that you’re working in, versus working with a company like an agency who maybe has 20, 30, 40 employees. So that was definitely a challenging piece of just breaking down that Like we really are all in it to win it or lose it together. I can easily chat with you and be like, hey, I think we could do this this time or we could make this improvement, and that’s just a world different from. You’re probably not going to be able to jump up 15 levels to talk to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company on Slack. So that was actually one of the biggest challenging things for me.
Danny Gavin Host 36:40
So it’s time for our lightning round I’d love to talk about. Your top three could be TV or movies, that either it could be all time favorites or something more recent, and if you have more than three, I’m happy to chat about it also.
Tracy Murray Guest 36:52
So I would say my favorite TV series with an asterisk by far and away was the Walking Dead, but the first five seasons I hate to say it, but I feel like it was one of those series that they had a good thing and they shouldn’t have ended it and kept going a little bit too long. But that is definitely my favorite TV series. And then for movies, I would say if I’m really in one of those like sci-fi or deep thinking moods it has to be the movie Interstellar with Matthew McConaughey. And then, if I want something just to laugh at, I am a huge fan of the old school John Candy movies. So like Uncle Buck Plains Trains and Automobiles, those types.
Danny Gavin Host 37:41
That’s amazing. And it’s funny cause he also was featured in Home Alone. I don’t know, most people don’t remember that.
Tracy Murray Guest 37:47
Yeah, is that? They’re like one little.
Danny Gavin Host 37:50
It’s like a one little snippet. He’s part of the Pope. So the mom I forgot her name, but Kevin’s mom like she can’t get a flight back. But there’s this guy in the airport and he’s like hey, we got this PokeBand and we got a drive to Chicago. He’s come with us. So yeah, so that’s my. I don’t think I’ve seen any other John Candy movies, but that’s where I know him from.
Tracy Murray Guest 38:09
Well, that’s not a bad movie to know him from. It’s one of the Christmas classics.
Danny Gavin Host 38:13
It really is, and I’ve got a couple of Kevin McAllister children in my house, so we can relate to Home Alone quite well here. Tracy, before we wrap up, what are you currently working on? What’s your next big project?
Tracy Murray Guest 38:26
I would say on my own. I’m really starting to play with all of my own marketing, getting my LinkedIn revamped and redoing my website. So getting to really play in that creative playground side is my project here toward the end of the year.
Danny Gavin Host 38:47
To do that right. When you start you don’t really know what you like right and what your goal is. So I’m sure now it’s fun because I’ve done this for a couple of years. I can really portray what I do and who I am, so I’m excited to see that that’s really exciting.
Tracy Murray Guest 39:01
I’ll let you know.
Danny Gavin Host 39:02
So where can listeners learn more about you and your business?
Tracy Murray Guest 39:06
So I’m on LinkedIn, so LinkedIncom slash Tracy Murray , creative services. And then I also am relatively active on Instagram, more like a kind of business meets life there. But that’s just at Instagramcom slash Tracy Lynn Murray .
Danny Gavin Host 39:25
And then do you also have a travel blog, or am I off?
Tracy Murray Guest 39:28
That is kind of what I am redoing. So that was one of those fields that I really tried and loved, but just don’t have the lifestyle to make that into a career. I’m actually kind of revamping all of that.
Danny Gavin Host 39:46
Well, Tracy, this has been so insightful. I think you’re such an inspiration to so many, like having this whole tower built, realizing it’s not for you and having the guts to step away and do something different and then actually be successful. It’s so awesome. It kind of just shows that path for so many others. So really this has been such an insightful conversation. Thank you for being our Guest on the Digital Marketing Mentor.
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