How volunteering for a company leads to your full-time role!

During this blog series, we talk to accomplished digital marketing professionals from a variety of backgrounds about their career journeys with the aim of inspiring job seekers, aspiring freelancers and the trailblazing entrepreneurs amongst you!

Martha is the Digital Communications and Projects Lead at Girls in Marketing, as well as a keen copywriter and freelance sub-editor. With a passion for words and a growing following on LinkedIn, Martha is on a mission to unpick the pressures around career progression and shed light on mental health in the workplace. Now onto the interview!

Over to you Martha…

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an award-winning author with an entire bookcase in Waterstones dedicated to my own novels. (Five-year-old me was convinced I was next in line to be Jacqueline Wilson herself!) I have to say, there is still a big part of me that is manifesting this to happen. I think it is so important we continue to tap into the dreams of our inner child, and figure out a way to weave them into our adult lives.

What was your very first job?

My VERY first job was in a pub back home. Even in my grumpy teenage years, I did everything I could to gain work experience, put myself out there and earn a bit of cash. I’d wait on families eating their Sunday lunch and serve badly-poured pints. It was about a fiver an hour but I quickly made it my own. 

I’ve always been an advocate of starting work early, especially in hospitality or other customer-facing roles; I think it’s the best way to find your feet and grow your confidence!

How did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector?

While I knew I might not make the Sunday Times Bestseller List at the ripe old age of 18, I still wanted to give it a good shot so I studied Creative and Professional Writing at university. In several modules, the word marketing would come up over and over again. Our tutors had us writing leaflets, blogs, social media copy and even instructions manuals! (Riveting, I know.) It was at this point I realised I could monetise my love for writing without landing a million-dollar book deal… who’d have thought it?!

I developed these skills even further and began volunteering with Girls in Marketing – which eventually led to a full-time role in the marketing field.

Share a mistake you made or an event you regret from your career:

It’s still too early to tell. However, I will say that I rarely decline new opportunities. This sounds great in theory but it can lead to ending up in sticky situations. I have a habit of loading up my plate and occasionally regretting it later down the line, especially if it wasn’t the right fit. So to anyone who has a tendency to do the same thing, let’s learn how to say “no” together!

Jumping in a time machine, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

My biggest piece of advice to her would be this: stop worrying that you don’t do enough. Order a takeaway, chill out and don’t let the pressures of adulthood creep up on you too early. You’re allowed to be lazy if you want to be. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

What industry skill do you wish you’d learned sooner and why?

Copywriting came to me naturally but learning how to navigate technical tools didn’t. I wish there was an opportunity to experiment with marketing platforms sooner, and I’ve spoken to many graduates who feel the same way too!

Who are you inspired by in the digital marketing industry?

I think women like Olivia Hanlon, Sophie Cross and Lea Turner are all doing amazing things and carving their own career paths. They are all absolutely powerhouses and have turned their passions into flourishing and exciting careers!

If you were to publish an autobiography in 20 years time, what would it be titled?

Ah, is my moment is finally here?! My working title would have to be: Swings and Roundabouts!

What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?

I’d love to be remembered for bringing people comfort and joy in a time when they feel a bit directionless. It would be lovely to be known for helping people in a time of need – whatever that looks like.

What subjects were you best at in school?

English! I was pretty banging average at everything else. Except for Maths and Physics… that was chaos on GCSE exam day.

Thank you, Martha, for taking part in this series. It’s always so nice to be able to share stories of marketers supporting others in the industry. We recommend everyone to follow Martha on social media and to learn more about her positive impact on the industry! 

Keep an eye out for more of the MOAM series as I regularly publish new editions from other inspiring digital experts.

Could your career story inspire others to further their digital marketing careers? Or, do you know someone whose story needs to be told? Get in touch with me directly via Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore your career options in digital marketing, visit our job board or upload your CV.