Debra Robertson ProductionsMarketing Media Communications

Experience vs Qualifications

What makes a good marketer, media or communications specialist?

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This is a good question. Qualifications can certainly open doors but are they essential to the end result?

Of course, I think a university degree in marketing/ business etc., comes in handy. That is to help you get started and structured. However, I did not formally study for a marketing, communications, media or business degree. Neither did many others I have found but I would still recommend training. Because it is an excellent way to open doors into your field through work experience. And I value higher education, being a former academic myself (from the arts). I have coached interns from universities during my time in other companies (in marketing and other disciplines). I also had the pleasure of hosting a university undergraduate within my own business here in Sweden last year. It was a great experience - for both of us - and I was just as interested in the life experience of my intern, as I was in what she was studying.

Life experience combined with technical and on the ground experience - to me that is where the value lies. However, between qualifications and experience, I believe that most people thrive when they bring their whole self to the table.

Staying open is key also. So communication skills are incredibly important and to be a great communicator it is important to be self aware and self confident in who you are. To own yourself as you are and be open about your strenghts and limitations as a human being.

Know that *who* you are is valuable

. Know that your personal character holds equal value to *what* you can do - technically.

Why I put equal importance on both, is because I believe that creativity does not exist without our whole personal force behind us. It is that whole of life experience that sets one specialist apart from the other.

That means, have pride in your life’s journey. Everyone starts somewhere. I enjoy listening to people’s stories. Not just what they have done on a resume, but how they have met challenges. How they have travelled through work and life experiences. How they managed to get from A to J and then back to C with a bit of A.

By engaging with others, we also learn. It is through our significant relationships with others that we grow

I think that is a great expression, whovever first said it. That is what I can now see in my own career path, a mix of planned and happenstance experiences that involved some very significant relationships with others that are unique to me. Without this experience/relationship dynamic, I doubt that growth and creativity is possible. It is the personal aspect however that emerges as the foundation. Being grounded, with high levels of self awareness and self acceptance. I believe this makes someone very attractive, for people to want to spend time with you, for clients to want to employ or work with you. These are the attributes of emotional intelligence, which go a long way in how you relate to others and enjoy the best possible fruits of a relationship.

Skills are important but I am equally interested in people who bring their own authenticity with them, who are able to be emotionally and socially available because that is where the *feel* and ideas for great content lies.

- Debra Robertson

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