The mistakes that stop marketers reaching the top

It would be nice to have a foolproof manual for succeeding at work, wouldn’t it? A handy list of dos and don’ts to ensure you make it right to the board.

I spotted two separate articles last week identifying the mistakes and bad habits that may prevent you from succeeding.

Firstly, there was an article on entitled How young marketers can stand out to get on which contained good advice for anyone embarking on – or already enjoying – a career in marketing.

The section that caught my eye listed the mistakes that marketers claim prevent them from reaching the top of an organisation. They identified the five biggest as:

  1. Underselling marketing
  2. No curiosity about the rest of the business
  3. Not bringing diversity to teams and boards
  4. Not working on personal brand
  5. Risk averse

If this is true – and I believe it is an accurate list – then it’s a good way of evaluating whether you are likely to be advancing or stalling your career by consistently making one or more these mistakes.

It’s also a handy anti-checklist for any young marketer who is approaching a new position or, indeed, looking to progress in a current one.

Later that same day, Twitter alerted me to an article on about the ‘work habits to avoid in order to get ahead’.



While many of them were fairly obvious, such as poor time keeping and negativity, it was a good reminder of how important things like being flexible, tenacious and dressing professionally really are.

It’s easy to slip into bad habits but it can – sometimes – be just as easy to put things right.

While mistakes will be made and we will each discover what our individual strengths and weaknesses are along the way, it’s always comforting to have a couple of checklists in your back pocket to keep you moving in the right direction.


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