First Time No. 5: Get an SEO Corporate Job

Yep! You read the title right! I just got my first corporate work! Wuhoo! Actually, it has been about 2 months already since I was hired and started working.  Have been really busy with all the adjustments, trainings and lessons that I had to take up that I find my self exhausted after a day’s work, or let’s blame the darn traffic.

So, what do I do?

I am currently working as a Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Specialist in Makati, Philippines for an IT/SEO/SEM Company where I will be on a training period for 6 months. Along with my team, we take the position of Web Promoters who basically do intensive internet marketing for a company’s website wherein our ulitmate goals are to drive traffic and eventually to get conversions from the website. As of now, our client base are e-commerce websites of a Gadgets and Laptop Repair and Recycling facility in the United States. And it is our job to make the websites known by the search engines or simply appear on Google’s or Bing’s first search result pages (ideally first 10 results) when a searcher ques in certain keywords that we target for the sites.

Is this really my first Job?

Surprisingly at my age (I’m one of the 90s babies – btw, best era ever!), yes. This would be my first time to work on a corporate setting wherein I get to an office, sit in front of a computer and be on the internet for 8 hours, be with co-workers and accomplish assigned task, report to bosses and all those stuff.

So what have I been doing all these years?

Technically, I have been working as a freelancer for 5 long years (and still am). I have a lot of sideline jobs and businesses – do printed personalized t-shirts, button pins, mugs and other stuff; get hired playing with my band as an acoustic choir for weddings; wedding supplier of souvenirs; and as a part-time agent for a lights and fixtures company and I have been managing my own online business of personalized perfumes and personal care products where I did internet marketing. I even used to have a food business with my friends. I’ve been doing these stuffs simultaneously and I’ve been making good money (and still am) with all these endeavors plus, I get to take control my time at my own pace. I’ve been my own Boss for a very long time.

Why get a job then?

We all have reasons why we do things. Mine is really personal. The main reason why I didn’t apply for a regular job back then was I wanted to take care of my mom who’s been diagnosed with an ailment since 2003. Sadly, she passed away November 25 of last year (had the saddest Christmas and New Year). But even before she was alive, she was pushing me to look for a regular job – I was just really stubborn and wanted not to leave her side and make a living doing freelance jobs and strive my way on having my own businesses. Now that she’s gone, it has really been tough for me and my family.

I think getting a regular job would help me divert my energies and be more productive. Not that I want to forget but I know this was what she really wanted me to have – a more stable future, learn new skills, meet new people and explore what life has to offer.

Why an SEO Job?

As I’ve said, I have been managing my business for 5 years now, and one of the major things that I have been doing is marketing it online. I have been doing a lot of web promoting but only last year that I have learned about the concept of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (late bloomer here). Little did I know that I was already practicing SEO and SEM so I wanted to learn the proper way of doing things. I downloaded lots of e-books, read a lot of tutorials, watched a lot of videos, read numerous blogs, followed a lot of internet marketing gurus, attended several seminars and all other stuffs and tried to self-teach myself. I learned a handful though but I caught myself overly loaded with the information. Then I just realized that SEO/SEM cannot be learned overnight with some occasional tutorials and how-to-do-seo tutorial e-books; and that it is a vast chunk of knowledge you need to learn theoretically and practice manually on your own site. Doing SEO is a skill and not a trick.

Celebrated my birthday in the office! Pizza Overload! First time to use Pizza Hut's Palm Card.
Celebrated my birthday in the office! Pizza Overload! First time to use Pizza Hut’s Palm Card.

And so with the circumstances and life changes that I’ve had, I realized that one of the best ways to learn SEO is to do SEO – to work as an SEO specialist. It’s the best time for the best plan! It’s like hitting a flock of birds with a single stone – 1) I get to learn new skill; 2) meet new friends and expand my social circles; 3) share and learn experiences with other individuals; and the best part of it 4) get paid – what more can I ask for?!

And how did I land on this job without a prior related “corporate” working experience?

Looking for a job is hard, specially that competition nowadays is serious and it gets tougher as new graduates migrate to the “real world”. There are also more experienced applicants vying for the same position – both as eager as you are to land that dream job. So imagine if you’re looking for a work where you don’t have enough professional background?

But ignorance and lack of experience should never be a reason if you really want something. Lack of skills? Then try to self-study. Lack of experience? Then practice what you learned. What I did was first to self-augment – I studied the field on my own and acquaint my self with the basic theories and practices that is needed for the position I was applying for. I attended different seminars both online and offline, read various books about the field. The deal is, you need to know what you want – at least on the very basic level of the theorical aspect of the job and try practicing what you have studied. If you don’t know anything about the position, you can’t expect companies to hire you and train you from the very basic. If you lack experience, at least try to gain knowledge on what the work is all about.

And the most important aspect (this is what my employer told me why they hired me) is showing them that despite you lack the corporate working experience and the ample skills and background, you are indeed very eager and determined to learn the skill more. But of course, be truthful to yourself and to the company as well! Don’t just say these “good words” to impress the hiring officer. You must really be open in learning and have that passion of self-development and learning new skills to be a better career person. And when you got in, be sure to live up with your words. Prove to them and to yourself that it was a right decision to be part of their team. That you’re not there just for the salary but to be part of the team where you could grow and share your ideas and experiences too.  Be an A Player the best way that you can!

And if you don’t get hired by one company, just keep on applying. It doesn’t mean that your less of a person if you didn’t make it. Maybe there’s something really meant for you out there. You just have to be persistent and determined – never give up! And don’t forget to pray! It may sound a little bit preachy but it helps a lot when you seek guidance from the Big Guy up there.

So how was it? How’s the first month of being an employee? Does it seem to be a routinary job?

On my first week, I had a lot of adjustments to make like waking up really early and engaging in the early morning traffic, keeping my self alert and awake for eight long hours sitting in front of a computer and reading a lot of manuals and tutorials on how things are done in the office. Plus I had to relate, socialize and somehow create a connection with new people. It was like the start of your first class in highschool. But these are all parts of the training and growth process. How you manage your time, deal with people and do things in the office would eventually affect how you live with your life in general. I am lucky that I have a very supportive team and a supervisor. They’re helping me learn the practices and strategies done in the office. My supervisor gave me reading materials which I would follow to better understand the skill.

Our Company celebrating its 2nd Year Anniversary! Food Overload!
Our Company celebrating its 2nd Year Anniversary! Food Overload!

Working for an Internet Marketing and SEO Company (I’m speaking for my company) is not a routinary type of job. As we all know, technology these days moves in a very fast paced momentum. What’s new today will be a classic one in just a few days. An upgrade today will be obsolete in a few months. Being in a highly technology-based industry, internet marketing company like ours needs to be on the look out on new trends and practices and should be able to cope up with these changes. A marketing strategy done today will be soon revised to adapt to these changes. That’s why Internet Marketing and SEO is a tiresome yet challenging career. It is ever evolving and a continuous learning discipline.

Points to Ponder

Learn to value and give importance on whatever you have right now – not all are given the such kind of opportunity.

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