Tania is a New Zealand based Marketing and Communications consultant who is passionate about the environment, staying fit and healthy, and giving back. Having realised her passion for marketing while completing a business degree at University, she has gained experience in a range of industries, countries, and positions, shaping her into the marketer she is today.
Tania shares about her career journey to date, how she has made small pivots rather than large transitions, all while finding joy in the small moments along the way.
In 2-3 sentences, please tell us a little about you!
I grew up in a small Northland town, lived in the UK and the US briefly, and I’m now based in Auckland. I’m currently working as a marketing and communications freelancer as I love the variety and freedom it gives me.
Why did you sign up to be a part of OneUpOneDown?
I love helping people and was looking for a way to give back. There are so many talented young women out there who might not have the support that they need to take them the next level in their careers so I see this as a way to help the next generation step forward.
What does success mean to you? How do you align with your definition at the moment?
This changes all the time, depending on what my goals are. Having an impact on the world around me and finding joy in what I do have been front and centre for a long time. I’ve recently purchased an apartment, so I now have some big financial goals. Success isn’t one thing, it needs to evolve with you as you grow.
What prompted you to pursue the career you’re in now?
I was doing a business degree and wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. When I took the first-year marketing paper, I loved the concept and decided that was the path I wanted to go down. I was working full time while I was studying, so I moved into a marketing team as a personal assistant which gave me great exposure to the industry. It also helped me step into my first marketing manager role while completing my degree.
How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I don’t know how I articulated it at the time, but the way I see it now is I love helping organisations achieve their goals. I love solving problems and I see marketing as the gap between whatever an organisation is creating and its audience. I love helping organisations get their story out there.
Have you made any big transitions or changes in your career? What were they? How did you do it?
No big transitions, but a lot of small pivots. I’ve worked in lots of different industries, different countries, different positions. I think it’s made me well-rounded and I can work in a lot of different roles and organisations. The “how” is sometimes harder. Often, people want to hire someone who has experience in a certain industry so it can be hard to break into them. I’ve done a lot of work for free to gain experience in the environmental space as that’s what I’m passionate about and I don’t mind investing my time in worthy causes.
What is something that has been particularly challenging throughout your career?
At times, I’ve struggled to find work that I find meaningful. I want to be doing work that is making big shifts in the culture, improving people’s lives and moving society forward. What I’ve learnt is to see the glimmers of this in any organisation. A building company is creating warm, dry homes. A bank is providing finance for businesses to grow. There’s always a different perspective you can take to see the meaning in an organisation.
What have been your go-to tools and strategies to overcome challenging experiences or people in your career?
Meditation is a big one. It has subtly increased my calmness and ability to cope with challenges. It’s not a quick fix but it’s worth investing the time and energy in. It also helps with keeping calm and forging into difficult conversations that I would naturally to avoid.
What is one personal or professional skill you’re working on at the moment and why?
Knowing my worth and defining exactly how I can support businesses. I find it challenging to describe what I do as I am a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and will tackle all sorts of problems or tasks.
What is something you wish you’d known when you were first starting out in your career?
That it’s okay to not have it all figured out. I knew people who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their careers and they headed out into the world with what looked like a high level of confidence. I never had that and sort of just took things as they came, which felt like the wrong way to approach life. But it’s worked out well.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone navigating their own career?
Whatever challenge you’re facing now, see what you can learn from it. Whether it’s a difficult manager, demanding environment or low inspiration. Nothing is ever perfect, but if you can focus on the potential learnings in the experience, you’ll come away having grown.
OneUpOneDown is a network of driven women, passionate about connecting, learning, and growing through mentorship. Join us!
Marisa Sires was most recently the Vice President of Product and Innovation at agile workspace company Hana. She’s also a OneUpOneDown...Read More