Forum › White Hat SEO › How do I go from zero to working as an SEO professional? What has been your experience? › Reply To: How do I go from zero to working as an SEO professional? What has been your experience?
After graduating with my BBA in ’15 I started as a e-commerce sales rep with a consumer electronics distributor for a year and a half. Then I saw they had a copywriting position open in their marketing department, so I interviewed and got that job. That’s where I first learned about SEO. Then I decided that the blend of IT+copywriting could be really flexible in the future. So I started taking Google Ad courses and SEMrush courses to learn and get some qualifications to bolster my resume.
After a couple months of that I started searching for entry level SEO positions. I got lucky and got called in to be interviewed for an SEO Specialist position with another local consumer electronics distributor/ manufacturer who had never made a focused effort towards SEO. I got to learn a lot and got some good experience doing some menial SEO work while still learning about more technical SEO work. After a year in I started getting the same taste of corporate atmosphere that I got from my copywriter position, so I started looking for a new job.
My next hiring would be for an SEO Manager role at a n SEO agency. I knew I was underqualified for the position and the CEO knew that as well, but they decided to hire me. I pretty much just wanted the experience. That was a shit show with the CEO having me be responsible for all SEO work for 17 clients, which all needed around 3-5 pages of weekly reporting each, with insights. These ranged from the food industry and auto dealers to attorneys and medical dispensaries.
I did that for about 89 days until I got fired for the first time. However, I would have to stay up till 2am on Friday nights to finish my reporting and was insanely stressed from the position, so I took it pretty lightly. I learned a bit, but mainly about looking for red flags in jobs haha. A couple days before I got fired I overheard the CEO demanding that her assistant/copywriter do one of her other employee night class homework because he forgot about it and she needed him working. Nucking futs. When she called me in for a surprise meeting with the execs on a Friday morning, I was caught off guard. I was already dreading the Friday reporting with every fiber of my being, so when they called me in and said that they appreciate the work and effort that I’ve put in, but that effective today I am no longer an employee at their agency. I literally started full-on chuckling when she finished and I said, “Whew, that’s a relief. Thank you, I don’t know how much longer I could’ve done this. AND I get the Friday off AND I don’t have to do reporting?? Today’s a great day!” Lol I truly meant it too. I was very happy to be done with that place.
Next I got to my current position as an SEO Specialist for a precious metals mint/distributor. I’ve been here for a year now and I’m liking parts of it, but once again, bad management ruins the day. Our director of marketing isn’t very communicative with the rest of the department and likes to do work himself. He also controls the narrative of what work gets done and when for the execs that he reports to. There’s more to it, but I won’t bore you with the details. Long story short, expect to have a few shitty jobs and build your experience, but be on the lookout for red flags. One of the flags I missed with my current job is that the onboarding was a mess, with me having to figure a lot of it out on my own and still be learning new things about our company, months in.
I hope this helps. It may sound overwhelming, but the truth is that you don’t notice it when you’re busy living live. Sure it took a lot of stress and learning, but it didn’t feel like a huge mountain to climb when I just put one foot in front of the other and put emphasis on the words “one thing at a time”.