First year in PPC: Career advice for a tired SEM Analyst?

Forum White Hat SEO PPC First year in PPC: Career advice for a tired SEM Analyst?

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    Hey y’all,

    I usually don’t use Reddit for this kinda talk, but I feel like it would be good to get some advice from those much more experienced than I. Full disclosure, there’s a lot of venting that I just needed to burn off (tl;dr below).

    I’m a year into my first PPC job as an Associate Search Engine Analyst. I was fortunate enough to land a gig out of college, but to be honest I feel like I’m wasting the early years of my career at my current workplace.

    I work for an agency specialized in Pharma – the pay isn’t bad, but it doesn’t feel worth it considering I’m essentially working three jobs. I’m spread thin managing millions across SEM and Programmatic. I’m doing a ton of AdOps-related tasks, and barley have any time to actually do tasks my title is reserved for.

    The job demand screws with my mental/physical health and my brain is a pile of mush by the time I log off. My girlfriend has taken notice, and I barely have time for my hobbies/health. I knew what I was getting into with marketing, but I feel like this is overkill. My director never seems satisfied, so I never feel comfortable bringing this up; Half of my team is on Adderall and still struggling.

    I’ve applied to other places, but it’s tough explaining why I want to leave already. I had internships in paid social, SEM, and SEO before graduating college – I loved all of them, so it’s disappointing feeling like this. To be honest, I think I liked those experiences since I enjoy writing, project management, research, etc. But my skills in SEM are strong as well, they’re just kinda getting under-utilized here.

    tl;dr – PPC/Search job draining my life. What can I do next?

    Is this the normal? I’m totally fine with being told I’m not cut out – If that’s the case, what are some options for careers I could transfer skills toward?

    But if it’s not, I’d love to hear everyone else’s experiences or suggestions.



    Some…. read many…. ad agencies are sweatshops. They compete on price, take on tons of work and then have to under pay and under hire to even have a chance of making a profit. Working over time happens a lot….some agencies are way worse then others. Having to do any drugs, Adderall, alcohol…ect , is not a good sign at a job.

    I would try to keep applying to find a job that is better for you. I would just be honest when getting asked about why you want to switch. You realized you love X more and don’t enjoy Y as much. Also you want to feel less over worked and tired all the time. Any place… ad agency or in-house… will value this honesty and not want you to feel like mush at the end of the day all the time.


    Hey bud, sounds like a toxic work environment. Unfortunately, most people deal with that for the start of their career because the bigger houses want someone with proven years.

    If you’re already managing millions of dollars you could find a job as an in house media manager. If I was hiring someone for your job and they told me they didn’t like that level of work demand, I’d totally understand. Not all companies are like that. Good luck, I think you’ll do well but yo u need a better org.


    This happened to me! My first job out of college was as a PPC Specialist and I hated my life. I only made it for four months and was lucky to find a better job. Working in-house is a lot better!

    Don’t give up on your job search. I’ve felt hopeless before and thought about switching careers entirely but 5 years later I am working at a Fortune 500 company doing paid search and paid social and some web and I am a lot happier!

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