Whether you work in public relations, marketing, event planning, or social media, you have what sounds like one of the most glamorous, cushy jobs around. After all, you get paid to be on Facebook all day, while your peers have to creep on their ex when they think their boss isn’t looking. To outsiders, it looks like your life consists of attending fabulous parties, restaurant openings, and just being a very important and connected person in general, which you obviously are. In reality, your FOMO is out of control because you spend your entire life on the interwebs, it would take a small army to separate you from your smartphone, and you have a ridiculous amount of trouble disconnecting from your job at the end of the day because Facebook follows you home.
Here are the five worst things about working in the marketing realm:
1. There’s a new social media platform introduced every second.
If you want to feel old and out of touch while convincing other people you’re hip, marketing is the field for you. I felt my most ancient when a client’s niece, who was in college (a place I left only very recently), told me that people in her generation didn’t even use Facebook anymore. This little nugget looked at me like I was as out of touch as her grandmother. Unless you’re writing for Mashable or checking your Twitter feed without stopping to sleep, eat, or live, you’re never going to always know the newest and best way to stalk people, promote your product, or experience FOMO. Plus, everything changes faster than you can stay updated. By the time you finish reading this post, the rules on Facebook will already have changed again.
2. Your clients don’t always understand social media.
The older generation realizes that social media is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean they understand what it is. While the client is always right, that doesn’t mean they actually are. The e-blast you send out for them shouldn’t double as an informational Christmas letter about their whole family (pictures included), and no one wants 10 posts in a single day invading their Facebook feed from a single source, whether it’s a person or a company. While you understand the basics of online promotion because you’re a human who grew up in the social media age, it’s hard to explain to your extremely out of touch superiors when they’re deranged, delusional, and just plain wrong. It’s even harder to field calls from clients asking about their personal Facebook pages, because at a certain point you get tired of explaining how to accept a friend request.
3. It’s not a 9 to 5.
The anonymity of the Internet makes people go rogue. Oddly enough, deleting some douchebag’s comment on Facebook is not what you have in mind for a Saturday night. Unfortunately, your boss and clients probably don’t want some rando dissing your latest post using expletives you didn’t even know existed, which means you have to take valuable time off from drinking to login to Facebook, Twitter, or some social media platform that no one even uses(*COUGH* FourSquare *COUGH*). Because the magic of the internet allows posts to go out on the weekends, your work is never really done. Unfortunately, unlike your boss who’s making the big bucks, and your clients who own a business and therefore have to care, when it comes to the weekend, once you start drinking they don’t pay you enough to stay logged in, mentally or physically.
4. If you promote it, they still might not come.
Sadly, this isn’t a baseball field in rural Iowa, and if you build a party that doesn’t mean that people will show up to it, as fabulous as you make it sound. In the real world, “likes” do not like equal RSVP’s. One of the easiest events I’ve ever planned and promoted was at a strip club, where a partygoer described it as “the most elegant event she’ll ever attend,” without sarcasm. While it was easy enough encouraging people to watch naked ladies take the stage while I (metaphorically) poured free champagne down their gullets, it can be harder to get people to go to an event that even you don’t want to attend. Same goes for sending out a press release—you can write it, but that doesn’t mean anyone will pick it up, especially if you live in a city with actual crime occurring. Strangely enough, no one will want to run your vodka pickle cocktail special when there are murderers on the loose, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it the old college try, one Cision contact at a time.
5. Adults have no idea what you do.
The lack of understanding from your elders means that you have to explain your occupation in-depth to anyone over the age of 35. While people in most professions can say what they do and end it on that, you have to explain that yes, being a Facebook professional is a job that exists. While it sounds made-up, someone does pay you cash money to do it, so you can’t really complain.