Career Development Groups by Marketers, for Marketers

“Marketer” is an umbrella term for a vast range of professionals across skillsets, industries and backgrounds. From interns to CMOs, we are copywriters, designers, fundraisers, analysts, creative-minded, business-minded and everywhere in between. (And yes, for those of us on a marketing team of one, we are all these things and more.)

As we advance in our careers, we come into leadership positions through tenure, initiative and results. Few of us have taken management classes or leadership courses. After all, marketing is constantly changing, and we’re used to learning by doing more than by being taught. And how do you plan for a career in a field that changes drastically every 5 or 10 years?

Starting in February 2023, AMA Chicago is expanding opportunities yet again to deliver career development groups – both led by certified coaches who are marketers themselves. In a small group of peers, you’ll develop career goals, identify your leadership style and build out the next steps in your career. Registration is open now – and at a significant discount over individual coaching.

“With our new career development groups, AMA Chicago is delivering on what Chicagoland marketers tell us they want,” said Leslie Marshall, AMA Chicago President. “Our chapter has always been a place to build your skills, expand your network and explore all that marketing entails. Now, we’re offering specific career development groups, targeted to your needs based on where you are in your career,  so that members can grow personally and professionally while learning from a certified coach and their peers. It’s the 360-degree learning that we’re all used to, built by and for marketers.”  

Professional Development for Early Career Marketers

Marketers in the first three to eight years of their career will be in a group led by Paula McLeod, CPCC, PCC. The group is built around gaining insight into strengths, weaknesses and values so that you can create a marketing career that is satisfying to you. Through group and individual work, members will better understand how their preferences make for a fulfilling work experience. The group is for people currently employed; it will not be focused on job searching skills. 

“You’ve gotten a taste of the work world, and now you are starting to figure out who you are at work and what you want to do about that. Our work will lean heavily on gaining self-awareness so that you have a strong foundation on which to build your leadership style.” – Paula McLeod, CPCC, PCC

This early career group serves marketers at a pivotal point; we’ve built a portfolio and experienced a job or two, but is it the best fit? As ever-learning professionals in an ever-changing field, many of us are hungry for more around this time.  

“I believe that people spend too much time at work to be unhappy and unfulfilled, so I want to help you find fulfillment and success,” said Paula. “The pace of change is never going to slow down – it’s only accelerating, as we’ve seen – so having a handle on what you want and where you want to go is important. Even more important is having the skills to continually understand yourself, the market, your strengths, and what’s important to you.”

This early career development group will kick off February 27 with a 90-minute Zoom meeting, then meet monthly via Zoom for an hour through September. In between meetings, group members will have fieldwork to complete. Everyone will also get a one-on-one session with Paula. And the group is limited to only 15 members.     

“Coaches are the secret weapon, and they don’t have to be a secret,” said Paula.  “When you tell a manager you’ve hired a coach, it shows you’re interested in your own development, and you’re not going to wait for your company to take care of it.”

Throughout, early career marketers will develop ideas of what workstyle, career path and niches work for them. That includes developing leadership skills that harness existing strengths, and essentials for any manager: giving and receiving feedback, staying networked and understanding how organizational goals impact your career aspirations.

Executive Development Group for Experienced Marketers

The second career development group is built for more seasoned marketers who want to grow their leadership. Led by Beryl Greenberg, CPCC (aka Coach Beryl), the “Up Your Leadership Executive Coaching Program” group will meet virtually over six months, starting with 1-hour meetings weekly and then moving to every other week. The program is limited to 12 participants.  

“As a marketer, you have a craft that you do really well, and you typically get acknowledged and promoted for doing your craft. But there aren’t as many resources for people to learn how to be a good leader in the marketing and advertising world. That is a gap that I fill. Imagine how much more you can love what you do when you feel like you have those leadership tools. Imagine the impact you can have, in an even bigger way.”  – Beryl Greenberg, CPCC

According to Beryl, there are countless reasons executive-level marketers seek out her coaching – both for their career and personal advancement. Throughout, she equips professionals to understand their unique strengths, understand the mindset of what works and what doesn’t, and develop new habits to be a successful leader.

“I am opening you up to new perspectives, and then you are going to feel more empowered, inspired and motivated to make some shifts to reach your goals,” said Beryl. In particular, when professionals are ready for more in their career, they’re also ready for more in their personal lives. Through coaching, group sharing and exercises, participants will learn how to feel more in control as they blend their personal and professional lives.”

Beryl uses the Positive Intelligence® framework, which includes a dedicated app with exercises in addition to the group coaching.

“First and foremost, you learn how to respond to challenges more thoughtfully both in your work and in your personal life. That alone transcends everything you do,” said Beryl. “As a result, you will manage stress in a different way and lessen the impact it has on you. You’ll feel more in control of your work and your life. With that improved self-confidence, you will be able to lean into your natural, authentic leadership stance.”

The goals of the program are focused on honing your leadership, with byproducts of increased productivity, better collaboration, stronger relationships, and optimized use of your team resources.  

Professional Development with Marketers in Mind

When AMA Chicago says something is by and for marketers, we mean it. Both the early career and experienced groups are developed with busy schedules, tight budgets and a desire to learn in mind. That means:

  • Virtual Meetings. All meetings are held via Zoom to save travel time, and both programs offer dedicated Slack channels for ongoing connection. (The executive group will first connect via an app, then Slack.)
  • Diverse Peers. Groups are segmented by career experience, but not specialty. Each will include professionals from a range of industries and skillsets, so you’re learning new things from each other and building a diverse network.
  • Marketing Experts. Both Beryl and Paula are former marketers who specialize in coaching marketers. Their guidance isn’t general – it’s specific to our work, career trajectories and needs.
  • Small Groups. These groups are limited (15 early career marketers, 12 executives) to hit the sweet spot of group learning and individual sharing.
  • Discounts & Membership. This is a unique opportunity to experience career and executive coaching on a group scale – with group pricing discounts that put this career development opportunity within reach. Plus, registration for either group includes 12 months of AMA Chicago membership. (For existing members, that means 12 months added to your current expiration date.)

Development of this new program is led by AMA Chicago Board Member at Large Josh Blacksmith, who is the Senior Director – Global Consumer Relationships and Engagement at Kimberly-Clark. From the start, the vision was clear.

“We’re starting with these two groups, and we expect to keep growing AMA Chicago’s offerings around mentorship, coaching and career development,” said Blacksmith. “As ever, AMA Chicago will deliver cutting-edge knowledge-sharing led by the professionals, thought leaders and experts in marketing – including our coaches.”

Beryl agrees. “There’s a lot of magic about being in a group because of the shared experiences and normalization of challenges. You learn so much from each other and share ideas,” she said.

“Over the eight months of this program, there will be a lot of development and change,” said Paula. “I intend for this group to be a supportive cohort of people who can lean on each other and network from the get-go – and for years to come.”

Register now to invest in and grow your career 

Registration is open now for both career development groups, which will begin on Monday, February 27. Pricing ranges from $595 to $3,900 and includes 12 months of membership in the American Marketing Association Chicago Chapter. Spacing is limited, and registration is first-come, first-served. Learn more and apply.

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