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A study released by named marketing as one of the worst fields to go into. In fact, two of the top ten unhappiest jobs in America are marketing positions. I find this statistic tremendously hard to take in, though. Why? Because I’m an affiliate marketing manager, and I love my job!

Why are marketing folks unhappy?

To understand why other marketing managers and directors feel so discouraged in their professions, I decided to do a little research. Through my digging, I uncovered two universal reasons which make marketers question their career choices:

Reason #1. Too much going on at once

Most jobs are stressful, and marketing is no exception. Marketing managers and directors are responsible for uncovering new data while at the same time making sense of it and developing an actionable plan around it. Marketers spend hours on end testing, tracking, graphing, and then testing some more, oftentimes only to discover that their original hypothesis was incorrect. Then it’s back to square one!

It’s not hard to see why this process can quickly become frustrating and have you asking yourself why you got into marketing in the first place. The best advice I have for these disgruntled marketers is simple: organize everything, keep all of your current projects on a digital calendar (along with deadlines), and never lose sight of the end goal.

I stress the importance of organization because, as I have learned in the realm of affiliate marketing, managers literally have thousands of partners with whom they need to keep up. Just as an accountant would use a digital filing system for her clients’ finances or a traveling salesman would employ expense tracking software to get reimbursed on trips, it is vital that affiliate marketers use the tools of the trade to stay in touch and stay organized. 

Without knowing what and when things need to get done, it is all too easy to become overwhelmed and fall behind. One of the best tools I have come across to organize and track my marketing efforts is Trello ( I highly recommend it to anyone who likes visual references to track their progress. We use Trello at Shoeboxed, and it’s helped the entire marketing team be more organized and more efficient.

Reason #2. Not knowing the boundaries of their job description 

The second issue which may lead marketers astray is the fact that the profession literally encompasses almost every facet of the business spectrum. Those of us in the marketing department must work with the sales team, the product development team, and the finance department to gauge where they need to focus our efforts. 

Without some sort of group collaboration, marketers will become overwhelmed as they’re pulled in 10 different directions and end up working on projects that might ultimately not be helping them move towards achieving their larger goal.

To prevent this, my advice is to employ the use of all-hands-on-deck meetings and weekly team updates to get everyone on the same page. Having such a unique role within the marketing department, I can attest firsthand to the benefits of simply chatting with my colleagues about what each of us is working on. 

Small and medium-sized business owners routinely schedule accounting and business development updates so they can ensure that everything is running smoothly. Marketing managers should do the same thing. Not only will this help them determine what they need to do, but it will also guarantee that their efforts are aligned with those of other departments. Without some sort of collaborative meeting schedule, a marketer’s job can quickly turn from a stressful one into a full-out nail-biter.

So what?

Even with the stigma surrounding marketing, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Getting in a good routine of tracking campaign efforts and working with other teams to achieve a common goal will go a long way in alleviating stress. 

Marketers uncover invaluable information, but it is all meaningless unless there are other people to contribute to how it is used. Marketing is about being collaborative, working together, and being the glue that holds the other departments together. The marketers who hate their jobs are the ones who work for companies that think their marketing departments should operate independently. In my experience, marketers are only happy when they can successfully perform their jobs, and that can only be achieved if they are provided with an inclusive environment where they can thrive.