What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?



By Matt O’Brien

Oh those famous words heard a thousand times by countless kids everyday. So what did you say when you were asked? A Doctor? A Lawyer? What about a search engine marketer? The first two maybe but search engine marketer no way. I wanted to be an archeologist myself (thanks to Indiana Jones of course), but I never even heard of a search engine marketer before.

When I graduated from college I was hopelessly lost as to what I wanted to do with my life. Then one fateful day I saw an ad online for a company that was looking for something called a search engine marketer. I was very intrigued by the idea, even though I had no clue what I’d be doing. I always wanted to get a job where I could get to use the internet a lot and I also wanted to get into marketing or advertising. Boy did I luck out when I got hired; it was like a dream come true. I don’t know a lot of people who love their job but I can honestly say that I’m one of the lucky ones.

I want to be right in the middle of the internet marketing explosion and I don’t want to leave. I dream about keyword variations & ad testing. I wait in line and think about my online competitors and how I can beat them. Sure doctors and lawyers usually make more money but that’s just not for me. When I’m asked what I do for a living, I’m proud to say I’m a search engine marketer. Then the person usually says “A what?� and then I have to try and explain it to them. But that’s just fine by me. Not a lot of people do what we do my friends and that’s what makes the job so special.

Thanks to the speed of the internet a new world has opened up for the kids that get asked that very question today. Sure they still have the opportunity to save lives and defend the innocent but who wants to do that anymore? Yahoo Panama is live now, why would you want to be stuck in a courtroom at a time like this?

The next generation of search marketing professionals are the kids who get asked that age old question I mentioned earlier. Lucky for them there is a wealth of information out there nowadays to get them started, my job didn’t even exist when I was young. For these kids the wonderful world of internet marketing is out there and waiting for them. Hopefully they still won’t be met with blank stares after they tell someone what they do for a living.

It would really make my day if I asked a school kid what they wanted to be when they grew up and they told me a search engine marketer. I would tell them that they made an excellent choice and that they should give me a call if they need some help with the Google Advertising Professionals Exam. The way it looks now, that day might come sooner than I thought; seems like every kid is online these days.

If any of you reading this has kids or know somebody that does don’t forget to mention to them that the world of internet marketing has a lot to offer them. To be a doctor you have to go to school for like eight years. Do you know how many clients you could have racked up in that time? It’s a no-brainer if you ask me.

[The above article is a submission for Marketing Pilgrim’s Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest. Each Monday in October, entries will be published and the most popular article of the week will qualify for the $5,000 grand prize. If you’d like to submit an entry, please view the contest entry-requirements and guidelines.]