New Year’s Resolution: Career Bootcamp?

 With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, let’s take a minute to talk “bootcamps.” Not the type of bootcamp where you sweat your turkey dinners and eggnog off, but career boot camp.
I often refer to my three years reporting to the owners of a major Canadian Lifestyle brand as marketing boot camp. Yes, they worked me to death. Yes, they were eccentric and demanding. But, it was a two-way street. I used them too and am so grateful I had the chance! I was in a marketing bootcamp, with amazing colleagues in advertising, events, retail, and merchandising. I took everything they could offer and more. I learned so much.

I don’t remember wearing a blue bandana (ever) but this totally looks like me!

I do recommend the bootcamp approach because it can help you improve exponentially and you have nothing to lose in the grand scheme. According to a September 2018 report by the U.S. Bureau of of Labor Statistics, average job tenure for 25 to 34 year olds is 3.2 years, while management level is a bit longer at 5.5 years.
You likely have a very short time to work with these colleagues, selling this product or service. Why not eek every single drop of knowledge you can out of the experience? Go beyond. Ask questions. Push boundaries. It is likely you’ll be gone soon anyways, by your choice or theirs.
An interesting 2019 way to ease into your career bootcamp is to focus on the side-hustle. Take Chris Massad, a burgeoning beer connoisseur I read about on He felt he wasn’t progressing in his non-profit career but he loved weekend beer activities: brewing, tastings, pairings. At the encouragement of his family and friends he ramped up the side hustle learning as much as he could in a very short period. This lead to a contact from a local natural grocer looking to expand into the beer market. Now Chris’ side hustle is is real job.
Make 2019 the year of career bootcamp. It will help you grow exponentially. Good luck all!
-rich patterson

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