Student Spotlight: Turning a Leap of Faith Into a Whole New Calling

If there’s one truth we see illustrated over and over again, it’s that money doesn’t generate happiness. Opting out of a high-paying job to follow your true calling doesn’t always lead to a better payday, but it’s rarely met with regret. It’s a matter of perspective—follow your passions and the rest will follow. Ewort Atkinson personifies this truth perfectly. The digital marketing professional, business owner, and instructor was making good money as a manager at a Jamaican telecom company, but he was unsatisfied with the work.

Atkinson’s determination was buoyed by a simple but powerful quote from the late entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn, who said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.” He knew he really wanted to change careers and do something that excited him, so he found a way by pursuing the skills he needed online.

This is the story of how Atkinson made a 180-degree shift from working an unfilling role in the telecom industry to mastering the world of digital marketing, eventually starting his own business, and even teaching what he has learned to others. Simplilearn’s coursework in digital marketing, taught by some of today’s industry leaders, provided the spark that ignited his dramatic transformation as a professional.

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The Challenge: Embracing an Entirely New Domain

Atkinson worked a number of different jobs early in his career, most notably a series of management and executive roles with FIMI Investments Jamaica Ltd., where he worked on marketing and sales strategies for the telecommunications company. In 2016, after more than a year as a Group General Manager for FIMI, he noticed that there was a serious and deepening technology skills gap at the company. To fill this gap, they started recruiting expats from overseas who had access to these new technologies.

Looking at FIMI’s trajectory while considering his own motivations and career goals, Atkinson decided to shake things up and explore other opportunities. He already had substantial marketing experience, but realized that digital marketing was the way of the future. He also found it fascinating and envisioned himself in that role. Although he knew he needed formal training in the latest digital marketing tools and trends, he wasn’t able to find adequate educational resources in Jamaica.

In his effort to get up to speed, Atkinson read everything he could get his hands on, including Avinash Kaushik’s influential Occam’s Razor digital marketing blog. It just so happens that Kaushik is also an instructor for Simplilearn, which he occasionally mentioned on his blog. Atkinson dug a little deeper by researching Simplilearn’s digital marketing course offerings and saw that they included live, online classes taught by some of the leading experts in the field.

He was intrigued with how rich and immersive an online training program could be and knew he had found the right solution to help him pursue his digital marketing ambitions.

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The Simplilearn Solution: Getting a World-Class Digital Marketing Education Online

As Atksinson and countless other professionals have discovered, you don’t need to live near a university or college to get a world-class education. Also, given the rapid development of technology and its various applications in business, savvy professionals know that learning is a lifelong pursuit. If you’re already putting in hours at the office, enrolling in an online program that provides flexibility for working professionals is the best way to enhance your skills.

His initial goal was to learn general digital marketing theories and obtain some practical knowledge to supplement his marketing experience. Atkinson was particularly impressed with the quality and expertise of the instructors, including the classes taught by Kaushik (whose blog initially led him to Simplilearn) and the instructor who taught him about pay-per-click (PPC).   

The more Atkinson learned about digital marketing, the more he wanted to learn. Eventually, he racked up nine certifications from Simplilearn between 2016 and 2017, covering everything from content marketing and conversion optimization to social media and PPC. Being able to complete his coursework while holding down his day job was key, although he had to make a few sacrifices along the way, such as cutting back on leisure time at the beach and playing basketball with friends (although he says COVID-19 has all but put an end to these activities for now). 

After completing his coursework and receiving his certifications, however, Atkinson was ready to completely reinvent his career.

The Results: Enjoying a Satisfying Career and Teaching Others 

To say that Atkinson had a positive learning experience with Simplilearn would be an understatement. He got a job in digital marketing shortly after completing his courses and eventually started his own full-service digital marketing company, Kinson Digital Hub, which took on six clients in Jamaica, the United States, and Canada. He still reads everything he can about the latest developments in digital marketing, in addition to attending webinars. 

While he continues to learn something new every day, he also is sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. Not only did he start a digital training hub to help fellow Jamaicans learn about digital marketing, he also became an instructor at two Jamaican universities—digital marketing at Northern Caribbean University and digital entrepreneurship at the University of Technology, Jamaica

While it wasn’t necessarily the case a few years ago, when he first embraced digital marketing, Atkinson said the domain is now booming in Jamaica. Getting ahead of the curve turned out to be fortuitous for the confident and hard-working professional. His long-term career goals include scaling his business to provide 360-degree digital marketing services and becoming “the Avinash [Kaushik] of the Caribbean.” 

Atkinson’s advice to other professionals is to aspire for greatness by embracing lifelong learning and upgrading your skills on a regular basis. He said Simplilearn not only helped him attain knowledge and increase his income, but also created more balance in his life. His achievements are a testament to the importance of following your passions instead of simply erring on the side of familiarity.

Do you want to master the essential disciplines in digital marketing? Check out the Digital Marketing Specialist course now!

Follow Your True Calling and Get Certified Today

Whether you need to enhance and update the latest skills in your current profession or want to chart an entirely new path, a world-class education in the latest technology and business trends are accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection. Simplilearn’s unique Blended Learning approach combines live, instructor-led classes with hands-on projects and self-guided tutorials for an effective learning experience. Learn about Simplilearn’s many offerings, beginning with the basics of Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program, and the Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing in partnership with Purdue University, and get on the right track today.

About the Author

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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