Everyday I tend to receive quite a few LinkedIn requests, and besides the usual assortment, there is a rise in the number of requests pertaining to jobs and potential vacancies, and not only from within the country but externally as well.
For most Marketers right now, the profession is going through a low period, with many executives and professionals on the lookout for new opportunities mostly due to redundancies.
Marketing is a sensitive profession, and by that I mean it is a field which acts as a barometer of the overall economy. When business is good or on the uptake, there is an increase in demand for marketing professionals who can create a demand, brand awareness and overall promotion of a product due to higher disposable incomes; and vice versa when the economy is not so great, marketing is one of the first fields to be impacted. This is not to be confused for Sales, which is a different job function. In fact, with fewer marketing professionals in an organization, there is an increase for ‘sales’ professionals, where the idea is that direct selling would be more effective in moments of financial straits, especially since it is seen as direct action, and execution. This is a logic, I have not be able to come to terms with. Marketing is for awareness, which acts as a catalyst for sales. With limited awareness, the sales cycle is longer and increasingly dependent on return business and direct referrals. In fact in moments of reduced business, an increase in marketing expenditure and the retention of marketing professionals is exactly what is needed to keep a business afloat.
There is also an underlying logic, that costs can be reduced by letting go of management and senior management, which on paper is definitely true. But the twist is that, these management positions are ‘downgraded’ and replaced by executives, coordinators and junior staff to do the same level of work, in the same capacity with less resources, not just monetary but with less experience and knowledge as well of what needs to be done. Most professionals at this level, are either still learning or used to following direction. So is this the best direction for growth? I am not sure. But in saying that, I have to make a point that I do know some exceptionally talented executives who do an amazing job of keeping the department afloat and who know how to get things done.
There is also another trend where jobs are being ‘outsourced’ to agencies, while retaining coordinators to well co-ordinate. This seems like a sensible option, where you can get the best of both worlds. However anyone who has worked with an agency would know, that while they are extremely talented, especially when it comes to execution, they require a certain level of direction especially when it comes to business priorities. So you do require people on client side who in tune with the business to assist in these activities or it maybe not the best use of resources.
I have been on the lookout myself for a new opportunity, have been on quite a few interviews, and met with recruiters but these are challenging times and it has not been easy to be placed. Below is some of the feedback I have received, as well as my out of my own experience.
There are few roles available in the market, but it is not very clear on the type of people required, so in short to sum it up, you are expected to be the director, manager and executive rolled up in one, but also at the pay level of an executive with the designation of manager. Now, I may sound like it’s all about the money, but it’s not. I love what I do, and am dedicated to my work, but at the same time you would want to receive a salary which is also fair, keeping in mind market and economic conditions of course. Due to desperation, there are a lot of senior management who are applying for more junior roles, so as to keep working. I can understand this, but this is used as justification or reasoning why you need to be ‘more flexible’ in your own job selection. Then is the actual role itself. There are ‘digital’ roles where you do traditional, events, PR as well as digital. This is quite a load. When I have asked why is this the case, the answer is that they want someone with a strong digital background hence the title, however you are still a marketing manager. Now digital itself is a full time job, especially, as true digital enthusiasts know it’s not just about marketing but the entire digital process. In my previous roles, I have been 100% digital and I have also been Digital with everything, and they both have their pros and cons. Being entirely in digital makes you extremely focused but you tend to lose sight of the bigger picture, while being involved with everything gives you better end to end control however you cannot go into as much detail as you would like. To be honest there are very few organizations which are looking for pure digital roles, while pure traditional roles are possible. And of course finally, to get placed in a company and organization you like, where you can grow and develop as well.
Now you might say, Fel, you’re in search of the Holy Grail but that was not the point of this post. As I mentioned I have met with several people & recruiters, some of told me what I was looking for was feasible, while others not so much. There have been instances where I so close to getting something I wanted and then it falling apart, while in some cases I got what I wanted but it was certainly not what I expected. The point of this was not to rant about the job situation in the market, but instead so you may have a better idea of what the actual situation is, and you can make your own decision on what is the right path for you.
Do you have any experiences which you would like to share?