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Friday, 29 May 2015

Career Guest Post; Working in Marketing

Name: Leah


Industry: Marketing

Job Title: Head of Marketing & Business Development 

Brief description of job role and industry

I run a Marketing department for a multi-franchise car dealership, and the business development part of my role sees me manage commercial projects within the business. Over the years I have worked agency and client side, specialising in media buying, PPC and social media, but I'm now happy heading up a team that cover most aspects of Marketing.

An average day consists of... 

Most of the time I'm in meetings, approving artwork, making decisions and speaking with my team to make sure everything is running smoothly, not to mention the mound of emails I have to get through each day and reply to. Throw in external meetings (so some travel required), award ceremonies, presentations, meeting with my MD, networking lunches, interviewing and taste testing chocolate and you can see it's pretty varied job!

Career progression

The levels will vary from company to company and the type of Marketing you want to do. But as a guide for general Marketing you would be looking at:

Marketing Assistant
Marketing Executive
Senior Marketing Executive
Marketing Manager
Head of Marketing/ Marketing Director

Qualifications/experience required

Most Marketing roles now days do require you to have a degree and sometimes a CIM (Certificate In Marketing) too. However, I don't have either so don't be disheartened if you want to get into Marketing and don't have the formal qualifications - it just means you have to work that little bit harder to get your foot in the door. If you don't have a degree and really want to get into Marketing then you can do a CIM part time. Your qualifications and experience will dictate what level you can go in at, but if you are starting out then I would definitely recommend you give this a go.

Best tip to crack the industry

Never give up! Marketing is a very competitive industry and it seems every graduate I speak to wants to be a Marketer. As I said, I don't have the formal qualifications, so I had to get to my position through hard work and recommendations. Because of this I don't always look for a degree/ CIM when I am recruiting - although this depends what level I'm recruiting for. For me, being proactive, dedicated, hard working and a quick leaner is more important than a qualification, as ultimately I can teach you Marketing, but I've learnt over the years that you can't teach someone to work their butt off! If you don't have the qualifications and find that you aren't getting anywhere when applying for jobs try looking for Marketing roles in small to medium size companies, as they aren't always so strict about the qualification criteria as some of the bigger PLC's. 

Best thing about my job

My team definitely make my job. I've always said that you are only as good as the people you work with, and my team are all fantastic at what they do. Each of them specialise in their own area - online marketing, graphic design, analysing data, social media, email marketing and so on... It's my job to have a good understanding of every field to be able to make decisions, but also to utilise their strengths and knowledge in order to make it happen and make sure the detail is correct.

Worst thing about my job

I absolutely love my job and I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that there isn't anything "bad" about it. Although what I would say is that Marketing is one of those jobs where everyone has an opinion. Quite often there isn't a right or wrong, especially when it comes to things like design, yet everyone has their own opinion and thinks they are right. This can mean that you find yourself having to justify your decisions a lot of the time, but I like a challenge, so that isn't such a bad thing :-) 

Keep an eye on my Blog as I will soon be writing a more detailed beginners guide on "How To Get Into Marketing".

Thanks for reading
Leah x


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Career Guest Post; Working in Fashion Retail

Name: Adele

Industry: Fashion Retail

Job Title: Sales Assistant and Visual Merchandiser

Brief Description

Working as a sales assistant, daily tasks include exceptional customer service (we have the best in town!), replenishment of stock, planning for upcoming launches and working with a great team. It is never as easy as it looks and there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make the customers experience the best possible.

An average day consists of

The day can start as early as 6am or as late as 1pm. If you start before the shop opens you have to count the money into the tills, tidy the shop floor and put out stock if required. When the shop is open, it is focused on the customers always. You end up running about like a headless chicken to find exactly what theyre after. Im personally in charge of windows so I will normally update a couple of items in the windows to reflect best sellers and what the company wants to show off. Every day is completely different which is reflected on the team youre working with and the day very much depends on the customers you get through the door!

Career Progression

In all honesty you need to be enthusiastic and keep every day. You need to be food at what you do and voice to your manager that you want to progress. It is really all down to experience.

Qualifications/Experience Needed

Some experience in retail or customer service roles are required. If you are starting out you need to be very passionate when applying for the role. Absolutely no qualifications are needed.

Best Tip To Crack The Industry

Always be passionate, particularly when applying for the job and at your interview. Also Ive found that being very customer focused has landed me several jobs.

Best Thing About My Job

I do the windows for a top 10 store in the country and when they turn out amazing, its the best feeling in the world! I also love it when a customer has had a good experience and returns to the store.

Worst Thing About My Job

When the shop is quiet and theres not a lot to do! Also starting at 6am (its ok though because Starbucks opens at 5am to give me breakfast!) or when we have launch nights and have to stay as late as 3am.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Career Guest Post; Working in Banking/Finance

Name: Laura F

Industry: Banking/Finance

Job Title: Counter Manager

Brief Description

Be a Support for the Cashiers and others colleagues in the branch day to day, control the branch money and act as a first point of contact for any issues or problems.

Average Day

Without going into too much details and boring you all I: Open up, deal with queries, cover lunches, deal with customers, have several cups of tea/coffee, stress when something complicated lands on my desk. answer the phone several times, email lots of people and respond to emails, sort the office and the other members of the team then finally close up and drive home. If i shared any more with you, I would see a few yawns so I don't want to whittle on, but most people probably think the job is straight forward and we just open up give out cash and close again but its much, much more.

Career progression

You could go down different routes. The last role I did was opening new products for customers and servicing existing products. Now I am a manager my natural progression route would be to move into a more senior Managerial role with an exceptional amount of hard work and persistence. This is the route I intend to go down but you could move into Mortgage Advising or working in a head office role which is soooo different to being with customers day to day.

Qualifications or Experience required

I started working in banking straight after college after I left with 3A's. I had no experience other than customer service work from working in shops since I was 16. I would say my outstanding quality that gained me my job would be my ability to talk ALOT! I am blessed with being able to talk about almost anything and finding out a lot about people. I have 5.5 years experience now which has helped with my current role in terms of managing people and a banking qualification which I gained 18 months ago.

Best tip to crack the industry 

I would say you need to be a people person and work really hard to prove yourself. I'm only 24 but I would like to think I have a lot of respect from my colleagues and team that I wouldn't change for the world.

Best thing about my job

Satisfaction when you have done a job well done and get lovely feedback from other colleagues or customers.

Worst thing about my job

Having a bad day or a day when customers get annoyed a lot. It's not always your fault but unfortunately the people in branches take the worst of it, but most people point out they aren't getting angry with you, they are just frustrated!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Utilities Analyst

Name: Antonia 


Industry: Utilities

Job Title: Senior power pricing analyst 

Brief description of job role and industry

I work for a power company supplying I&C customers. I am responsible for the pricing of all embedded generation sites, looking at their hedging activity verses there consumption & exporting levels ... I also deal with all pricing elements that make up a customers invoice. I look at consumption and generating patterns. (I am not responsible for the high energy prices - a definitely downside when trying to explain my job) A world away from blogging right

An average day consists of... 

Whilst I have a monthly routine my days vary and are often filled with meetings of some variety. I have reports to generate daily which a very detailed orientated so attention to detail is paramount. I also keep an eye on what going on within the industry and government changes that could impact prices, power tariffs and the like. Energy patterns and their price implications are also a big part of my job 

Career progression 

There is loads! So much experience to gain. I have moved around the business a little and the knowledge and experience I have gained along the way helps me with the role I have now. It also makes me aware of what's going on in the industry. But there's many areas to get involved in

Qualifications/experience required 

Experience is one of those things that is definitely desired but not necessarily essential it depends on the role. Qualifications - whilst I have them -3 degrees in history they in no way relate to my job with requests economic or mathematical degrees. I don't think this is necessary as long as you have motivation, ambition, common sense and the ability to learn and pick things up quickly I don't think a degree is required 

Best tip to crack the industry 

An interest, it's not a dreamed about industry like PR for example but it's fast paced and ever changing and if you can keep up then it's soooo interesting. But an interest in the field and motivation I say would help immensely 

Best thing about my job 

Variety, I get to be involved in so much. Projects and developments are interesting to me and are  great to ways to break up the daily work. Also the ability to travel, Holland and Paris are some of the places I have been sent as well as around England and Scotland- that's always nice 

Worst thing about my job 

Paper work and admin! Enough said really!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Career Guest Post; Business Consultancy

Name: Taylor


Industry: Consulting

Job Title: Senior Business Consultant

Brief description of job role and industry

Consulting is kind of like being a temporary employee at a bunch of different companies! A company will hire a consulting agency when they need an unbiased set of eyes to solve a problem or specialized expertise for a short enough period of time that it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time employee. There are many different types of consulting from management and supply chain to information technology consulting. I’m in the information technology sector of consulting where most of the projects involve redesigning a website for a client. 
The high level process is:
1. Define the business requirements to make sure the site will be useful to the end users.
2. Define the design requirements to make sure the site meets the branding needs and looks good!
3. Define the technical requirements to make sure it’s possible.
4. Build the site!
My role is mainly in the defining phases. I am in charge of gathering all of the business and design requirements as well as assisting in turning those into technical requirements!

An average day consists of…

The most interesting and yet most challenging part of the job is that there is no average day. Each day brings unique challenges and triumphs that are different from the last. For example, I worked with a client based out of Chicago, Illinois where my responsibilities ranged from creating detailed documentation of the site we were building to project management and status reports. The client I am working with now is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and my role is to create a visual prototype of their site and interview their employees to make sure the site will be useful to them. Each client, project and role is completely different!

Career progression

Typically, the business consultant role is for entry-level or recent college/uni grads. After 2-3 years, you can get promoted to a senior business consultant where you start to take on more client and project management tasks. From there, you will become a project manager where you work less on the documentation and analysis work and more on project oversight. The progression can happen as fast as you want it to - the harder you work, the faster you move up

Qualifications/experience required

The entry level position requires a degree but it really doesn’t matter what type of degree as long as you are willing to learn! No experience in needed but it is the best way to get noticed by an employer above the other candidates (completely unplanned segue into the next question :))

Best tip to crack the industry

Experience is the best way to get into the industry. I know it’s hard to get experience in a job that requires experience :) but any sort of part time exposure is helpful! If you can’t find a job where you can gain experience, try starting a blog or creating a site where you can show your writing skills and work ethic!

Best thing about my job

The best thing about the job is the flexibility. You get to choose your own hours and work from home whenever you want. All of the people at my company are extremely close and there is a great sense of trust that no one will take advantage of the flexibility.

Worst thing about my job

The worst thing about the job is also the working schedule :). The nice thing about 9-5 jobs is that there is always a start and end to the day. In consulting, you work until the job is done which may mean nights and weekends at the end of a project when you’re trying to get it over the finish line. If you love the people you work with, though, it’s not so bad!
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