This Marketing Manager learned the hard way this job is not as glamorous as he thought. This is a true career story as told to AllChicagoJobs.com and it will take you down the career path of a Marketing Manager including the ups and downs you may experience in the position, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is one of many interviews with professionals working in Chicago, which among others include a Sales Representative and a Community Organizer. What is your job title? How many years of experience do you have in that field? My job title is Marketing Manager. I have been in this position for three years. Would you describe the things you do on a typical day? My specific focus is pricing. My responsibilities include taking write ups from the analysts and determining price points for different products in different regions. What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what response worked best? I am a black male in Chicago, though I don't think that has much affected me in this role. I have never experienced any outright discrimination, but I have been the recipient of a few borderline racist comments. I tend to not rock the boat, so I just let them slide. Do you speak any language other than English? If so, how has it helped you in your job? I speak both English and Spanish. In this particular role, speaking Spanish doesn't add much to my marketability. All the reports are in English, and I don't have direct contact with any customers. I know it would be a great asset if I worked for a multinational company that did business with Spanish speaking countries or a company that markets products or services to the Spanish speaking community in the city or the country. On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What would it take to increase that rating? I would rate my job satisfaction at a 3. I really don't have much to do in a day, other than crunch numbers and hypothesize some trends. As you can see, I'm very dissatisfied with my job. Less hours and more pay would help increase that number. What did you learn the hard way in this job and how did that happen? My hardest lesson to learn was that not all glamorous sounding jobs are actually as good as they sound. I sit in a cubicle all day. I really thought with this job I would have an office, and people to work with, like in the television shows. If I don't go out of my way to speak to someone at their desk, I can go my entire shift and barely utter two sentences. What don’t they teach in school that would’ve been helpful to you? They don't teach you in school how tedious marketing work can be. That would have been nice to know, I believe I would have decided to change careers while I was in school had I known this fact. How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change? I was recruited out of college by a local company with the promise of the company's expansion overseas. That expansion did not occur, and after a year I was one of the lucky few to still have a job. If I could go back, knowing what I know now, I would definitely go with another company, even if it meant waiting some time. I will also, from now on, research the company that wants to hire me a lot more, I don't want to end up in this position again. What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job? Nothing really exciting has ever happened in this job. We once had a car catch fire in the parking lot. That wouldn't have been all that memorable except the owner of the car didn't seem to care all that much that her car was engulfed in flames. In fact, the gentleman that was unfortunate enough to park his Corvette next to it was much more concerned with the situation. On a good day when things are going well, can you give an example of something that really makes you feel good? On a good day, I may get some form of congratulations from my boss. I really enjoy the praise. This does not happen very often, though. Not that I am not good at my job, but my boss is not in the office very often. When nothing seems to go right, what kind of snafus do you handle and what do you dislike the most? The worst of days come when our numbers come in and we have to justify our pricing schemes. A more accurate way to term this would be this is when we have to justify our jobs. Honestly, all we marketing managers do is take educated guesses. If the numbers are good enough, we get some minor praise. If the numbers are bad, however, we are "taken to the wood shed" as my boss calls it. A few team members have walked out of those meetings, and their jobs, because they couldn't take being yelled at. I just tend to keep my head down and think happier thoughts. How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance? My actual job is pretty low stress. It is the aforementioned meetings that produce the most stress in my career. It isn't hard to leave work at work and enjoy being home until the month end reporting starts looming. What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough considering your responsibilities? I am around $35,000 annually. I don't think I am paid nearly enough, though I guess it is fair considering a lot of days are pretty non-productive. However, this same position a few years back would pay around double in this same company and if you get a job with a bigger company or a company that hasn't been hit as badly as mine was by the economy, someone could be making over $75,000 easily. What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced in this position? Of all the things you’ve done at work, what are you most proud of? I am most proud of the three times I have been called out, in a positive way, for my projections and subsequent pricings. The recognition went a few levels higher than my boss, which led to some pretty nice recognition from some high ranking company officials. What’s the most challenging moment you’ve experienced? What would you prefer to forget? All of the most challenging moments have been during our team meetings. I would rather forget most all of them. What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field? Official company documentation states a college degree is necessary for this job, but I don't know why anything more than a high school degree would be necessary. This is an entry level position if I have ever known one. What would you tell a friend considering your line of work? I would not advise any friend to get into this line of work. I am ridiculously bored on all but maybe three to five days out of the month, during those days, I'm stressed to the max. How much vacation do you take? Is it enough? I have to admit I have a very good vacation policy at my company, one of the only things that helps the ranking. I spread the days out so I can take a full week every fourth month, and have a few days to spare for mental health days in the interim. Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do? The misunderstanding I would look to clear up would be for anyone considering being a marketing manager. Don't let the title fool you. This is a boring, slow, mostly thankless job. I have even been blamed by a person in the grocery store for the price of milk being too high. Let me be clear, I do not price milk, or any type of food for that matter. Does this job move your heart? If not, what does? This job does not move my heart. I am not even sure it is safe to think about what may, at this point. I am very disillusioned about that particular subject at this point in my life. If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years? In five years, I would love to be independently wealthy. I am convinced the only way that will happen will be if I win the lottery. That will be difficult, though, as I have never even purchased at ticket. Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments? There is nothing terribly unique about my position. I was an average student, and now I have a job where I'm not really satisfied. JustJobs.com is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it. Read more » articles by this approved business partner | Click here » if you’re a business Image from CREATISTA/Shutterstock
August 26, 2011
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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