Working more effectively in uncertain times – a marketer’s viewpoint

David Hare said in the CIM webinar entitled, “Maintaining resilience in uncertain times” * that part of being resilient is letting oneself to feel vulnerable. Allow yourself five minutes a day to feel anger or sadness to vent these feelings.

Resilient people understand that bad stuff happens to them, but they don’t take it personally. They know what they can change and accept what they cannot. As Marketers we have created a world of multiple-buying choices but now we have no control over when or how the government restrictions will end. Therefore, he states the secret is to let go.

A clever device he mentions, is to “get your pom poms out”. Celebrate your successes - even if they are tiny triumphs. List the occasions when you overcame adversity. Imagine what a friend might say about your good points. He talks about the need to change your mindset and not just your behaviour. There are three mindsets he lists:

1. Expecting to fail
2. Trying to avoid failure – this represents 85% of us, even outside of Covid-19
3. Expecting to succeed

People in mindset no. 2 focus relentlessly on the problems in their lives and only glance at their goals or have no goals. Whereas people in mindset no. 3, focus relentlessly on their goals and ignore their problems.

In addition, he recommends avoiding the “daily diet of doom” from the media, but instead just set aside a few minutes each day to catch up with the news.

Here's eight top tips for marketers in our region to work more effectively from home and also gain CPD during this time:

      1. Set up a separate workspace ideally placed next to a window.
      2. Remember that you are still at work – despite sitting at home.
      3. Implement a schedule and stick to it. Start at your regular time and end your day when your workday would normally finish.
      4. Always take a lunch hour and try to get some fresh air in the garden or just away from your desk.
      5. Wear a work shirt when doing video conferencing calls.
      6. Watch the CIM’s webinars.
      7. Continue to read widely. There are some great online articles on the CIM website.
        Have regular (virtual) fikas - a Swedish word which means holding coffee breaks with your work colleagues.
      8. Become familiar with collaboration tools such as MS Teams, Skype, Zoom, WebEx, etc.

Some people may have been furloughed during the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak or even made redundant.

The CIM has the following advice to help those people:

      1. Treat getting a job as a job.
      2. Don't wait for the crisis to be over. A lot of companies are recruiting remotely or at least starting their recruitment process.
      3. Get buy-in from everyone in the family: That your job-hunting needs their co-operation and that they need to be quiet when you are speaking to recruiters or conducting interviews.
      4. If you do get a remote video-based interview, dress smartly – and be aware of your surroundings which will also appear on video - some collaboration tools can disguise the background.

What about young people who wish to enter marketing? What can they do to find employment?

      1. It is always best to talk to each other. Also keep in touch with your university tutors. See if they have local contacts who need people to start as juniors or co-ordinators
      2. Post on Linked-In.
      3. Clear up your social media footprint. This point applies to jobseekers of all ages. Don’t have anything up on social media that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.
      4. Get familiar with video-conferencing tools and use an appropriate room and an appropriate backdrop, e.g. bookcases in the background/ a study if possible. Some video-conferencing tools will blur or remove the background e.g. Zoom allows people to create a fake background e.g. a brick wall.
      5. When going for an online interview or involved in a video-call, wear the appropriate clothing. For example, a shirt on top, at the very least. Dress for the job. It's a psychological thing - if you look the part, as if going to a real-life interview, then you will immediately feel "in the zone". A video-call meeting is no different from being in the office.

*David Hare’s webinar was broadcast on 22/03/20 and is available on the CIM website – you will find links to CIM webinars when you log into MyCIM.

Amy Ross, CIM East of England Communications Ambassador