On Wednesday 20th of October 2021, CIM hosted a webinar event on employability. The event was part of a series of Marketing Club online sessions, run by experts who cover various areas of marketing and management. The webinars are a great opportunity for students interested in furthering their knowledge on chosen matters and meeting intriguing personas of business.

Speakers at the event were Pamella Barotti, Head of Customer Advocacy at Microsoft and Clare Kemsley, Managing Director UK&I at Hays Marketing, who comprehensively went through the latest statistics, personal experiences and useful advice on boosting confidence and employability.

As students, we have reached the point in our education when it is time to go forward on our career paths. It can be a stressful and overwhelming time of evaluation and analysis of our assets that might be valuable to prospective employers. Pamella begins her empowering presentation with assuring you – do not worry if you cannot find a job.

Pamella introduced the audience to her story of how she completed her education in Brazil, then moved to the United Kingdom to further her career. She is now a strategic global marketing, communications and advocacy lead with more than 15 years of experience in technology, financial services and fintech. Pamella mastered her expertise in a range of organisations, from beginner set-ups to global businesses such as Oracle, Amazon and currently settled at Microsoft. The speaker acknowledged that managing a career is a lot of hard work through ups and downs, and certainly it is not a ‘ladder’.

The first top tip shared by Pamella is to master your Soft and Technical skills. Improving your abilities is one of the key things students can do now in order to prepare for their employment. As the speaker stated, working on a set of hard skills, such as programming skills or foreign language, is a useful tool to stand out, gain knowledge in a new field and maximise efficiency. Soft skills, i. e. people and interpersonal skills, are just as important to allow for successful cooperation. Bettering abilities leads to another piece of advice from Pamella, which was to gain experience. Experience is something us students hear about a lot through our final years of education. Pamella stressed that experience is the best way to develop our skills, learn from and prepare for further employment in the world of marketing.

The presenter also recommended finding a mentor, who could guide you through your next steps and help you to be organised. Pamella introduced the audience to the CIM mentoring scheme available for Affiliate Professional and graded (ACIM, MCIM, and FCIM) members.

Furthermore, Pamella encouraged that being clear on your goals, understanding how and why you want to achieve them is important as it will allow you to gain mentioned abilities in a much more practical way, as well as understand yourself and your position. The speaker continued by explaining how learning about emotions and training the mindset are crucial in accomplishing confidence and a positive state which will allow you to strongly move forward.

Pamella assured that emotions have high impact on the general performance, and it is important to acknowledge and train them in order to boost efficiency of our performance and maintain well-being. As she named it, people need good chemicals to build up when we start the day to influence our power. Pamella moved onto her final tip and positively shared her method of visualisation of success. She said you need to close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place where you want to be, in your dreamt workplace, in a position you wish to achieve. Once you do it once, keep repeating it every day and you will see – your motivation and determination will get you wherever you want!

Following Pamella’s talk Clare Kemsley began her presentation on skills for the marketing world. We have some great tips, but now how do we apply them? Clare is a Managing Director at UK&I Hays Marketing, with over 30 years of professional recruitment experience. She specialises in market research and has wide knowledge on the UK market, digital world and current employee hunt.

Starting off, Clare presented the audience with the Hays list of vacancies on the market, which includes cities, professions and industries as well as the numbers of positions needing to be filled up. Gaps in the market include jobs such as Marketing Manager, Product Manager and Online Marketing Manager. The speaker assured that there are plenty of job opportunities ahead of us, and high-positioned marketing professions need new, skilled employees.

Following this, Clare guided us through evolution of marketing, switching from analogue to digital. This change of the environment highly impacted gaps in skills, created new jobs and is still developing. Some of the key areas of digital professions were shown off on a honeycomb chart created by Hays, highlighting social media, analytics (e-mail, data specialist etc.) and strategy planning. Clare explained that markets require new skills due to new technologies, therefore this need will keep on expanding. The speaker encouraged to follow or sign up for Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends insights guide 2021 which will keep you up to date with latest market changes, jobs and more interesting insights.

Moving on, Clare talked about a key ability that is required in any field if you want to be successful – ability to adopt changes. The speaker mentioned some of most recent environmental changes which impacted businesses as well as our lives, COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. She said it is important to understand the change and how it impacts your business, come out of your ‘comfort zone’ and start learning and adapting to it overtime. Clare brought up a great example of working remotely in the past year due to new hygiene and safety measures, it was something very unexpected but there was no way other than adapt to the new environment and test your skills.

In the other part of the presentation, Clare gave the audience some more tips based on statistics and research done by Hays. A crucial piece of advice was to follow skill shortages, as it will help you with better understanding and focusing on investing in your abilities and talents which can be an asset for organisations. Employers currently are seeking for recruiters with soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and ability to transfer these skills to the new environment.
• 67% of marketing employers intend to hire in 2021
• 77% of marketing employers experienced skill shortages in 2020
• 82% of marketing employees plan to upskill/undertake professional qualifications in 2021

Clare also spoke about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at work which became a much more spoken of and important for employers. Once again, we agreed with the speaker that environmental factors and changes influenced the current workplace, and still are battling old-fashioned approaches. Clare precisely summed ‘’equal opportunity feels like a distant dream’’, however the researcher presented us with more data of employers being positive on increase in equal opportunity (47%) and changing factors which affect selection, such as age or gender.

To sum up the presentation, Pamella and Clare answered a couple of questions from the audience and shared more of their personal advice. Firstly, the answer to your question of what you can do – keep on learning, you learn new things every day, now you need to notice it and use as your advantage. Both speakers agreed that the best way is to take any opportunity you can get to gain experience and knowledge, understand failure and change your viewpoint on it. Failure sounds scary, however if you change your perception, you will see it as a chance to try yourself and your skills, build character and get to know the working environment. Making the most out of every opportunity, such as a job interview, training, volunteering – even unsuccessful attempts will help you to improve and boost your employability. Changing your mindset and understanding struggles will keep you motivated and determined to move forward on your career map.

This webinar can be found on CIM YouTube channel, where you can find more of interesting recordings from events. The third online even of the series is scheduled for 17th of November at 6:30 pm. Carlijn Postma will cover the subject of ‘Binge marketing: the best scenario for building your brand’. You can sign up for free on the Marketing Club Newsletter here, to receive the latest updates on trends, interesting webinars and more.