Recently I was at a mentor induction program for women in marketing and two of the other mentors, whom I think were a couple of years older than I am, were discussing how they had recently been made redundant.
I sat listening to their conversation about how they were struggling to cope with redundancy. I was surprised – both have long and successful marketing careers, but were finding redundancy very difficult. Why was I surprised? Well, because I was first made redundant at age 27 by Telstra and have been through two spill-and-fills with two other companies. Both times I was made redundant and told to reapply for set positions which I was successful in getting. In my current job, there was a 20% reduction in staff and, while I wasn’t directly affected, large redundancies like this do take their toll on you emotionally and affect overall productivity.
Something you don’t get told as a young marketer is to expect to be made redundant. It is an important life lesson if you want to be successful in marketing: you are more than likely going to go through redundancy. You need to learn to roll with it, pick yourself up and start applying for jobs.
Marketing is generally the first area of a business to be hit when there are budgets to be cut, and with not a lot of budget, you often lose staff.
When new CEOs come into a business, one of the first things they want to change is the marketing, and that usually means a change in personnel as well. The same applies for a new marketing director/general manager of your business.
Generally none of this is personal and, as hard as it is, you have to learn not to take it personally. Businesses change and sometimes you’re not the person to take it forward or fit with the new team. Accept this and move on.
I believe marketers (well, anyone really) should always have their CVs up to date, keep a regular eye on the job market and go for job interviews – either client or agency side – at least once a year just to keep your job interviewing skills up.
Losing my job used to be my greatest fear. I now know it’s an opportunity for change and to challenge myself. While it’s not the nicest thing to happen, it’s also not the worst. It’s now something I expect and am equipped to deal with.