By manishankar Chakraborty
Pressure and deadlines are part of corporate life as competition comes with lot of add-ons in the form of punctuality, discipline, right attitude and aptitude, and other soft skills related parameters.
Career vistas have undergone a lot of metamorphosis over the last decade or so. Conventional openings are being supplemented by many unconventional, yet lucrative options. Gone are the days when an aspirant had to root only for that handful few career tracks. In spite of all these developments there are still a lot of myths which need to be broken when dealing with the budding managers. Recently, I was interacting with the third semester students of MBA, I was taken aback seeing the response to the challenging and rewarding options offered by marketing management as a functional area. It appeared to be a case of playing it safe by not opting for a option which is highly rewarding after putting in hard-work.
Breaking the myths
The process of probing continued with aplomb till i could make my active and enthusiastic lot of students speak out about their apprehensions in joining the marketing department of function of a blue chip company. Few of them said that marketing entails lot of mobility and they are willing to take up a profession which would entail bare minimum of touring. Marketing definitely involves traversing a lot, however if these proposition is seen from the right perspective, then the benefits accrued are manifold in the form of visiting new places, personal networking with a lot of people, tasting and experiencing diverse cultures, food habits, thereby transforming the overall persona. A second bunch was of the opinion that marketing is a job which requires one to be very strong as deadlines and targets are the backbone of this profession. I do not deny this aspect, however are we not going to have a target and deadline oriented approach in other functional areas like human resource, finance and operations. The concept of a laid back approach at the workplace is a passe. Pressure and deadlines are part of corporate life as competition comes with a lot of add-ons in the form of punctuality, discipline, right attitude and aptitude, and other soft skills related parameters. All these are in fact the criteria which es needed even by a modern day social animal as he is a manager in his own way, be it spouse management, kids management, work-life balance and social relationship management. To be an all rounder is the name of the game. The other reason cited was that marketing job would predominantly include formulation of strategies, boardroom meetings, presentation to clients in a five star set up etc. To this my response was a career in marketing has to start with hardcore front-line sales or else one is groomed as bookish rather than a practical manager. Moreover the street smart marketing manager is one who was a street smart salesman while learning the nuances the trade. It is like training someone to swim without personally swimming. The fun of marketing manager is best understood who would always love to be near to their customer, be it a nearby of a distant market. They always consider it a treasure worth possessing and continuously reinforce their experience kit by meeting more and more customers. These are also the play-field to play and then see what strategies is going to work with different players (read customers) as no two players are the same.
Why myths crop-up
It is important for a trainer or management faculty to understand the reasons why and how such myths are nurtured in the mind of the budding manager? A minute observation would reveal most of these misconceptions are part of grapevine generated from the unsuccessful, dejected senior who could not establish in the profession and looked out for scapegoats at every point of failure. The budding mangers should always be encouraged with to rub share their success stories, instead of the dejected souls. This would curtail the germination of negative thoughts, if any especially when the mind is receptive and is in the process of giving a shape to the career plan. Students and trainees should always be motivated to read the biography of successful entrepreneurs which would make them realize the rightful place of marketing management in his scheme of things. A smart a agile entrepreneur would always prefer to be a marketer first and then don other roles as customer centric approach can very well intertwined with all other functional areas. Moreover, a successful marketer can fit into any role as they are habituated with diverse people, diverse culture, and diverse environment. The need of the hour is to take up marketing management as a challenge and see if one can stretch self than his normal course, which is easier to do with marketing rather than any other profession as multi-cultured, multi-skilled manpower are churned out by this department more than any other functional areas. Any new takers or should i say solicit for myth breakers?
Author is Faculty Management at Tirpude institute of Management Education- TIME, Nagpur.
He can be reached at Email : [email protected]