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My job explained: Sales and marketing co-ordinator

sales and marketing co-ordinatorEmmanuel Nelson showed entrepreneurial spirit from an early age. Read on to discover why a life in business is so rewarding and get some top tips on getting your dream job.

What attracted you to this type of work?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been interested in making money through my own business. I remember back in sixth form I used to run “clubs” but it was more like a disco. I saw an opportunity in the fact that we were underage so we could not get into pubs or clubs. I got a mate of mine to DJ and rented a back hall of a pub, the rest was easy. It was something to do and kind of snowballed - the more people who bought tickets, the more people wanted them.

It was not so much the making of money that did it for me but rather the organising, wheeler-dealing, making sure everything was set to go, that kind of thing gave me a buzz. I also really enjoyed the selling part of it, encouraging people to buy tickets, negotiating with the various people etc, this gave me a real ‘feel-good’ factor. I enjoyed business, therefore for me, going into it as a career was the natural thing to do.

How long did it take to train and what did the training involve?

I have been in two main marketing roles, training in both cases was on the job so it could take anything up to two months to get the training and a further two months for me to be fully up to speed with everything that the job involved. Aside from the general introduction to the company, training revolved around the day-to-day activities as described in the answer below.

Can you describe a typical working day?

The first thing I have to deal with is all the emails that have come late the night before. These will usually be sales orientated i.e. new products that need to be uploaded onto our systems; customer orders that were not delivered etc. After that I get on with my general ‘to do’ list, these are the medium-term projects that I’m involved in, for example, organising customer focus groups and seminars, getting promotional material ready, coordinating the design and production of our monthly product catalogue.
Throughout the day little administrative tasks will also come up. like getting a mail merged customer list together for my line manager. These also have to be dealt with as they arrive on my desk.

What's the best thing about your job?

Seeing a piece of finished promotional work or activity like a printed product catalogue or a successfully completed customer workshop is a real buzz as you can see how all your hard work has come together.

Have there been any challenges in getting to where you are now?

The key challenge I faced was staying motivated when the road ahead seemed like a long one (back in university) or the regular obstacles that get in your way like consecutive job rejections.
Within the job itself the main hurdles have been in dealing with different personality types, it’s impossible to be all things to all people so managing people’s expectations of you can be tricky.

I’m a young black African. I fully acknowledge that race is an issue in this country but I choose not allow the whole race and discrimination issue to get to me and I’m glad about that. I figure that it’s best to focus on the things I CAN do rather than the obstacles and the things I can do little about.
My primary source of motivation in overcoming these challenges has been my faith. I believe a determined and positive mindset is a key part of success. When I have felt like I have run out of all steam in being determined and positive my faith has been that something extra thing, outside of myself, that I can lean on.

What qualities and skills do you think are important for your role?

  • People skills are key, assuming you have a basic level of intellect, if you can work well with different types of people you’ll go far
  • Willingness to get involved in new and challenging tasks
  • Positive and energetic outlook
  • Ability to multitask by doing unrelated and different activities at the same time
  • Creative thinking
  • Organisational skills – many things can be going on at the same time, being organised helps in multitasking
  • Good communication skills – i.e. conveying your ideas clearly and not being afraid to shout for help when need be

What advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps?

  • Learn as much about the real day-to-day life that a chosen career would give you. It’s important to know what life will be like if you get where you want to be.
  • Get the necessary qualifications, training or experience. You may not think that qualifications mean much but the world we live in demands them, that’s just the way it is. Once you have them you can get your foot into most doors.
  • In the world we live in it’s impossible to have everything your way but with work being such a big part of life, it’s important to get involved in something that brings you as much happiness as possible. Remember that the working relationship is a two way thing, what can you do for the job so that you can earn a living but also what can the job do for you to bring you fulfilment?
  • Nothing worth having is easy to get, so remain determined and positive.

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