Ability to handle change can increase your value

“Change is a constant today,” admits Cathryn Sleight, global vice-president of marketing for Knorr. Sleight knows all about change after seeing her role as marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland become redundant following a restructure in 2010.

Ruth Mortimer

But with more than half of marketers expecting their teams to be restructured in 2012, according to this year’s Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan Salary Survey, Sleight isn’t alone in anticipating her career path may have a few twists and turns over the years.

“As marketers, this is something professionally we can optimise to turn into a business opportunity. This can also be the same personally. Change can always be turned to advantage if you embrace it and see the positive,” she notes in our cover story.

Nick Bampton, commercial sales director at Channel 5, agrees. He says he actively seeks those who have been restructured out of their positions. That is a big advantage in his eyes. He says that being able to recover and rebuild after a period of change makes employees incredibly valuable in an environment where jobs for life simply don’t exist.

Changing business structures will make restructures common events for marketers to handle for the next few years at least

Other marketers who have faced restructures take the opportunity to try a new career altogether. Joe Clift, who was brought into Lloyds Banking Group to help its merger with HBOS, knew his role would come to an end once the task was complete.

Rather than heading to another large corporate, Clift is taking a rest from client-side roles and building up his overall experience in marketing by being a consultant. Having worked at Visa and WorldCom as well as Lloyds, he knows client-side marketing intimately and is keen to try something different.

If and when redundancy or a restructure happens to you, it can be hard to feel as positive as Sleight, Bampton or Clift. Anyone who has been there knows that it’s far easier to feel down rather than positive. You can read some advice about how to handle being guided towards the exit door here from senior marketers who have been through similar experiences.

The economic environment and changing business structures seem set to make redundancies and restructures common events for marketers over the next few years at least.

But the executives sharing their stories with us this week demonstrate that redundancy should no longer be seen as a career end point; sure, it can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome but as the marketers in our cover story show, those who can deal with change effectively are seen in the job market as valuable commodities built for the modern age.

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