People working in the Beauty industry often ask us for guidance on career development and progression. This is when we encourage people to think about their careers strategically, whether they are in early stages or further down the track. It means stepping back and looking at the big picture, to identify opportunity areas for career growth and development.
A good way to start is by asking yourself these three questions:
1. What kind of role would I like to be in down the road, say 5 or 10 years from now?
2. What necessary skills or experience do I already have?
3. What skills do I need to develop in order to reach my goal?
If you’re not sure what kind of skills you might need to work on towards that goal, having a discussion with your manager, or an experienced friend, mentor, or recruiter in the industry over a coffee, can help you create that list.
Next, think about how to actually get the missing experience, perhaps in your current job, or in your next one, or even 2 jobs down the track.
- It’s often much easier to get this kind of experience in your current company – either in the role you’re in now, or perhaps an interdepartmental transfer if that’s an option. Discussing this with your manager, perhaps during your performance review’s “development” section, can be a great place to start.
- If learning these skills is not within scope of your current role, or an opportunity in your current company, ask yourself: is some additional education required? If so, enrolling in night or weekend courses to increase your knowledge base might be a logical next step.
- If increasing your skill set means practical, on-the-job experience, then it’s time to think about what that next role might look like, and in what kind of organization.
- First, make sure you’ve spent enough time in your current position to really solidify your skills, make a positive impact on the business, and be able to quantify your achievements and the contributions you’ve made, on your resume.
- Then, identify what kind of company and role might give you the opportunity to build up those missing skills.
One way to do this is to think about the employer marketplace in terms of business model. For example, a Marketer working in Beauty may spend her/his days focused on very different activities, depending on the business model of their employer:
Brand Subsidiary: the local office of a brand whose head office is somewhere outside of Australia. Quite often these are the big, global names in the industry. Although the branding, portfolio, and product development decisions are usually made overseas at their global HQ, depending on the organization you might expect to learn:
- Global and regional reporting disciplines – financial, market performance, etc.
- How to implement global Marketing plans locally
- How to operate within established processes for planning and execution
- How cross-functional departments interact in a large company
- Sometimes, you’ll be able to offer local inputs to the global teams about plans and products in the pipeline
- Depending on their HR resources and strategies, international job postings can sometimes be an opportunity
Brand Owner/HQ: the headquarters of a local brand that may or may not be sold outside of Australia as well. These can vary in size from small, just-starting-out to larger and more established. Depending on the company’s size, rate of growth, and level of resources, as a Marketer you might expect to learn:
- To think entrepreneurially, “on your feet”, often in a fast-paced environment where decisions must be made and actioned quickly
- How to balance quick thinking with sound judgment and process
- Creative skills related to brand communication strategy and execution in all its forms
- Portfolio planning and new product development: from trend analysis to translation into concept, market execution and lifecycle management
- Flexibility, resilience, and stakeholder management
- Sometimes, you’ll be working closely with, and learning from, the brand founders/owners directly
- Depending on the company’s state of growth, you may be able to work on export and/or international expansion
Distributors: the local, third-party representatives of a brand, or often a portfolio, from different brand owners located overseas. Although brand communication and product development decisions are made elsewhere, you might expect to learn:
- The commercial ins and outs of managing a portfolio of overseas brands with local retailers
- How different brand owners operate with respect to planning, communication, branding, etc.
- How to execute in local market with excellence on a variety of brands, each with different needs, timings, guidelines, performance benchmarks
- How to deliver against the expectations of overseas brand owners, act as their local, on-the-ground “expert”, and report back to them regularly on their brand’s key performance indicators
- Potentially having to manage many brands, not just one
No matter what business model you’re working in, as you grow in seniority you’ll be expected to have increasing experience in:
- P&L management
- Retailer engagement (presentations, commercial understanding)
- Cross-functional team leadership
- Portfolio management & forecasting fundamentals
- Planning and implementing marketing mix levers including Digital
- Building and maintaining strong workplace relationships
These are often skills you can build in the role you’re already in today!
If you’re thinking about your Beauty industry career, and would like to have a chat about current or future opportunities, please feel free to reach out to us via email: email@example.com for a confidential discussion.