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The Career Clinic - UK


DP, IT & Field careers

 
Email your questions about getting into, and getting on in, Market Research to careers@mrweb.com along with your name and we'll pass them to the appropriate expert. Questions and answers will be shown on the site but will be anonymised as carefully as if we were writing up a qual b2b interview. Please note that questions pertaining to careers in unrelated fields - engineering, sales etc.. - will not be answered. All rights reserved.



List of previous Agony Aunts / Uncles


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Q90a.  I have been working in market research, progressing through Field positions... to Field Controller for the last 9 months... My manager assured me that I would advance within a set timeframe but this was not to be, despite taking on many responsibilities... Am I right in thinking that to advance beyond a salary of 20k, I should be looking elsewhere?
Answer


PREVIOUS QUESTIONS

Q85.  I graduated in marketing a year ago and I now work in as a Project Manager in a small fieldwork company. I have been looking for a job for the past month and I am now stuck in a vicious circle. I still do not quite have enough experience to apply for a research exec position but I do not want to stay in field. The recruitment agencies I am registered with have advised me to try to apply for graduate schemes as I now have relevant experience as well as a marketing degree unfortunately I believe that I have now missed most deadlines. My plan is to still try to send them my CV, hoping that graduates might drop out. What do you think that my chances would be? Could you also let me know what companies have such graduates schemes as I am only aware of a few of them?
Answer



Q62.  I have been working as a data preparation assistant but have recently parted company from my old employer. DP does not seem to be well represented with most recruitment agencies. Do you have any other ways in which to go about finding work within this section of market research?
Answer



Questions in full and answers



Q90a.   I have been working in market research, progressing through Field positions... to Field Controller for the last 9 months. Previously I held positions in [several] sectors. I also have a degree. I took the time to learn quickly all aspects of Field Management except costings and was determined to advance, but there was little room for progress unless someone were to leave. My manager assured me that I would advance within a set timeframe but this was not to be, despite taking on many responsibilities. I felt my extensive skills gained throughout my working life were never taken into account. Am I right in thinking that to advance beyond a salary of 20k, I should be looking elsewhere?

A.   Caroline says: Your salary with your experience to date sounds a bit low but not hugely. You could possibly command 22-23k at another agency but no more. Unfortunately field management is not particularly well paid which is why this may sound disappointing even though you seem to have taken on a lot of responsibility.

Since you have a degree, my advice to you is to try and move into project management which is a role that is coming up more and more in research agencies. Essentially, this is a hybrid role where you take some of the project management responsibilities away from the execs and liaise between them and field and other production areas of research projects. We are getting quite a lot of demand from clients to find people to fill these sorts of roles so I think you should be able to do this.

Because there is an increasing demand for people for this sort of experience I think you will find this a more rewarding (financially as well as career-wise) and therefore attractive long term career path.

Q85.   I graduated in marketing a year ago and I now work in as a Project Manager in a small fieldwork company. I originally wanted to work as a research exec and when I was offered my current position I jumped on the opportunity as I really needed the experience.

I enjoyed working as a project manager for the first few months but I am perfectly aware that it is not at all what I want to do and I really want to leave my company for various reasons. I am trilingual, have two degrees (one in France and one in the UK) and find it really frustrating not to be able to use my marketing skills and get a 'better' position.

I have been looking for a job for the past month (although maybe not hard enough!) and I am now stuck in a vicious circle. I still do not quite have enough experience to apply for a research exec position but I do not want to stay in field. On the other end although I have started considering qual field positions (I am a quantie) but I am really worried that I am not going to enjoy it as my current company has really put me off project management.

The recruitment agencies I am registered with have advised me to try to apply for graduate schemes as I now have relevant experience as well as a marketing degree unfortunately I believe that I have now missed most deadlines. My plan is to still try to send them my CV, hoping that graduates might drop out. What do you think that my chances would be? Could you also let me know what companies have such graduates schemes as I am only aware of a few of them? Any ideas you might have to help me get into the analytical side are more than welcome as I am desperate to leave my company and field.

A.   Caroline says: Firstly and most importantly I think you should think carefully about whether you want to specialise in quant or qual or if you would like to do both. With languages qual would be quite a good thing to do because it will give you the opportunites to do lots of travel and keep up your languages.

When you have decided, then you need to pick the most relevant companies. They will offer you the experience you need and get you moving in the right direction. Unless you want to do quant research, there is very little point in applying for the big agencies' formal graduate training schemes. Having said that if that is the route you want to take then it is still worth submitting your CV for a Sept intake. Some agencies also have mid-year intakes, and with the industry being busy at the moment, this is more likely. The best ones are Research International, Ipsos, NOP, MORI, BMRB, Synovate, TNS Global. Other smaller agencies do take grads on on an ad hoc basis so it's a question of your CV being at the right place at the right time.

Do your research then submit your CV. I strongly advise you to get out of field as soon as possible because you will get pigeon-holed.

Q62.   I have been working as a data preparation assistant and have experience as a data analyst but have recently parted company from my old employer. DP does not seem to be well represented with most recruitment agencies and it is in this field I still want my career to be heading. Do you have any other ways in which to go about finding work within this section of market research?

A.   Debby says: A few of the recruitment consultancies that handle vacancies in the market research world do have people with excellent knowledge of DP. Unfortunately the DP market is extremely slow currently. A lot of changes are taking place and as many execs are now undertaking their own analysis so the demand for DP people has declined. That said there are still DP departments in most of the major agencies. We have a few DP vacancies at the moment.
   

Key to previous and current Agony Aunts / Uncles


Sinead Hasson, Hasson Associates
Kate Langford, Hasson Associates
Peter McGrath, PSD
Nick Gendler, then of KD Consulting
Debby Robson, then of SLS Services
Liz Norman, ENI
Caroline Steane / Clive Warren, CSA Recruitment
Jenny Bastin, then of Buckingham Personnel
Helen Pegnall, then of ENI






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