Many marketers are looking for a new professional home. Similarly, many firms are expanding their teams, or replacing roles due to pandemic attrition. With so many resumes out there, what makes a resume stand out, and what do hiring managers appreciate?
There are 4 key things that make a resume stand out from it's peers:
May is "Mental Health Awareness Month". I'm not sure I can remember a more important time to acknowledge this and have a real conversation about mental health.
Luckily, I see a positive change in our firms; there is more of a willingness to have the conversation, continue the conversation, and show vulnerability when it comes to the topic of mental health.
I have asked some of our marketing friends to share how they are trying to avoid burnout and how they are looking after themselves. Burnout is an issue I've been watching closely (and providing data on). It is a very real topic for marketers right now. Put another way, self-care is critically important and these marketers capture this sentiment beautifully.
These sentiments highlight good self care and positive mental health practices for us all to take in and replicate.
Logan Tracey, NYC
Logan shares her wise words with us, and is working hard on two things: creating boundaries and being respectful of her team's work-life balance. It can be rare to find colleagues who are so respectful and thoughtful of how their actions and intentions are perceived:
"I’ve been focusing on creating boundaries for myself in 2021, and while I definitely monitor email after hours and on the weekends, I am forcing myself not to respond until work hours unless urgent.
It’s tough for me to have open items on my list when I know I can quickly handle and move onto the next thing, but I am practicing holding requests for office hours, unless it’s an emergency.
Cheryl Foster, St. Louis
Director, Practice Growth, Brown Smith Wallace
I schedule time to exercise and have been intentional about getting time alone—just for me.
Cheryl points out the importance of self-care and how this simply has to come first for her. I know many agree, and the practice of this is so incredibly hard. The "alone time" is crucial for many of us, extroverts or introverts.
"During this time, I had to learn to make self-care a priority. I schedule time to exercise and have been intentional about getting time alone—just for me. For all the working parents out there, I'm sure you understand how challenging that can be!
Roy Sexton, Detroit
Director of Marketing, Clark Hill Law
I’m also more forthcoming than I’ve ever been with colleagues and leaders about what I need for balance, and the response has been positive.
Roy is a shining beacon for all of us. His ability to share and show vulnerability with his work family is inspirational:
“I do feel like I’ve been burning the candle at every end possible. I’m not sure there’s any wick left! That said, I’ve also found this to be a strangely rewarding time because it has, at times, leveled the playing field, allowed us marketers to drive our firms toward digital tactics that actually work, and has afforded us a kind of singular focus one rarely gets in this career. But that comes at a price – low energy, neglected relationships, no exercise, spending far too much money at Amazon.
Tahisha Fugate, DC
Senior Manager, DEI Client Development, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
Calm is a super power.
Tahisha's self-awareness on how to support your ideal life is incredibly empowering. Making deliberate decisions to live intentionally gives us control at a level we all strive for:
"Get into the habit of asking yourself, 'does this support the life I’m trying to create?'
If you are trying to create a more intentional and mindful life, you have to make hard decisions to rid yourself of the things, people, jobs that don’t support that life."
Jennifer Shankleton, Cleveland
Director of Marketing, Brennan Manna Diamond
It's going to take time, patience and care to fill us all back up again. Let's continue to normalize talking about how we are really doing, and feel comfortable leaning on each other for support.
Jennifer raises the ever-important piece of this conversation, which is, we just don't have this conversation enough. And, even if we do, there's no quick fix or immediate solution:
"A comedian and mom posted to social media this week: 'We are all hanging on by a thread, right?' The comments section was full of confirmations. The consensus: we don't talk about this enough.
Just because we see the light at the end of the tunnel does not mean that we can flip a switch and we'll all be ok again.
Kellie Erlacher, Jacksonville
Director of Marketing, Lewis, Longman & Walker
I try to avoid burnout by taking short, 15 minute breaks, maybe 1-2 times a day. I used to think that powering through the work day, with no breaks at all except for a quick lunch, was the best way to work...
Kellie reminds us of the so-easily-achieved, but often pushed aside, power of small breaks. The ability to think clearly and offer a different or better perspective is so real after recognizing the importance of giving your brain a short rest:
"I try to avoid burnout by taking short, 15 minute breaks, maybe 1-2 times a day. I used to think that powering through the work day, with no breaks at all except for a quick lunch, was the best way to work. I would crash after work and often be too tired and drained to enjoy my family at the end of the day.
We are grateful and inspired by your intention, your positivity, and your relentless pursuit for happiness and well-being to continue to support mental health.
Further, most of us are balancing all sorts of things from our homes and offices. So even if you do get a little break in your workday, you’re probably bouncing between a child’s "urgent" request, or the various instant messages waiting for your immediate answer, or a load of laundry, or taking the dog out, or figuring out when to get food to eat... this list just goes on. Our lives are very different in 2021.
Recognize the need to stay productive amidst the busyness. Here’s my top tips that have served me well:
- Getting caught up on email. Look at only the emails you’re expecting or that require an immediate response. Everything else can wait until you have 30 minutes of downtime.
- Blocking out time. Block out small chunks of time each week which is reserved for thinking and idea creation. You’re unlikely to have fresh, bold and unique ideas when you’re stuck in execution mode.
- What is work? You don’t have to be sitting at your desk to do good work. Take a walk to think through a challenge. Call a colleague while you walk to talk through that challenge. Walk away from your computer to have lunch and check out for 20 minutes; giving your mind a break will make problem solving clearer and less overwhelming.
- When do you work best? There are “morning people”, and then there’s everyone else. (I’m only half joking on this!) Figure out when you work best, what triggers that ideal working mode, and how to sustain that. Everyone works differently and you know better than anyone what works for you.
- Take breaks. When you’re in “crazy busy mode”, taking a break is the last thing on your mind and it feels counterintuitive. Not true. I’ve tried this so many times myself and can confidently say how much calmer and manageable everything seems with a fresh perspective from a break.
- What do you want to produce? At the start of the day or week, note down what you want to have produced by the end of the week. This will help keep you centered and focused when things seem crazy mid-week or when you’re trying to sift through the noise of the busyness that is the Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday of the week.
Below is a table of the various States and cities impacted by region.
(Note that this table only includes established bans that impact professional services firms.)
- what virtual networking looks like
- how to appropriately and effectively embark on nurturing and engaging with your network solely on a virtual platform
- some common missteps to avoid
Wishing you positivity and prosperity for 2021
We laughed and cried. We zoomed through interruptions from all our pets, children, postal deliveries and technical glitches. We made it.
To all the marketers, you stepped up in 2020. It is no small feat to get through this year and, whether you are limping to the finish line, or racing towards it, you did it with grace and tenacity.
The happiest of holidays to you.
What mattered most to marketers this year
Quick insights. Getting industry-specific intelligence. The KHS Perspectives Podcasts; perspectives in 5 minutes or less
In-house perspectives. Learning from the leaders in our industry.
CMO's and Directors provide their perspective.
The KHS People Industry Surveys. Our surveys took a look at how the industry is being impacted by the challenges of COVID.
Guidance amidst an economic downturn. Team leaders adapted to keep their teams amidst uncertainty.
A deep dive on the impact of COVID-19 in the legal marketing industry
In October 2020, we conducted a follow up survey, which covers topics requested by you. It is a COVID-specific survey and does a deep dive on four areas:
- The response by your firm to COVID
- Salary and other employment-related changes as a result of COVID
- Working from home options your firms are making available
- Your overall health as it relates to your current working hours and circumstances
Marketers responded with candid insights, sentiments, and feedback. The demographics of the respondents included marketers from all firm sizes, marketers of all levels, and marketers across all the US.
Below is the story that was told.
The response by firms to Covid
- Firms have done well by their marketers. 90% of respondents said they were happy with how their firm responded: 51% said they were “mostly happy” and 39% said they were “very happy”.
- Firms have been supportive of their marketers. 88% of respondents said they felt supported when asked how supportive their firm had been of them balancing their professional and personal lives while working from home: 34% felt “mostly supported” and 54% felt “very supported”.
- Positive sentiments. The most common sentiments shared by respondents about how their firm had dealt with or reacted to Covid were:
Marketers are being effective, despite seeing fewer dollars
A lot more work is being done
- Input of hours. 47% of marketers are working between 5-15 more hours each week
- What work is being done? Along with ‘protecting our base’ as being a key priority, a focus on pursuing new business and new market share was re-emerging:
- 57% strategic pursuits & new business
- 57% RFPs / proposals
These activities were previously not a core focus. Ten months into the pandemic, firms are now re-focusing on their longer-term goals and pursuits.
The dollars are tight.
Being effective with fewer dollars is 'the Covid way'.
- Marketing budget cuts. 46% of respondents shared that their firms had opted out of sponsorships. 34% said that all in-person events had of course been opted out of. (Some had pivoted to virtual events, and some of the bigger costs associated with hosting an in-person event had been saved instead.)
- Discretionary spending cuts. 23% shared that all non-essential travel for both business and client meetings had been cut. 11% cut costs relating to conferences, retreats and firm dinners. 9% said entertainment costs were cut. 8% said all advertising was cut. 5% said membership renewals were halted.
Solutions for our industry
Consider these solutions for temporary relief during Covid:
- Give permission for a break. Your team needs your acknowledgement and permission to use their PTO or to take mental health days. Without this express endorsement, they are unlikely to take days off because of fear of being judged negatively if they do.
- Lead by example. If team leaders are working around the clock, not looking after their physical and mental health, and not respecting boundaries whilst working from home, the team doesn't feel empowered to do the same.
- What is your plan for alleviating your team now (and in 2021)? An open dialogue helps just about any situation. Team leaders should communicate their knowledge and understanding about this issue to their team, and - together - suggest solutions. Individual marketers may very likely have different 'fixes' for the current workload issues; it will be different for everyone.
- Reallocate the work. Marketers don't typically shy away from the opportunity to upskill. Speak to each member of your team about their true capacity and work hours to make decisions about any reallocation.
- Be professionally vulnerable. Encourage your team to share with you about what is going on for them and what they may need as a result of their own personal circumstances. To read more on this, visit our recent blog where CMO's share on this very issue.
- Seek other perspectives. If team members are at a loss on how to solve this issue, seek the support and perspective of industry peers. Simply sharing and listening how others have dealt with similar issues is a powerful thing. New ideas and solutions will start to unfold as you learn from others.
Working from home options
Contact us to dive deeper into these issues, or to give us your take on this issues; we love to listen.
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for 10 years and prior to that was an attorney. She loves what she does, and is always open to continuing the discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org
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