Research. Not on the face of it the most glamorous of fields! But let’s not do ourselves down; there are plenty of other industries out there that, to the majority, simply aren’t going to inspire. Sure there won’t be many of us who grew up dreaming the dream that is Research; but neither did many people crave the life of the chartered accountant, the health and safety inspector, or… the HR professional. All of these fields, perhaps with one exception (you decide which); we would admit are valuable and entirely necessary! So why don’t many of us seem to plan for a glorious career in these fields, preferring instead ‘lawyer’, ‘doctor’, ‘marketer’ (depending on how old you are)? Or if you did fancy Research growing up, why did you? What was it that caught your imagination?
For example, when I was a kid I wanted to be a crane operator, or a train driver. I even dreamed of being a dinosaur! Then as I grew up and became more aware of what was out there my aspirations leapt up a notch (or maybe down a notch – heavy machinery and dinosaurs are fantastic). From age 10 to 22 I drew up my life plan first as a Pro Tennis player, then a Fighter Pilot, Lawyer, and finally an Academic: but before I knew it I’d become a Marketing Exec at a tech start-up and now I’m a PR Exec in a Market Research agency.
Even as you mature, and begin to build your understanding of the world of work, you most often hear about the most glamorous, traditional or vocational job roles; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Spy. Like many, it wasn’t until I entered the job market in earnest, and actually began working, that I discovered the full gamut of what makes the business world tick. I was aware of Market Research, but hadn’t really considered what it really was and how it fitted into the big picture. This seems to have been the case for many, and surely has some interesting implications.
Firstly, if as many of us as it seems simply “fall” (with style of course) into Market Research, how does that impact our industry? Is there a discernible pattern in the sort of people and their skillsets that “fall” in? There certainly seems to be a huge variety of personalities involved in Research. The follow up to this initially inquisitive piece will see me speak with a variety of industry figures. But ultimately it’s your story that I’m interested in.
So, how did you get into research? What do you think your story, with its trials and tribulations, bring to your company and the industry as a whole? And do you think your skillset and the varied skillsets and unique vantage points of your colleagues are utilised to the industry’s advantage?
Answers on a postcard, or connect with Face Facts Research and join in the conversation: