Marketing is an amazing sector and requires individuals of both intelligence and creativity. They use these attributes to draw and hold our attention and make us buy into the vision they are depicting. This is why the Find Your Flex team is excited to get the perspective of the amazing Annalisa West; Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager for St. James’s Place.
We cannot wait to hear all about the day to day working life of such a varied and interesting role and hope you will find it inspiring and beneficial!
What does a working day look like for a Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager?
My day can range from having meetings with key stakeholders, to creating promotional videos and writing articles for both traditional and social media.
How do you find a work life balance?
I’ve learnt to compartmentalize my life, be extremely organised and have a process for everything to maintain a good work life balance. Since becoming a mum this has become even more crucial because life is busy! Success for me regarding a great work life balance depends on having the right mindset and ensuring I don’t become overwhelmed, I always think ‘process not outcome’, which really helps. Regarding work, I set goals with workable, realistic steps of how I’ll achieve them. I have a clear process every day; I create a daily ‘to do’ list and I use the Eisenhower Matrix to plan my work in order of priority. What really helps is that, since having my first son (who is now 6), I am a homeworker. St. James’s Place are superb at looking after their employee’s welfare in this way and have certainly provided me with unwavering support, which I believe is reciprocated in the work I am able to produce for the company. Every Sunday evening I look at my work diary to plan what’s happening for the week ahead. I do this with my husband, who does the same, so we’re both aware of each other’s work commitments for the week.
In doing this we can then ensure that whatever responsibilities we have to our sons and our home life for the coming week are organised around work commitments. With anytime that’s left I plan when I can exercise and have time alone in my garden, which changes from week to week. Exercising 3-4 times a week and getting in my garden are non-negotiable things for me to do, even if it means fitting them in at six in the morning or in the evening when my children are in bed. I’m a keen gardener and always have been, it’s a creative outlet for me that I love where I can just switch off. I’m a firm believer that in order to bring my best to my work and home life, maintaining a good work life balance, I need to take care of my mental and physical health. Having time to switch off in the garden and exercising regularly definitely supports this.
Are there opportunities to progress?
Yes, St. James’s Place are very supportive of professional development, in fact I go so far as to say it’s actively encouraged, as part of our culture, for everyone to be the best version of themselves. If I’ve ever felt I the need to develop an area of my skills which will enable me to do my role more successfully, I can honestly say training has been fully supported throughout my (almost) 11 years with the company. There is a fantastic programme of internal workshops and training and opportunities to move jobs internally are openly advertised on our intranet for everyone to see. If you work hard at St. James’s Place it does not go unnoticed, it’s a great organisation that feels like a family, despite being a FTSE 100 company, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
I’m also delighted to be an integral part of the marketing team who promote our Academy programme, offering opportunities to people outside of the organisation a chance to change career and progress professionally. It’s a joy to interview people who have joined our Academy programme and hear how we’ve empowered them to begin a new career and it has changed the lives of both themselves and their family! So many people get to a stage in their career where they don’t feel they can progress, and they need a new challenge or a completely new career direction. For them the Academy is a fantastic programme. The programme offers high calibre and driven individuals an exciting chance to begin a career in financial advice.
What is the best part about being Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager?
As I mentioned, I’m positively changing lives; with the promotional material I create I’m helping to find the next generation of Financial Advisers. This is so important to me in a profession where there’s only (circa) 26 thousand Financial Advisers in the UK and there’s literally millions of people with money to invest, who don’t have a Financial Adviser and would benefit from their guidance. I’m excited by the fact that I’m helping to make a difference to the profession and to help increase the avenues to advice for these investors. I also know, having interviewed many of the people who I’ve helped to attract to join St. James’s Place, that becoming a Financial Adviser is the best decision they’ve ever made and it has changed their lives in numerous ways. There’s so much satisfaction in knowing my role in the team as a marketeer is helping to make a difference to so many people, those who join us and become top-class Financial Advisers and those people who become clients of St. James’s Place and gain, in my opinion, the best financial advice.
Is there a difficult part to your job?
Working with such a diverse group within St. James Place, it can be challenging to meet the production requirements for all the individual people or teams who want some form of marketing material. On occasion for logistical, time, budgetary or even creative reasons it’s not possible to give them precisely what they want and having to say ‘no’ when a piece of work someone wants just isn’t achievable is always tough. It doesn’t happen often and normally at worst we find a workable middle ground, but when it does it becomes a problem for which we always try to find a future solution.
If someone was considering a career in your area of expertise, what advice would you give to them?
If you like storytelling, be that written or visual then, go for it! because you’d love a career in marketing. It’s challenging in a positive way; ascertaining the best way to engage with people, taking their vision (or sometimes just a thought) and turning it into a living breathing product designed to engage people and make them feel a certain way, understand a specific concept or just think about a new subject is very satisfying when it works well. There are often times when frustrations and complications test you along the way, but that makes it all the more fulfilling when your finished product is made public and does its job. It really does make you feel like you have achieved something, and I love it!
Thank you to Annalisa for sharing your insights as a Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager!
The Find Your Flex team would like to thank Annalisa for highlighting the amazing hallmarks of her role! It’s truly inspiring to gain such a balanced perspective on what working in a senior Marketing role looks like and know that anyone who reads this will know they have the perfect insight into whether this would be a career that they themselves would aim for
There are many different careers out there and if you want to gain some more insights, why not check out A Day in the Life of The Head of UX and Optimisation: Becky Franks?