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Brand vs Role – what are you really getting?

by Jon White October 28, 2015

​As the clocks go back and temperatures start to drop, a change of season is very definitely upon us. This rather wintery weather brings with it a longing for a change of scenery; for many of us this means visions of a tropical beach but for some it can signal the beginning of a hunt for a new job.  

Are you in this camp?

It can seem like there’s a baffling amount of factors to consider when choosing your next role, especially if you are approaching your job search with somewhat of an open mind. If you’re in this group – you may well find yourself won over by branding, perceived market image and reputation.

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, especially with so many great brands out there to work for, we would always recommend taking a good look under the bonnet before taking the plunge.  This makes sure that what you have seen of the brand at a surface level is actually reflected in the specific role you would be going in to do.

Often we hear stories of people taking jobs at The World’s best brands, being initially dazzled by the glamour a big name in lights. However it’s often these destination brands that might lead you to accept a number of details at face value throughout the interview process.                                                                                                        

At Freshminds we focus upon unearthing as much as possible about our clients, before we talk to our candidates. For example, we rarely, if ever, work with a company that we have not physically met with, and gained a good handle on the team and ambiance (whilst having a thorough snoop around their offices!) This face-time is essential as it allows us to provide an honest and realistic description of a company as well as an invaluable interpretation of the role on offer.

So what should you be on the look out for when assessing that all-important next step?

1. If they aren’t bothering to sell to you and aren’t mirroring your enthusiasm for them in any way - beware!

2. Some big brands have a stable growth of margin by sheer economies of scale, but on the ground this growth, no matter how sexy the stats are when shown at interview, may not necessarily translate into a fast paced growth environment.

3. What are the pay grades and progression opportunities? This sounds obvious, but sometimes a destination brand that gains employees by simply being the “coolest” in the market can actually have a relatively fast route into a glass ceiling. People stay there because they love the product so much and as a result can be blinded to their personal career growth. Make sure you are as clear as possible on where that incredible brand may actually take you and account for it accordingly.

4. Don’t even think about feigning passion. No matter how good you think it will look on your CV in the future, if you don’t really love the brand it will come out in the wash. You will be worked as hard as everyone else, but you will not enjoy it as much as other employees and that can only lead to bad things!

5.  You don’t necessarily have to have heard about it for it to be your dream job!  Strategy consultants as a whole are pretty good at noticing this as they often work with the behind the scene brands, but in general keep an open mind as you may be surprised. Admittedly this is a trait found more in the graduate world, but those obsessing with a particular set of brands tend to not actually enjoy them should they get there, or feel they have failed for never having got there in the first place.

Not sure whether to choose brand or role? Drop us an email or give us a call on 020 7692 4300 to chat through your options.

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