While the majority of the conference focused on innovative market research methodologies and technologies, some of the most popular sessions on Day 3 focused on an entirely new set of topics: maintaining work-life balance and recruiting new talent.
Recognizing that market researchers are notorious for working crazy hours, Dr. Jane Goldner hosted a session on what she calls “role integration.” According to Dr. Goldner, it’s not about having it all, but rather having YOUR all. Working is not something to drudge through to get to the fun aspects of life; it is one of the many roles we play.
In order to achieve role integration, Dr. Goldner suggests the following 4 essential tools:
- A personal support system: Nobody is an island.
- Delegation: It is your best friend at work. When you don’t delegate, you’re telling people you don’t trust them. You’re also taking away a learning opportunity.
- Role models: Identify people who integrate their roles well as an example(s).
- Negotiation: Learn to negotiate better in both your personal and professional life. You never know what opportunities may be available.
Finally, Dr. Goldner discussed the importance of learning to relate to Millenials on their level in order to recruit the next generation of market researchers. She says, “Companies need to get the fact that performance and results are what matter, not the hours put in.”
Following Dr. Goldner’s session, University of Georgia Professor Charlotte Mason hosted a session on building the next generation of insights leaders. Mason, the Director of the Master of Marketing Research Program at UGA, contrasted the number of opportunities in the research field with the lack of students interested in pursuing that path. Mason says, “Market research is hot! Why doesn’t anyone outside this conference seem to know this?”
Mason believes there are a few key challenges that are preventing students from showing interest in the market research field: low awareness and poor image. To bring more students into the field, Mason believes we need to target students before they decide on a graduate program such as an MBA or JD and direct them toward any one of the emerging MMR programs around the country.
When it comes to creating the next generation of researchers, Mason highlights the importance of “provoking transformation, not providing insights.”
Thanks to Jane Goldner and Charlotte Mason for two very interesting and thought-provoking sessions!