Business Industry Guide

Do you love watching “The Apprentice”? Do you consider yourself to be quite the sales person? Maybe you’re thinking about working in recruitment? Or perhaps managing a team is more your sort of thing? Well then, you may be naturally-suited to working in the business sector. Let’s have a look at the industry in more detail.

Business is a broad industry covering many, many roles that keep organisations running smoothly and, in most cases, generating a profit.

There are millions of people who work in business, and it can be a very lucrative career choice depending on what sort of business role or company you end up in.

Business job structure and typical roles

Most jobs within this sector follow the traditional working hours of the “9 to 5, Monday to Friday” structure and more often than not these roles are desk-based.

As we mentioned, business is a HUGE term encompassing a wide variety of job roles and departments, such as:

Management – covering everything from supervisors right up to company directors, people working in management positions make high-level strategic decisions as to how things will work and lead teams of staff to ensure the business functions effectively.

Sales or business development – salespeople work directly with clients to ensure the sale of products or services, this can be carried out over the phone or at meetings with face-to-face selling.

Customer services – working with customers to understand, tackle and resolve any issues or questions they have regarding the product or service provided.

Human resources – known as the HR team, people working in these roles look after the recruitment, training and wellbeing of the organisation’s employees.

Administration – administrators support the management by dealing with essential tasks that ensure the smooth running of the business.

Marketing – marketers ensure the company is connecting with its audience, as well as promoting brand awareness and new products or services. Someone in marketing should be able to understand the consumer, what they want and how to deliver that product.

Public relations – commonly known as PR, public relations officers represent the brand and uphold the organisation’s reputation through building and maintaining relationships with everyone involved in the business. A broad term for ‘everyone’ is stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and journalists.

Finance – the finance department organises the day-to-day costs of running a business, dealing with invoices, expenses and budgets.

The business sector incorporates all these areas, but remember that in general terms every organisation is a business, so you will find these job types overlap into other industries.

For instance Jaguar Land Rover, a company operating within the engineering industry will have a marketing team and Marks and Spencer, retail giants, will have numerous customer service assistants.

Industry expert: Alyssa Kreutzer, airport development specialist, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

What attracted you to the industry and the company?

The vast opportunities for promotion through performance were really attractive. Learning and improving my business knowledge was key to my career choice. I take pride in my ability to run a successful profitable business, which I learned from my mentors and leaders. Most of all I wanted to work with people.

What do you enjoy most about the industry?

I love being busy, rarely do I sit at a desk or alone in an office. Over the time I’ve spent in business I’ve worked in every segment I could, from accounting to marketing. Working within business means you have loads of opportunities that you can take advantage of to gain valuable experiences.

What type of skills and characteristics does a student need to succeed in the industry?

  • A positive, motivated attitude
  • To enjoy conquering challenges and working in a competitive environment
  • Personal drive for excellence

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