COVID-19 SPECIAL

From events industry to furniture retailer: Applying his marketing skills across sectors

To help him get up to speed, Mr Jared Chan attended a week-long induction course, before signing on for a professional conversion programme for digital operations talents.
To help him get up to speed, Mr Jared Chan attended a week-long induction course, before signing on for a professional conversion programme for digital operations talents.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JARED CHAN

There are common skill sets that can apply across industries, as Mr Jared Chan found when he switched from the events sector to retail.

Mr Chan, 32, was a senior marketing executive in the events industry when the coronavirus pandemic battered the sector by cancelling all large-scale gatherings.

He started applying his marketing skills to his new position at furniture retailer Commune in February.

Mr Chan said: "The Covid-19 situation was hanging on everyone's mind back then. It was very uncertain and vendors were trying to figure things out. Everyone was very concerned and trying to make sense of things."

He added that one of the main reasons prompting him to switch industries was that he felt his marketing skills could be adaptable enough to be applied across different industries, with changes to suit a particular sector.

"Starting out, I definitely had concerns on where I could pick up the information needed on the job, where do I start, and industry-specific questions like what are the thousand and one materials that are used in furniture building and what sort of construction methods are applied," he said.

To help him get up to speed, Mr Chan attended a week-long induction course, before signing on for a professional conversion programme for digital operations talents.

The programme helped him pick up new digital marketing skills and get a wider view of his new industry.

Mr Chan also feels that his new role is a welcome challenge because it involves regional markets, since Commune has stores overseas. "I try to adopt a mindset of adaptability."

He said: "Of course, you need to walk before you learn how to run, but the skill sets I have gained from one industry can also be brought to another but with the necessary tweaks to fit that."

 
 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2020, with the headline 'From events industry to furniture retailer: Applying his marketing skills across sectors'. Subscribe