Careers in Love
For some, it’s a special day to do something romantic with Bae. For others, it’s merely the day before half priced candy. Yet as hard as some may try, it’s pretty tough to avoid Valentine’s Day — it’s a marketing behemoth and a major economic event, with 20 billion dollars spent annually.
But rather than analyze why Tina won’t call you back or why Kyle hasn’t proposed yet, let’s look at some job roles that help make Valentine’s Day tick. If you’re passionate about romance or in love with matchmaking, check out these careers in Love.
Dating apps long ago ditched the stigma they once had, and have become pretty darn ubiquitous in the love game.
Want to hear some crazy stats?
- One third of new marriages begin by meeting online
- There are 6 billion Tinder swipes per day (& 26 million matches)
Given this ubiquity, perhaps the best way to be a real life Cupid in 2018 is to work at a dating app. Obviously, as with any app, there is a need for coding and software development. But there are plenty of other roles to suit any talent set:
A dating app is useless if you’re the only one on it. Brand managers and marketers are responsible for attracting and keeping users, by building and maintaining a brand’s reputation and image. This includes the way the brand talks about itself, presents itself graphically, communicates to its users and advertises to potential users. Check out Alex Williamson’s story on her experience working at Bumble:
Although each platform is different; in general, the people shown to you on dating apps aren’t random –algorithms try to facilitate matches by tracking your preferences and showing you people you’re more likely to say Yes to and who are more likely to say Yes to you. Those apps with more detailed bios and info also cater matches based on religion, alcohol/drug tendencies, food preferences, and various numbers of personality attributes. There are more and less technical roles involved in that process. There’s the technical question of predicting matches and trying to reverse engineer and replicate successful pairings–that’s where the data engineers come in. But there’s also the less technical, more strategic role of deciding priorities and articulating goals– do people prefer higher odds for successful matches or lower odds but a chance at a real catch? Is it best to aim just for matches or for some deeper level or real compatibility? These decisions would fall to those in Product Management or Operations.
Several platforms, like OKCupid and Match, also employ analysts and researchers to dive into the large pools of data and do what essentially amounts to social science research. This research is valuable for improving the user experience and matching process, but it’s also useful from a purely academic standpoint– it’s a treasure trove of data that can lend real sociological and psychological insights into people’s attraction and love interests.
Cards and such
According to Hallmark, about 131 million cards are exchanged on Valentine’s Day, making it the second most popular holiday to purchase cards. That’s a lot of paper.
If you’re interested in cards, there are tons of ways to get involved in the card making business.
The most obvious role, of course, is writing and designing the cards themselves. This includes writers, graphic designers, and original artists.
These people analyze sales of different cards and card types, work with store brands to examine their sales data and inventory needs, and summarize the data for the creative and production teams; in order to produce and ship more of the cards people want, at the time of year they want them, and ultimately, sell more cards.
It’s estimated that $4 Billion was spent on jewelry last year. Did you get any of it?
Nevermind that– it’s a huge and exciting industry regardless.
Perhaps no industry is as affected by marketing as the jewelry industry. The diamond engagement ring was not a thing until the 1940s when a savvy marketing campaign for diamond company De Beers essentially created the norm, and developed demand for its diamonds out of thin air (they also later put the “two months salary” benchmark directly into their marketing).
Diamonds are one of the things that millennials have been accused of killing. And while crippling debt may be a large part of it, a generational pushback against materialism and exploitative mining practices are also factors. Will a new custom takeover for the diamond engagement ring? Could you be a part of creating demand for this century’s replacement for diamonds?
With the amounts people pay for jewelry, it needs to be flawless. That falls on materials engineers, manufacturing engineers, and CNC machinists, among others, to improve materials, processes, and quality control to maximize quality and minimize waste.
Field Account Representatives, Hershey’s
Field Reps at Hershey’s travel to retail stores to share insights with store managers and help them optimize the organization, location, and presentation of their chocolate to sell more. The intentional placement of display racks and signage on endcaps and checkout aisles is often not orchestrated by store personnel but by Hershey’s reps, who share best practices on how to subtly get people to buy more chocolate.
Business Analyst, Retail Stores
On February 13th, when you rush into the store to buy your girlfriend a heart-shaped box of chocolate at the last minute, you expect them to still have it in stock. In fact, most people wait until the last day– February 13th is the biggest day for chocolate sales in February – so stores must stock up to be prepared. At the same time, though, any that they don’t sell will have to be deeply discounted. Business Analysts for these stores use previous years’ sales data, other stores’ data, and other economic indicators to forecast demand and recommend appropriate quantities and prices so that the inventory will last until the 14th but not leave an excessive amount for them to lose money on afterward. Aside from this, analysts work to solve more detailed questions like how the introduction of a new product will affect sales of others, which products provide the highest margin relative to shelf space, etc.
Supply Chain Operations and Logistics
You know how easily chocolate melts if you forget it’s in your pocket or your car? Or how it turns a bit grey if it’s frozen and unfrozen? But have you ever noticed that it’s almost never like that when you buy it from a store? That’s due to the diligence and brilliance of supply chain and distribution. Before it gets to you, chocolate has to get from the factory, to a truck, to a warehouse, to another truck, (possibly another warehouse), and to a store. In order for it to not be all gross and misshapen when your S.O. opens it on V-Day, it has to go through that whole process without ever getting above or below certain temperatures. Distribution and Logistics professionals make that happen.
Okay, no one gets hired straight into chocolatiering – it involves lots of culinary training and experience. But if you’re truly passionate about chocolate and want to see how you could go down that path, check out Lindt’s Maitre Chocolatier Ann Czaja.
That’s right. Everyone’s childhood dream job is a real thing. Kind of. Cadbury’s parent company recently posted a need for part-time paid chocolate tasters at their England headquarters. It’s not too late to apply.
The floral industry has many of the same logistical challenges as chocolate, but more magnified. Flowers need to get from where they’re grown to where they’re going, without wilting, drying out, freezing, or being crushed. It’s also unique in that there are huge spikes in demand around the big flower-giving holidays, and much lower sales the rest of the year, so companies must be able to rapidly scale up production and distribution in anticipation of these holidays. This means lots of seasonal jobs, as well as jobs in operations, logistics, and of course, horticulture.
Farmgirl Flowers was created in an attempt to disrupt the old-school flower business. Inspired by In-n-Out, the founder decided to have one main product, and do it really really well. For them, it’s a daily arrangement. The Design Manager and Assistant Design Managers are responsible for designing the creations.
Warehouse Supervisors at 1-800-Flowers handle and manage receiving, inspection, quality control, and order fulfillment, at one of 1-800-Flowers’ regional warehouses.
There’s still a thriving market for the personal touch of real life, offline matchmakers. Sarah Kathryn Walmsley runs 8 at 8 Dinner Club and 1 on 1 Matchmaking in Atlanta, GA. See our whole interview with Sarah Kathryn here!
So, this Valentine’s Day, will you fall in love with a career? Let us know in the comments!
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