A stagnating business might decide the solution to their ongoing ills is to escalate marketing. And they’re right. The optimal marketing program and mix can significantly transform a business. But the question is, is the business ready to be transformed?

If the business is mature, it’s going to be marketing’s responsibility to look at current practices and make the changes necessary to move business to the next level. Sometimes these are sweeping, dramatic changes.

But change is scary, even for those running the show. Upper management might dig in their heels with a “this is the way we do things here” type of attitude. And as a result, their stagnation continues.

So what happened here? The plain truth is, it’s quite likely that you’ve failed your tough assignment before you even started. So what’s a marketer to do?

Don’t Compromise.
If you’re in the midst of a difficult work situation that demands a change mentality, don’t second-guess yourself regarding what you should do to make the situation better. You’re always right to hold onto strongly held opinions, especially if they were forged from extensive experience.

Stay Positive.
Don’t let a rugged work situation bring you down. We all go through them from time to time, and they make us appreciate the good work we can do even more. Plus, we do some of our best learning handling difficult situations.

Take Responsibility.
While you might not be the root cause of the problem or the resulting standoff, you’re not blameless. You accepted your assignment, perhaps not fully vetting the company and understanding it’s intentions. And that’s on you. It’s not as difficult as it once was to research companies thoroughly. Use LinkedIn to identify prior work histories, and call on colleagues you trust who have had past and present relationships with the company. Through websites like Glassdoor you can get reviews of what former employees say about their experiences. I know, perhaps not the most reliable stuff, but form your own conclusions on whether the comments are important to you. Bottom line is you really should know what you’re walking into before walking into it.

Don’t Delay. Get Outta’ There.
If you’re in the midst of a no-win, no-go situation, don’t drive yourself insane and sacrifice your state of mind. Begin looking for an exit strategy the moment you know you’re up against an immovable object. You’ll save yourself an enormous amount of aggravation. Get out there and find your next great job (or next amazing assignment). G0 do some great work for amazing companies. Right now. The quicker the better. There are great opportunities out there. Go get them!

Ever have a tough situation, either as an employee or a freelancer? Bet you have. It’d be great to hear how you moved onward and upward.

Photo:  Adam Rifkin