Let’s have a scenario which is common. It can be any occupational interests but for illustration purpose and simplicity, I have indicated below the working experiences of a mid-life Sales Professional. We will call him John. John is keen to look for the role of Sales Manager.
2005 – 2006: Sales Associate, A firm
2006 – 2007: Sales Executive, B firm
2007 – 2008: Sales Executive, C firm
2008 – 2010: Sales Executive, D firm
2011 – 2012: Business Development Executive, E firm
When John writes his resume and puts “6 years of sales experiences”, impression is:
1) He does not stay long in a sales job with the same company
2) Probably 6 years without strong experiences due to his lateral transition from one firm to another
3) It seems John is not promoted. Supposedly all circumstances remain equal and his job performances consistent, if his track record is excellent, he would have move to a senior role
4) What exactly is John career pathway or is he just exploring into the line of a Salesperson?
5) Seriously, is John advancing up or just moving sideways?
6) Theoretically speaking, what are the chances of success if John asks for the role of Sales Manager with a new F firm - considering all circumstances remain equal?
In short, John lacks robust track record and sales achievements – a case of misaligning his portfolio against his thoughts of a Sales Manager. Of course, there will be instances where John may have the opportunity to begin his new role as Sales Manager – that is, if he knows how to SELL his profile well during the interview (there is a possibility he may struggle with his new responsibilities) The real problem is, he may not specifically realize his soft skills such as cross-cultural negotiation. Therefore, it may be challenging for John to find value and know what he can offer.
And this may be one of the reasons why he is trapped in the similar scope while migrating to a different environment. He is hoping for a lucky, shiny star to smile at him (get promoted) while thinking he is on the verge of career advancement but nothing substantial to prove his worth.
Henceforth, there may be a need to tamper his expectation.
There can be also a high chance John just goes through the daily motion of selling without self-reflection on the work done. How many of us go through the daily affairs without realizing how special we are in skill offerings or “attitude selling”? Typically, Sales Manager involves different set of abilities such as sales leadership if a component of the job responsibilities is to manage a team of people. Probably, the real reason John stays on as salesperson may be the fact that he is attracted to the lure of variable income – commission.
To resolve John dilemma and assess the best fit, we need to get down to the basics.
(a) How does John feel about the role of a Salesperson – the good and bad
(b) What type of work examples can John state that makes him satisfied as a Salesperson personally?
(c) Is John able to pull out any work credentials as he took on the role of a Salesperson?
(a) Can John define his career movement as up, down, stagnant, sideways? Why?
(b) What does John possess that makes Recruiters think about him, as a successful Sales Manager?
(c) Possible for John to list down top 5 specific/measurable skills needed to excel as a Sales Manager?
There can be several burning questions that will equip John the necessary answers to make better informed career decisions such as “should I stay on in the sales line”. Generally, one needs to understand their unique selling points while being on the job.
If you face any roadblock like the situation above, drop me a line at email@example.com