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How to change my career to a new industry without prior experience?

Published on
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 21:10
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Hi Career Doctor,

After reading your insightful replies to different posts, it really initiate me to create this post, as your questions raised in different posts really hit the main point of different situation! Hope that I can also get the advice from your expertise in career planning!

Let me introduce my background. I am 28 with BSc graduated from a local university. After my graduation, I worked in a MNC as sales executive for the sales of medical laboratory equipment for 7 months. After that, I joined a non-profit organization as an executive officer until now (3.5 years).

Having a few years working experience, comparing my current job with my previous one, and researching the job nature of business-related job (Sales and Marketing, Business Analyst/Research), I found that my preferred career is in business field, especially Sales and Marketing, Business Analyst/Research. I am working so hard to try to change my job to business-related, sending many job applications but got very few responses. Although I was being invited to attend the interview for a market research position offered by a MNC in FMCG, finally I was failed.

As my background, both academic and working experience, are not really relating to Marketing/Business Research, is there anything I can do to sharpen my competitive edge when applying job in Marketing/Business Research?

I had read through the posts which has similar situation as me (e.g. like to change career to a different industry), and I would like to answer the same questions which you may ask me:

My enthusiasm in Marketing/Business Research:
I can 100% sure to tell you that I am extremely eager to work in Marketing/Business Research. I have spent much effort to advance my knowledge in this field, e.g. reading related business news, magazine, books, journals and any related articles in the internet. Even for the interview of market research position offered by a MNC in FMCG I mentioned before, I read the book about the development and history of that company. I am also thinking to study MSc in Marketing/Econ or not. After reading numerous comments from your previous post, I understand even I am a MSc in Marketing holder, it cannot guarantee me a job in marketing. However, as my background (both academic and working experience) is not related to Marketing/Business Research, is it worth for me to take the MSc in Marketing?

Reason to leave my current executive officer job in non-profit organization in education industry:
Although working in this non-profit organization can guarantee me a stable job, this job really cannot give me any job satisfaction in terms of job nature. My daily tasks are administrative work and following the routine internal guideline to conduct analysis of different courses. I had tried to seek advancement/promotion within this organization, however the chance is limited as the management prefer to hire external people rather than internal staff for position with higher rank. I am always to do my job well no matter what and give the best I can. However, the most important point is I do not have any faith in this job and industry. Comparing with my previous sales executive job, when I was successfully captured a new business deal really gave me much job satisfaction, and it is the main reason why I would like to change my career to business field. In conclusion, in term of the prospect of the industry I am currently working in, I can say it is very stable without much upward trend. In term of the prospect of the non-profit organization I am working now, the chance for promotion is limited and rare.

Reason to change from previous sales executive job to my current job:
It is because I was still not sure about my career objective and desired industry after my 7 months working experience as sales executive, so I decided to change to a totally different industry to have a try when I still young.

Reason not to move back to previous sales executive job, but Marketing/Business Research:
Although working as a sales executive can give me job satisfaction, the process which I enjoy most is to setting different business strategies base on different market information, which is highly related to the job of Marketing/Business Research.

My understanding of the nature, requirement and difficulty for the job in Marketing/Business Research:
I had researched the job nature, requirement and difficulty for the job in Marketing/Business Research thoroughly, through different related business news, magazine, books and friends working in marketing. I understand the job in business field is not as secure as my current job and the workload may be higher. However, I really not mind about that and I am sure if I can work in a position within an industry which I desired most, I can perform my very best and enjoy the job satisfaction.

I really understand no one can guarantee me a better prospect in any job/industry, and whether you can be successful not only depends on how hard you work, it also depends on luck and occasion. I am not complaining about my current situation but just want to know more ways to increase my chance to change to my desired job and industry. Anyway, I had prepared for the worst scenario, which is continuing to stay in my current job until my retirement.

Sorry to have so many paragraphs and hope you understand I just want to let you understand more about my situation. Thank you very much!

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