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Q  "I need a big promotion"
I have been working in the admininstrative area for almost 10 years. The last 5 have been supporting high level management. I am tired of assisting my bosses in getting the 'big sales' and want to know how I can take the skills I have and market them into a different direction. I don't have a college education and am afraid that will hinder my success.

I have sent some resumes for sales/recruiting positions to know avail. Is is something I should put in my coverletter or resume? I am tired of earning $27K a year, when I know I have the brains and experience to do something more. I most recently worked for a recruiting company, one of the people I was supporting was 26 years old, had no prior experience (her last job was working at the Express Clothing Store), it drove me nuts. She is an Executive Recruiter/Accounts Manager because she knew somebody, not because she could do the job. I know I could do her job better. What do I do????

A  First, I understand your frustration. Second, I can't tell you how you can << take the skills I have and market them into a different direction>>. Only you know those skills well enough to be able to figure out how to re-package them so they'll be useful in a sales context. Get to work on that task. Figure it out.

Here's what will make it a challenge. It's not too hard to assess your own skills. What's really a lot of work is figuring out what 'sales work' is really all about. If you don't know yet (having worked with sales people for some time), sit down with a sales person you respect and find out. Then map your skills against the work requirements.

Third, don't depend on a resume. Go talk to the sales managers you want to work for. Tell them that if you can't produce in two months, you'll leave, no questions asked. You must risk something here, because you've got to get past the perception that you're an assistant rather than a sales person.

Quick story. I know woman who was raising two teenagers. Her husband was a very successful stock broker. She had never held a regular job in her life. A tragic accident ended his life. She was left with bills and little insurance. She was desperate. She took some courses and started working as a broker. Today she's wildly successful. She's no genius. Never was. She just had great reasons to make a lot of money. She jumped in.

One thing: don't look down on others who have the jobs you want. That won't help you one bit. It will make you bitter, and that will make it harder to win the job you want.

The best sales manager I ever worked for looked for three things in a sales candidate: intelligence, persistence and enthusiasm. Do you have these? If you do, go show a sales manager --- and do it in person, not in a resume. Don't know a sales manager? Get someone you know who does know a sales manager to introduce you.

That's how it works. No one said it was easy.

The Headhunter


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