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Career Planning

This page is designed to help you with a few pointers in planning out your career in the Contract Interiors & Building Products market.  We are always pleased to discuss your career with you and then provide whatever support you may need.  We will not automatically try and get you along to an interview just so that we can earn a fee!

If you have decided to embark on a job hunt then we are happy to explain how the job market works, the differences between various types of recruitment methods and that magical place where most new opportunities lie - the unadvertised jobs market!  Often a few minutes chatting over a cup of coffee with us can clarify your thoughts and suggest an appropriate action plan.  We will, however shoot straight and offer constructive criticism if we feel it is in your best long-term interests!

Here are some tips on career planning:

I have no experience and want to get into an external sales role.

One of the key skills needed for a successful career in this market is the ability to understand how the complex construction market operates.  If you have some relevant commercial or practical experience within the field then there will be a good chance that we can help you.  Consider your "transferable skills"; do you for example, have training as an Interior Designer plus some commercial experience? If so employers may be interested in you for selling to designers.  If you have worked for a sub-contractor then, again you may be suitably experienced to transfer that experience to an employer who values relationships with such customers.  If not, then your best bet is to approach potential employers that interest you directly.

Employers are used to people applying direct and if you create a strong and carefully targeted CV then your efforts may well bear fruit.

I have a couple of years' experience, what next?

Form a clear idea of why you want to move on (see help icons above).  Have you pursued any internal opportunities, as you will add credibility to your CV if you are seen to grow within your own organisation?  Don't be tempted to move too soon! However, many of our clients also like to take on people who want to move after an initial and successful period of experience.  It demonstrates ambition, drive and a keenness to learn.

I am a salesperson wanting to be a manager.

Be prepared to take on a very different role from pure sales.  As a manager of people your people skills, business financial abilities and negotiating skills will all need to be developed.
You have to be able to get the job done through others rather than doing it all yourself.  Talk to people who are managers and ask them how they spend their days.  Be sure of your motives for this ambition and remember that the best sales people do not always make the best managers and vice versa!

I am a Manager, what next?

Form a clear idea as to why you want to move (i.e. training, need extra support, money, want a bigger company etc.).  The next obvious move might be into a Sales Directors role for which you will need to: develop good business acumen and strategic thinking ability; be flexible in your location; show sound management skills, especially the ability to manage from afar; and of course be able to articulate full knowledge of the sales process.  You will also need to understand that there are other equally important functions within any business (finance, logistics etc.) whose Directors will be robust in promoting the needs of their departments and expect you to appreciate their point of view.  Be aware that there are few such openings around and that many employers will frequently want to promote from within for such an important role.

I want to diversify into different sectors.

The principles of sales are the same in all sectors.  However, in moving into different sectors, there are a number of things to consider.  Some clients are happy to retrain; others will expect you to have a good level of prior knowledge of their sector (eg. Flooring, Furniture etc.).

In many cases if you have a successful track record in a relatively adjacent market sector then your personal qualities, understanding of the decision-making process and contacts may well be attractive to another employer.