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Thoughts on Career Change From a Guy Who’s Never Changed Careers in His Life

By on Sep 2, 2014 | 0 comments

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I received an interesting email this morning …

A contact I made a few years back was interested in making a career change.

The victim: His current advertising career.

The opportunity: A job that allowed him to work in product or project management.

… he asked me for some advice …

“Do you have any advice on how to make a career change and/or anyone in those types of fields/roles I could talk to as well?”

It took me a few minutes as I thought on his question: What advice did I have (if any)?

After I compiled my thoughts and sent an email response, he thanked me for my time and mentioned the tips were super helpful and I should share them with others.

 … which brings us to to this point …

I’ve copy/pasted my three tips from that email. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Find Similarities & Connect the Dots
  2. Discover what type of company you want to work for
  3. “Become a PM with a focus on [insert job function here]”

Tip #1: Find Similarities & Connect the Dots

For example, my girlfriend is in revenue management at hotel companies. But honestly, once you know pricing and revenue strategy and get some experience, in that field you could work at a hotel company, restaurant chain, retail company (Old Navy, for example), etc etc the list goes on!

Basically, find the foundational elements of what you do now that could be transferred to a new industry, field or career path.

Tip #2: Discover what type of company you want to work for

It’s really important to discover the industry or company (by name) that you want to work for.

This leads into #3 and is critical because you want to really love what they are doing before you approach them with an offer to “make them skinnier”, “make you happier”, “make you more money”, etc by bringing you on as a FTE.

Tip #3: “Become a PM with a focus on advertising”

I have a friend in Los Angeles who used to work at a large ad agency in town.

He didn’t necessarily love being at an agency, but he did love the advertising elements of his job. Ipso facto, he marketed himself to large companies who needed global advertising experience (as a PM) and got hired at a Fortune 50 legacy software company to run their North America advertising division.

What does this mean?

He basically oversees all FTE/contractors/agencies that support advertising for HP. In english: he’s a boss-man director who does very little work but gets to lead advertising processes, strategy, needs and performance reviews by leveraging his ad agency experience.

In Closing: What did I miss?

There are surely other tips that I failed to mention in this story. Drop them into the comments section and I’ll make sure to pass them along to my colleague!

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