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Asked by Adam on February 20, 2015

I am very interested in making a career change. I am currently working in lead generation for a large company. I would like to do something more upbeat and with a bit more creativity and flair. I have a real interest in Marketing but I am unsure how to make this switch. What would you suggest the best way to make this transition? Are there any steps I should focus on?

Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at American Express, on February 20, 2015

This is a great question! If you are looking for a refresh or restart on career direction, there are a few things you can do to position yourself for a change.
First, focus on building your knowledge of your areas of interest by networking with individuals in your company to learn more about the work that they do. If Marketing is a focus for you, then seek out people in that area to learn about their projects, the day to day, core skillsets and talent attributes. Once you have determined this is where you want to focus, analyze your current and previous work and role to see where the alignment of skills and experience are with Marketing or your chosen focus area. Be sure to recognize gaps and either be prepared to address them in an interview or find ways to build these skills and experience.

Many individuals opt to apply to MBA or Master's programs to help build their expertise and transition into their chosen focus area. However, if this is not in your plans, you can still make a transition through other means. Make yourself more desirable by asking for stretch project to develop new Marketing related skill-sets and continue networking with employees to build your knowledge base and gain visibility within the groups. There also may be classes offered at a local university or college but wouldn't require enrollment in a full program. You could potentially work as a volunteer for a non-profit who needs assistance in their marketing department or other area related to your focus. All of these activities show a learning mindset and can better position you to take on a role in a new function.

I hope some of this is helpful to you as you plan your next career move. Best of luck!


  

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Answered by Tanya, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on March 2, 2015

I would recommend attempting to make this career change with your current company and express this interest during sessions with your manager.

Also many times opportunities arise outside of your current company so additional degree or schooling may assist with this tranisition.

Also when applying to positions in your new area of interest the cover letter will be your most important to tool to convey why you would like to change career concentrations

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Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on March 2, 2015

Reinventing yourself requires some work on your part.  I'd start with looking into your companies culture to help you with this change.  Many companies offer individual development plans (IDP) to help their team members stretch to new roles.  You might want to see if there are any projects you can be a part of in the marketing area.  Making yourself known will be beneficial to you acheiving the best outcome.  This can be tied to your IDP.  If your company offers tuition reimbursement I would recommend taking a few marketing classes.  This will help you gain expereinces to connect the dots at work.  I would also put a timeframe around your goal to move into marketing.  This target will be front and center for you as you make progress. 

Good luck and hope this was helpful! 

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Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on July 23, 2015

Good for you in identifying what you want to do and looking to make the transition. Some people don't figure out what they would enjoy doing  their entire career! First thing I would recommend would be to see what options might be available in your current company. You mentioned it was a large company so I am thinking there should be an opportunity for you to at least have some networking conversations with individuals within the Marketing function. Set up 15-20 minutes to have a coffee with them to discuss how they broke into the field and understand exactly what they do on a day to day basis. These networking meetings provide you with additional insight into expecations of what the role entails and also allows you to make contact with people in the function who might be aware of upcoming openings that would be a fit for you. If you have a good relationship with your manager, you might want to share your career aspirations and hopefully your manager will support them. There may be some project work that you can do related to marketing in the interim. Continue to work hard in your current role to show your strong work ethic and I'm sure things will start happening for you in no time! Good luck!!

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