Project development and corporate sales
Project development at a glance
Around 40 per week
Full time and can work from home. Plus can do your hours to fit around life!
None! Vet or RVN or knowledgeable with sales
Sometimes in industry you have to go away for anything up to a few days about 3 or 4 times a year
Approach agencies, get a feel for the different companies and what kind of company you want, then understand what role you want and how you will build your skills in order to be competitive at interview
Communication skills, enjoy speaking to new people and delivering customer care
Independence, management of own diary, creativity within the framework company gives you
What were your first career steps and how did that work out?
I started out full time in small animal general practice but I knew straight away there was something missing for me in my career and my feeling of contact with the outside world. I began building networks of friends and contacts with people who worked in a variety of sectors in finance, banking, marketing, consulting and accounting.
So how did you decide to work in sales and a corporate environment?
I took an interest in developing and widening my fairly narrow skill set as a vet in order that I could diversify/ combine skills and learn about business and management. In my third year of vet practice I moved back in with my parents in London to give me more financial freedom and spent 1 month sitting in a cafe near home mapping out what I really cared about deep down and my ultimate career ambition. Yes that’s right a whole month! I realised that my ambition was to lead a project with a team of people that ultimately engages customers with something that matters to me. I then had to work out which path to take to build the skills needed to get there. My choices were study an MBA, or working in a multinational reputable veterinary global company in either sales or technical advice .
What did you need to do to get into this career path?
I started talking to drug reps at shows, in clinics and again building contacts within the companies that I considered working for and also learning about the different companies and their HR, salary, job opportunities, personal development and general atmosphere/professionalism. I signed up with an agency called “Noble Futures” and was very clear that I wanted large global well established companies only as I wanted access to as much learning resources as possible as well as a high quality of management and expertise that I could learn from. I also applied directly or sent my CV to the companies I cared about through friends or contacts I was making. I think that a candidate who has been forthcoming and friendly with company staff and had a face to face chat with the right people will stand out. Even if there is no vacancies at the time, if management like you or there has been an internal recommendation they may contact you first should a job come available. (This is what happened for me ).
I am now doing my ultimate dream job! And learning all the time! I get to work with experts in a variety of fields and am communicating and working with people all over the world every week.
Were there any barriers to entry and how did you overcome them?
I chose to work in sales because I wanted to learn better how to engage people, in sales and leadership but I was up against people who had proven sales experience. I also didn’t have experience with the various software and programs the company used and some candidates had better computer skills. I bought a book called “interviews for dummies “ and revised for weeks! And told them that I was ready and confident I would learn quickly. I think the manager hired me in the end because she knew regardless of anything, I trusted and genuinely believed the products to be high quality and therefore she knew my sincere passion would transfer to the customers.
What are the best bits about your current role and are there any downsides?
I am currently working part time as a vet and part time on a project that is called “Jóia “ which means “jewel” in Portuguese. The project is something I am deeply passionate about and is pre-launch at the moment. I am now doing my ultimate dream job! And learning all the time! I get to work with experts in a variety of fields and am communicating and working with people all over the world every week.
Could you give us an overview of a typical day/tasks?
I am a part time vet on some days and on other days I spend a lot of time at home sending emails and making phone calls!
What sort of person would thrive in this career path?
I think the career path I have taken is very suited to a person that wants to build a broader skill set and improve on soft skills.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in sales and project development?
Get as much cpd relevant to your career transition as possible. There are loads of free courses online in finance, sales marketing accounting. Do pick up the phone, say hi at trade shows and take notice of your sales rep ( or anyone that will be a useful contact for you)! And don’t worry about the things you don’t know, you’ll learn quickly!