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Identifying goals a first step to career success

Question :

I recently graduated in the US and am now job-hunting in Hong Kong. I want to be a product or brand marketing expert in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry and work with skin-care products, but finding entry-level jobs is difficult.

I plan to apply for management-trainee programmes in the next cycle, but for now I want a job offering the right experience to make me a better candidate. How "low" should I go? What kind of places and jobs should I be applying for? What experience would provide the stepping stones to my aspirations? 

Posted by jp on Friday, 21 Sep 2012

Comments :

Goal identification is the first step to success. While it is challenging to find the right entry-level job, it is easier if you do research upfront and focus on those jobs and target companies you aspire to. You need to answer the following questions.

Why do I want to be in the FMCG industry, and not others such as financial services, professional services or hospitality?

Imagine that you become a successful brand-marketing head within the FMCG industry. What does that mean to you?

What is unique about you? What are you good at? Why would a company hire you?

Wherever you land your first job, it is all about skills, knowledge and attitude. Gain skills by attending training and get coaching from experienced colleagues.

Boost your knowledge by reading industry journals and networking with marketing professionals via online interest groups.

You can also connect with your college alumni association and see if some of the members are already in this industry.

I would identify 10 target companies and understand their marketing or brand challenges. There is plenty of information on the internet. Start experiencing their service from a consumer's perspective. The key is to learn quickly and apply what you have learned. Whether you should join a multinational company or a local firm depends on the cultural fit and learning opportunities offered.

Spend effort to prepare for your interview, demonstrate to the interviewer that you are keen to learn and understand consumer behaviour, and present yourself professionally. Good luck!

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