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No short cuts in career swaps

Published on Friday, 01 Mar 2013
Howard Chan

I’m a 27-year-old hotel management graduate who has been working in hospitality for four years. I’m looking for a career change as I’m no longer interested in working in a front-line sales-related position with limited advancement opportunities. I’m interested in project-based marketing or event marketing jobs and would like to work in the luxury-brand or FMCG fields. I’ve been looking for positions in these two fields but I rarely get interviews. Is there anything I can do to make myself more competitive? Kee

The key issue here is whether your primary motivation to change jobs is driven by an interest in changing your job nature or an interest in changing sectors.

If it is the first reason, the easiest way to change job responsibilities is to look for internal marketing openings in your existing company. With your four years of experience, you might find an opportunity to expand your role or move into a role with events or branding responsibilities. Internal job rotation is common with a lot of multinationals in the hospitality industry and is something I would advise you look into.

If you are mainly interested in changing sectors then you may need to consider taking a role similar to your current one, but in a different industry. From there, you will be able to work your way up the career ladder.

I understand that the perfect scenario is to change your job responsibilities and industry at the same time, but companies typically recruit marketing experts for their technical expertise or their industry know-how.

Whichever step you choose to take first, commit to it and then move on to either changing roles or industries. Remember, changing careers is a stepby-
step process with very few short cuts.

Howard Chan is director of Michael Page’s sales and marketing and engineering and supply chain teams in Hong Kong.

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