Designed as a resource for job seekers, the “Job Interviews” section of many specialist job boards is designed to give career advice through the eyes and experience of some of the top companies in the UK. On one site there are several top names in the global corporate industry giving advice. With people like Alix Wiseman from Aardman talking about how she got into sales and the career path that led her to her current position, these types of section help educate job seekers about how to evolve into a sales role. People like Wiseman help illustrate that there is no single career path to the top of the sales profession for some of the best companies in the country. Wiseman also talks about how sales has changed in her interview: “For me the media landscape has become so much more complex. When I started out there were just a few terrestrial channels: it’s now pay TV, satellite, digital, online, cable. It’s also far more complex in terms of protecting and selling intellectual property. It’s a far more fragmented landscape, and one where we earn less per client, but it’s also one that’s far more varied, with greater opportunities and far more exciting.”
Paul Lawrence from Virgin Media had a completely different experience. While Wiseman started as a PA, Lawrence started by selling a 128KB ISDN circuit in 1996, a clear start in sales, with a strong progress. By contrast, John O’Keefee from Office Depot says that he found himself in a sales job by accident. O’Keefee says: “I got drifted into a sales job by accident and it just evolved into a role. I’ve had what you might call a Heinz career – 57 varieties. I studied Commerce at university and, unlike 70 per cent of my peers, decided that I didn’t want to go into accountancy. Instead I joined Jefferson Smurfit as a graduate recruit, learning about the business and being despatched to run factories. I then went to Maxol, an Irish oil company, and after a few years joined the Office Depot, swapping the selling of one product for 14,000.”
By freely giving of their time and expertise, senior staff like Wiseman, O’Keefee and Lawrence have contributed significantly to those looking for not just their next sales job, but advice and guidance.
If you are looking forsales jobs, SalesTarget.co.uk’s site is one of the larger of the many available specialist sites. They have thousands of jobs which change as the hundreds of companies advertising for sales people change and update their requirements.