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I’m now 49 years old and have been a sales training manager for the past 18 years.  And I’m very bored with my job!  In the past 10 years, I’ve been eyeing vacancies in product management, which is my first choice of a career move, or in field sales management.  There had been vacancies in these positions these past years but they have been filled by promotion from the ranks of our sales supervisors or by outsiders.  I had been sales supervisor for five years before my promotion to sales training manager.  My boss and his boss would not want me to move out of my present job because they keep telling me that I’m so good in it.  Also, they told me that no one could replace me.   But I don’t like anymore what I’m doing.  My only option is to avail of optional retirement next year when I reach 50 years of age, and apply for product management or field sales management in another company.  At my age, however, can I still be employed by another marketing organization?

Having a high paying job which I have now is very important to me as my wife and I have three children who are all in school.  My wife is an accounting supervisor in a bank and doesn’t earn much.  Please advise me.

Mr. Career-in-a-Bind

 

I congratulate you because you continue to do good work despite your boredom with and dislike for your job.  This is called proactivity; your family value, not your feelings, affects your choices.

You are very sure that you want to get out of your sales training management job but your superiors would not want you to move you out of it because you’re doing a good job in it and they are happy with your performance.  You are frustrated that your superiors do not consider your needs.  This frustration adds to your feelings of helplessness and hopelessness such that, with a heavy heart, you are contemplating on resigning as the only way out of your career dilemma.

You did not mention in your e-mail if you had told your boss and/or your boss’ boss about your unhappiness in your current job and that you are just doing your best to do a good job because this is required of your position, that you had been wanting to be moved over to a field sales management position or a product management position except that when you had told them about this, they did not take you seriously.

If you had not told them these before, now is the time to assertively tell them about this.  Being assertive means that you know what you want, and you tell them what you want in a straightforward yet respectful way.  You could also mention that you don’t want to leave the company because you like your company, and you like working for them, but that you don’t anymore like to do what you had been doing for the past 10 years.

You also did not mention in your e-mail if a product manager or a national sales manager position is on the same level as a sales training manager position.  If they are, then the movement you desire is lateral.   If a national sales manager is of a higher position than a sales training manager position, which I think it is, then a promotion or a vertical move is what you want.  Whether the move is lateral or vertical, certain qualifications are required.  Are you qualified for either these positions?  Being a good performer in your current position does not mean you will do well in another position.  Your career interests, skills and aptitudes should fit the requirements of the position.

It is important that you get feedback from them about the likelihood of your getting into a product management or field sales management position.

One of the reasons for career plateau is that the person is doing a great job and no one can succeed him/her.  Express your desire to train and develop a sales supervisor to take your place, if you get a lateral move, or are promoted, and to monitor his/her progress in the new position, in addition to your new function.

It maybe difficult for you to be employed by another company for a product or sales management position, because of your lack of actual work experience in either position.  You are not also sure if you will get a high paying job for a start.  If you need a corporate job because of financial requirements, you might do well to stay in the same company and find out what your bosses require for each position, and do your best to qualify.  Meanwhile that you’re waiting for an opportunity, continue to give your best in your current position, be on the look-out for a successor, and train and develop that person to succeed you.

God bless,

 

Josie Santamaria