I am concluding a series about finding a career in the building supply industry with this blog on how to jump to a better job at a better company once you have found a job in this field. This is based on the things I have learned as an executive in a company, an employee at construction related industries and my observations of other successful people. Please read the first blog as well as the second blog if you have not already done so.
The first step to jumping to a better job in another company that has more opportunities is knowing where you want to go in the field of building supply which is very diversified or if you even want to stay in the field. To do this may require getting a degree in management (on-line schools are available and fully certified) so that you can combine experience and education. It may mean jumping to outside sales once you have proved yourself. It could also mean jumping to a different field once you have established yourself as a valuable person. It may mean knowing that you have found a home where you are or at least in the industry.
Once you have established what you want and where you want to go the next step to make advancement possible is your understanding that you need more than management competence. You must be able to sell. I wrote an article on this which is linked here for you to read.
Also know, many successful people start out selling one commodity and then switch to selling something else more lucrative. Sales is not about selling your product, it’s about you being able to sell others on you; though a good product combined with a good salesperson means more money.
The reason you have to be able to sell is because advancement within your company will be based on whether you can sell. And you need this advancement because you want to jump to a job at the non-entry level position where you can negotiate your earnings as opposed to jumping from one beginner’s job to another.
To negotiate earnings and gain better employment you will need faithful customers who will follow you to a new job because you have sold yourself. If a million dollar contractor is willing to follow you, it gives you bargaining clout when you go to a new potential employer, and a big contractor is not going to follow the buddy who only loads his or her wood. Your stature in your field is important in how you are viewed.
A potential new employer may want to know your old company's management and employee training methods and corporate trade practices, and you can’t know them as a cashier. Now in this I don't mean that you should be a spy. But you will learn things in business and what’s in your head or your notes belong to you unless you're obligated by agreement not to reveal certain information.
The biggest key to success is dedication. There are people who will show up early to get the best donuts or from force of habit, this is not dedication. Be early because you are proud of what you do. Make your job and the better job it leads to a career. Always be ready to learn. And hopefully, where you start will be a place you don’t want or need to jump from.
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Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania and is a contributing writer to FinancialJobBank,FinancialJobBankBlog, ConstructionJobForce, ConstructionJobForceBlog and Nexxt.