The expert panel
Our expert panel comprises representatives from the Hotel and Catering Training Company (HCTC), Accor Hotels UK & Ireland, Greene King Pub Company, Simply Chefs by Hocaps, Bartlett Mitchell, Learnpurple, Conran, and Portfolio International.
I've been working in sales for nine years and have gone from strength to strength. I'm hoping for a management position as assistant director of sales or director of sales. Could you suggest how I go about it?
Nine years in sales is a good stint, and you sound as if you've been successful. I wonder if you've had appraisals in that period and the opportunity to discuss your aspirations with your employer?
It's often useful to have your current employer sponsor this move as they will often consider providing you with additional training such as managing people, planning and organisational skills. You'll find the chain and group companies often have more opportunities to develop individuals into management, particularly if they have more than one property in a city and therefore more requirements.
I would encourage you to speak to your employers and also to a recruitment consultant.
Lesley Reynolds, chief executive, Portfolio International
The first place to look is within the company you work for. They know your strengths, so find out what openings there are, and make sure your managers are aware of your ambitions.
If you then decide to look elsewhere, don't limit your search to your current sector. A sales role carries with it a huge number of transferable skills that you can apply to all kinds of businesses.
Have a look at the vacancies advertised in the national newspapers and trade press and don't put a self-imposed limit on your options. Make sure your CV demonstrates the range of skills and experience you can offer, and shows how this is applicable to the vacancy you're applying for.
Johnny Johnson, communications manager, HCTC
Each week our expert panel will answer your career questions. If you'd like to submit a question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.