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career confusion with 7 yrs experience

By pratikghosh ·
I am an IT professional with BE computer Sc. and MBA in Marketing degree with 7+ years of experience in Software development of which 4+ years as Project Leader.
Now i want to get away from core-coding to mid-senior management roles. My company offers me pre-sales/ marketing positions.
question is how tough is software pre-sales and marketing.

Thanks, Pratik

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by kees.valkenswaard In reply to career confusion with 7 y ...

For a generic question it is difficult to give a detailed answer. I would ask myself: do I really want to quit programming or am I just looking at a position which will pay better?
Going to middle management what do I want to achieve? Show that I have a grip on everything in my unit, thus leaving hardly any initiative to my co-workers, who might become a threat to me? Or, would I try to stimulate and teach my co-workers, allowing different opinions showing that I may sometimes be wrong in my judgement?
What does pre-sales mean? Is it a research job, trying to get a better insight into the market, by defining various sub-segments? Would I have any influence on marketing strategies, how to approach potential prospects?
Or, would I be head of the mail-service which sends out packages to prospects, the addresses of which has been bought from reputed companies, who have sold the same addresses to at least 50 other companies?
Do I have to make offers to prospects with help of a very simple Excel sheet or a complicated legacy product which nobody understands, but which was bought from a company owned by the CEO?s brother?
What is the general policy of the company? Are you allowed to make mistakes or is the first one deadly? Who has the real power? Informal structures are often stronger than the official chart. Does the company have career paths, i.e. have they any idea what might be up for you in say 5 years? Or do they expect to be overtaken by a bigger firm at that time, so that nobody has a clue how the wind than would ****?
Are you afraid to look at another company? Or are there real advantages to the current one? Which are the strong points? Would they fit into your ideas and possibilities? Arte you ready for people nagging at your head about simple, silly things? That is what management is often about. Unless, you become really interested in people and start to understand why they ask these questions which you as bright guy judge to be simple/silly?
Good luck

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by pjbowden In reply to career confusion with 7 y ...

Hi Pratik,

Is your company aware of your desired career path?

If you are doing a good job as Project Leader you should be able to ask for and receive a promotion to Development Manager in your shop.

If that job is already taken you should start looking outside your company for a job, but make them aware you are looking. Perhaps they don't want to lose your skill set and will create a management job for you.

Sales and marketing don't sound like a good fit based on your experience. I would try and get a development manager position where you can leverage your skills.

Hope this helps, Pierce

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by badair In reply to career confusion with 7 y ...

Well, you have an MBA in Marketing, so I would think that would provide some skills in the Marketing arena. My 1st career was in Sales/Marketing & other than the travel, it was not objectionable, but in general, advancement opportunities may be limited unless you can relocate frequently, & many companies in general are not concerned if you have a career path with plenty of promotions and advancements. They are in business to maximise shareholder returns, service customers to the extent that they don't lose market share to competitors and make sure the few at the top live "trophy" lifestyles. So, if you are in sales, you are paid to perform, as in sell, sell, sell, produce, produce, produce, to feed the corporate revenue consumption machine. Your security is in making your numbers(sales increases)on a regular & continuing basis. Having said that I have seen some software related Marketing jobs advertised paying pretty good cake if you have the right background, know the high level decision makers in a particular industry, & can demonstrate a track record of high dollar sales. Technical Sales is highly specialized & if you can gain experience and use your MBA as well, might be a good choice. I assume you (or someone) spent good money for that MBA, might as well see if you can get some ROI on that bad boy! Good Luck, if it doesn't work out, there is always Burger King! you can tell them you have an Master of Burger Achievement-(M.B.A.)! Ha,Ha. Life is too short not to laugh about the career situation in our modern societies now days.

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