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How to make a career transition from finance (limited work experience) to marketing?

Hi I'm Navapa, I recently graduated with master degree in finance and then I got a chance to work in a corporate bank as Relationship Officer for about 7 months now. I started to realize that I'm not a finance type of person, I didn't enjoy my job at all. I analyzed my personality and my interests are Marketing, Startups and Information Technology. I really want to make a career transition but I don't know how.

I would like to shift my career to Marketing and Business Analytics. I'm now taking courses in Coursera such as Facebook Social Media Professional Certificate, Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, and other Digital Marketing Courses.
All I can think of the first step is taking online courses and take another master degree in Marketing and Business Analytics

I'm so frustrated and having insomnia every night. I really don't know which path should I take. And how to begins What do you suggest? What should I do?

#marketing #business #internship #finance #startup

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Trang’s Answer

Hi Navapa,

I've also switched my career from IT to Marketing - Communications after 7 years.

- I started with taking courses relating to journalism, Marketing and Public Relations. From there, I learnt the basic knowledge and built my network with the teachers, speakers and friends in classes.
- Seek my first job as an assistant to Marketing Manager (client side) and learnt from her as well as on-the-job training.
- Changed to PR field (agency side) to have more views about the different industries (FMCG, auto, F&B, etc.).
- Define my next destination (client side) once I got to know specific industry I would like to stay for long.
- Getting my MBA in business field is also supporting my career.

Hope my experiences can help you navigate towards your goals.

All the best,

Trang.
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Rebecca’s Answer

I've switched careers many times and the best way to make the switch is to do the job before you get the job. Do side gigs, e.g. work for a small business as a volunteer. That way you can build your resume with actual experience while leaning on where your finance background can help you bring unique skills to the role!
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Patricia’s Answer

Hi Navapa,

It sounds like you've taken solid steps to prepare yourself for your career. I work in Digital Optimization at Verizon, and one area that I can think your skills match is in Business Intelligence or Data Science. Business intelligence is a blend of math/finance skills with understanding people, partnerships and products in a business. I thoroughly enjoy working with the Analysts and Managers in our Business Intelligence and Insights groups. Their work is foundational to my job, and success within the company.

To me, I don't think you'd need another masters degree before switching careers. I'd actively apply to positions in the field that interest you. Once you've transitioned, then you might pursue additional education to support you in your new role/industry. I think you're ready to rock and roll!
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Navapa,
You are on the right track! Each and every step you take brings you closer to your end goal!
My brother in law did just this: financial degree, and now works for a large retailer in the marketing department running their weekly offers brochure. Your background in finance will prove that you are analytical, which is a great skill to have in any job, and also in marketing.

I agree with all of the advise above. I graduated during the financial crisis and it was almost impossible to get a marketing job. I tried very hard but ended up in a sales role. Although I must say it was interesting, it was not my passion. In the end I started working as a marketing assistant, by demonstrating :
- my passion for the topic - write this down for yourself, what attracts you to marketing, and what talents do you have to offer?
- my knowledge of marketing - there are a lot of free courses online that help you understand the basics. Show that you are invested, and that this idea of going into marketing is not something spontaneous that you thought of just yesterday
- What experience I already had - for me it was events management (in university), and my extracurricular activities showed that I was motivated to pick up different roles. For you I am sure your analytical skills will get you in the door. I'm certain you have many more talents to offer. Google for 'soft skills marketing' and find a couple that apply to you and think of some proof points to show an employer what you have to offer. Softskills are important in any job. Everything else you can learn. Demonstrate your willingness to learn (see previous point).

My advise is to use your network of friends and family to set up quick coffee style networking sessions with people that are in the role you aspire. I know, super scary, but doing this has brought me personally a lot. Once you have done it once, it will become easier. It will help you understand the role and how you can position yourself in it, and how you can position yourself to future employers. And remember: the person you are speaking to may hire you! So look at it as a double edged sword. You never know what may come of your sessions.

You got it! I believe in you!

Kim
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Shelby’s Answer

It sounds like you're already going in the right direction. I will say one of the perks of having a degree already is that most jobs look that you have a degree but don't necessarily care what field it's from. What they want to see is your experience, and your drive to learn and work hard.
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Salomy’s Answer

It is ok to swap careers and its always good to do what you love it becomes more enjoyable and it feels less like work when you are doing what you love. Merge your education with the career path you want to follow the sky is the limit you can be anything you want .
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Salomy. That is my dream! to work on a job that feels less like work. I want to find a career that I enjoy moment of it. Navapa V.
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Thao’s Answer

Hi Navapa, my background is Marketing / Business Management in Education industry. I notice your current role is Relationship Officer which I suppose you deal with human being in different context and try to deliver the successful relationship management with bank client(s). Which is the exact daily task(s) or component in this role that you are frustrated? Since you mentioned your career shift plan is Marketing & BA, your finance background must be very helpful to analyze data. The question is- the nature of baking industry or the nature of the job tasks that bother you? To make a career move- I would recommend LinkedIn from my personal experience to start with.

Thao recommends the following next steps:

Revise the Industry and the occupation responsibilities that you feel more motivated
Go to LinkedIn and start following Account from Organization(s) that you keen to join in your interested Industry
Follow Career advice/ Career advancement…on Linkedin and filter the account(s) that you feel right to keep following- remove the account(s) that you find unable to connect with their advice(s)
Watch out targeted Job post(s) to analyze skills required and plan to fill the skills gap as suits
Believe in yourselves - keep it positive!
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Ken’s Answer

Changing careers is a big decision and I agree with Rebecca that it's best to do your prospective new job before actually "getting" your new job if at all possible. It's hard to know how well you will like a career until you are actually doing some work in it, so try to get some hands on experience any way you can. You may need to some volunteering, internships or independent projects of your own to get a feel for the field before you can get hired on as a full time employee.
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Ngoc’s Answer

Hi Navapa,

Trust me I feel you. I was in the same position just as you are some time back when I thought I was so much better off with Marketing than any other professional field. I was lost and I had no idea what to do next with my career path. As my job is somewhat settled now, I am looking back and believe this state of mind is very normal for young people. So don't stress out, good things will come eventually.

I think you made a right choice by taking certified courses on Coursera. That's a very good start! If you have thought through about choosing Marketing or BA as your aspirational job, it would be better to kick start now. If I were you, I would:
Step 1- Set my mindset straight. As I'm fresh in the field, I willingly start from the bottom, though a job might be low paid/ ranked but I'm perfectly fine with it, as long as I have an opportunity to learn and to grow.
Step 2- Take time to know yourself better - even do a SWOT analysis about yourself if you are all in. What are you good at? What do you think you need to improve? What kind of job do you think that will keep you passionate and aspire you every single day? Is it numbers/ processes or creativity/ visual imagination related? Are you a more structured/ by-the-book preferred or impromptu/ out-of-the-box driven type of person? This will help you answer whether you better fit for Marketing or BA as the two fields are in relatively different extreme.
Step 3- Start looking around for job opportunities in the field that I believe I'm good at (which I have identified at Step 2).
Step 4- Only after 1.5-2 years when I think I'm sufficiently exposed and want to excel/ take myself to the next level, only then I would pursue a higher degree.

I hope this comes handy and useful to you. Back yourself up and all the very best!

Cheers,
Ngoc (Nellie)
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