If you love working in marketing and are achieving great results, taking a different role for a few months might seem counter-intuitive. Yet, if you can gain valuable experience, knowledge and an understanding of other functions such as sales, operations or R&D, it can boost your career prospects and even help you reach the very top.
Birds Eye marketing director Steve Challouma touched on this subject at this year’s Festival of Marketing in October. He has worked at Birds Eye for more than 20 years across a variety of marketing roles and he will become UK general manager in January.
“I have always believed it is a good idea to get experience of different areas. I started as a graduate sales trainee at Unilever where I got a taste of marketing and enjoyed it,” he explains. “I also gained experience on the commercial side of the business, before entering trade marketing which was effectively a hybrid sales and marketing role.”
Challouma says gaining broader knowledge as a marketer gives you confidence and credibility when having conversations with senior executives internally. In the competitive fight for the top jobs it is helpful if you can analyse business strategy from more than purely a marketing standpoint.
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