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ONLINE DOCUMENT: SELF-PERCEPTION IS KEY TO NEW JOB

SHARE ONLINE DOCUMENT: SELF-PERCEPTION IS KEY TO NEW JOB

I love success stories, particularly when they're sent in by a client or reader. The following letter will benefit many job changers of the '90s:

Dear Mr. Walberg: I want to thank you for your help. Several months ago, I met with you to discuss a "career change." I wanted to change companies after more than 15 years in outside sales with a design company specializing in fabric for window treatments. I had a successful career, led the company in sales, opened several retail operations, had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Asia on buying trips and was offered management on several occasions. I wanted management, but I was not interested in relocation and felt that a change would be refreshing.After you convinced me that "career change" was the wrong perspective, I changed my way of thinking ... and the "objective" on my resume. I wrote, "Seeking to apply my experience in sales and marketing not to a change in careers, but to a change in commodities."

I am now the national sales manager of an international photography company marketing group photographs to schools, churches and corporations. I won this position over 200-plus other candidates, and it was my sales and marketing experience that did it - not my experience in the fabric industry. Thank you for your great advice. The only reservation I have now is being effective managing people with many years experience in a new field for me. - G.C., Birmingham, Ala.

Thank you for sharing your success with others. You've demonstrated that how you perceive yourself is how a prospective employer likely will perceive you. You obviously did two things very well:

- You focused on your primary skills and abilities - to organize your time, plan your activities, communicate with all levels, make strong presentations, close the sale and follow through with professional customer service.

- You applied those skills and abilities to a prospective employer's needs.

Your sales and marketing experience was much more important than your knowledge of the fabric industry. Continue doing the job you've been doing for more than 15 years - you'll learn the photography industry in short order if you offer your salespeople a partnership. Ask them to help you learn your new industry as you help them reach new levels of success in sales and marketing.