Ask the Expert – January 2020

Q: My main question is how difficult is it to move into sales in electrical distribution from another B2B sales career? I have been in packaging equipment and supplies for a Fortune 500 company but I am highly interested in this field. Any guidance would be appreciated.

A: It’s nice to hear from you. From where I sit in the industry, I’d say nearly impossible but my function is to bring clients those candidates who bring significant industry experience. I will say that if you approach it on your own and have transferable skills, you have a pretty good shot. The electrical distribution industry, as many others, is experiencing a tremendous loss of talent due to retirement, so it’s a great time to get it in.

Ask the Expert – November 2019

Q: I have spent the last year working for an absolute power hungry, micromanaging mean girl. I tried my best to hang in there because I don’t want to look like a job hopper but she made a snide comment to me on Monday and that was it, I fired back saying something I now wish I could take back. Nonetheless I was fired. Now I’m looking for a job and wondering if I can just leave that off my resume because it was only a year and say I took some time off? What do you think?

A: Yikes, that sounds awful. The best course is always honesty, get out in front of it and prepare to explain the situation without badmouthing her or the company. You’d be better off saying there wasn’t a good match with your personalities and it was best to move on. You have to also be realistic and know that a potential employer may call that company and speak poorly of you. All you can do is tell the truth. Bad things happen, even Lee Iaccocca was fired by Henry Ford and it seems it worked out for him! Best of luck! – Prudence

Ask the Expert – April 2019

Q: Hi Prudence, I interviewed for a role about 10 days ago and haven’t heard anything back from anyone I met with. Would it be too pushy if I was to call or email them to see what’s going on?

A: I’d be a bit concerned that it’s been 10 days with no communication. Did you send a thank you note after the meeting to everyone that was involved? Typically people are pretty good about responding to those. If not, craft a personal note to each person and ask the status of the search and possible next steps when you write to the person the position reports to. Best of luck!

 

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Ask the Expert – March 2018

Q: I interviewed for a sales position with a local supply house. The VP gave me his card with his cell number on it. I’ve not heard anything from them and it’s been about a week. Is it appropriate for me to text him?

A: That’s a tough call, I’d err on the side of caution and stick to a phone call or an email. If  you had met a few times it may be okay, but this early on, I’d suggest not.

 

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Ask the Expert – January 2018

Q: I was reading your (Prudence) thoughts on LinkedIn on the ban on asking for salary history. I am starting to look for a new career and felt very uncomfortable filling that section out. I am in sales, good base but I get commission. What is best to do? Take an average over the last three years?

A: I think it depends on the state you’re in. If you aren’t in MA, WA, CA, OR, DE or NYC, where they can’t ask that question…then they’re looking for your exact earnings and are within their rights to ask for a W2.

 

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