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Looking for practical advice on entering a marketing career


Jake Lowe Tustin, CA

I am an experienced company grade officer (active & reserve), who went through some transition uncertainty when I left active duty. I initially became a warehouse manager but a few years in realized I really had my heart set on marketing, inspired in part by my time in public affairs and intelligence while in uniform. I went back to school for an MBA and now work in sales. The challenge I have is that the sales career track seems different than marketing, and I am having a struggle finding or understanding what roles would be good to transition into marketing. Thank you for any insight or advice!

11 May 2019 4 replies Career Exploration




Jake: Two suggestions. If you want to work for a company, your background suggests working for a company dependent on logistics, such as just in time manufacturers, marketing to solve problems created by disruptions, such as weather events, supply shortages. With the increasing dependence on IT for statistics, there is a pain point between what the warehouse people need, and how a company advertises and markets to solve those problems. You already know the warehouse side, the advertising and marketing side may not. Utilities, shipping companies, railroads and airports may be a good area for your skill set.
Separately, you may eventually want to set up your own company. Talk with the local SBA about their business plan library, seminars and certification programs. It may take 3 years to get set up for a good launch. Best of luck.


Barron Evans Ann Arbor, MI

Jake.... foremost, thank you for your service.

In addition to the previous responses, I'll leverage Bob's 'Marketing is a vast field' and your '...inspired in part by my time in public affairs and intelligence' comments: ultimately, I would recommend you find an industry category about which you're passionate -- and/or -- already highly engaged as a consumer. My experience over the years, when I look at myself and others in a marketing function, has taught that unless you connect the emotion with the practice … you're really just going through the motions (ala the warehouse role you had). In my case, those two categories are: 1) travel & hospitality and 2) healthcare … which made all the difference in how I engaged, collaborated with others, and delivered results.

Best wishes for success!


Ed Pniewski Okemos, MI

Your experience in public affairs and intelligence, indicate to me that you might be interested in the data side of marketing. As Bob mentions, data driven marketing can make sales and advertising easier by supplying the relevant and trustworthy information. Look into quantitative market research (or qualitative), business intelligence, or marketing analytics.
Good luck!


Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Jake, when marketing is done correctly it should make the sales situation much easier. Marketing is a vast field. The worldwide guru in Marketing is Jay Abraham. He has helped more companies and produced more business results that anyone on the planet. He is my mentor and he has given me permission to share this link to his library. There is nothing to buy.
When you research his material, I believe it will give a better understanding of the possibilities that most appeal to you.

Here is an article:

He also has tons of presentations on

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