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One of the business trends over the past couple of decades has been the employment of personal coaches to help key leaders and executives enhance their skill sets. These coaches can be engaged to tutor an executive in such areas as leadership, decision-making and team-building; others may be hired to coach an individual in media relations, in certain “technical” job functions or in speaking another language (i.e. French or English).

When used wisely and effectively, these resources can be very helpful in expediting the career growth of a potential high achiever within an organization. For some organizations, they can help “weed out” those business leaders who don’t possess the ability to learn and adapt in a timely manner.

Some businesses and government functions are willing to spend significant dollars to fast track their top executive talent. In fact, in some companies, we encounter business leaders who have multiple coaches with each one having a specific area of expertise. The question is, what can individuals do, who wish to progress rapidly in their careers, if their organizations aren’t willing or don’t have the budget to provide this additional level of mentoring and education? Here are a few suggestions.

Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and construct your own Career Development Plan

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dreamstime_xl_32338321V2.jpgThree years ago I posted a blog entitled Tips for the New Transportation Sales Rep (http://www.dantranscon.com/index.php/blog/entry/tips-for-the-new-transportation-sales-rep-and-his-manager ).  In that blog I consolidated a number of ideas generated in a LinkedIn Sales Management group and added a few thoughts of my own.  To my amazement, it has received over 38,000 hits since it was posted. 

A few weeks ago I received a very interesting inquiry from a self-described “newbie” sales rep.  As a follow up to my February 2013 blog, I was asked about what a new account manager should do if his or her company does not provide either formal sales training or coaching in the basics of the freight transportation industry.  The following is how I responded to this question.

Ultimately, one gets out of a career what one puts into it.  Every individual must take responsibility for the array of skills and expertise that he or she acquires during a lifetime.  It is up to each individual to seek out and acquire the skills they need, not to wait for a particular company to supply them.  As a young sales representative or person in any entry level job in Freight Transportation, here is a pathway to success.

1. Speak with your colleagues in other departments 

Take some time to meet with people in each of the core departments of your company such as Pricing, Operations, Line Haul and Billing to learn as much as you can about what they do.  With respect to Pricing, find out about your company’s costing model.  Find out how it works so you are looking for the right type of freight on the right lanes at rates that work for your company.  Be inquisitive and learn as much as you can from each department.

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