Your experience is always the most important thing to employers, but for those in the motor industry, 7 years’ experience may not mean much unless you’ve been working in the right places. It therefore pays to put some thought into where your next role will take you. Depending on what you want out of your job and career, you will need to plan which brands and dealer groups can meet these needs and also be realistic about the compromises you may have to make in order to reach your ultimate goal.
For instance, if you have always wanted to be a diagnostic technician for a particular brand, you will only get training within that brand’s main dealerships. Independent dealerships may be good to begin with (particularly if they are specialists in your preferred brand) but you will quickly need to progress to the main network to become qualified.
If a good salary is your goal, you may also find that independent dealerships only offer a flat salary and to get a good bonus, you will need to be within the main dealer network. However, do not let your desperation for a higher salary get in the way of any other goals you have. Remember that once you get into a dealership and gain experience, your salary will increase and it may be worth a short-term drop in wages for larger rewards later on!
It’s difficult to go straight in at the higher end of the market, so if you want to work for a premium brand, you’ll have to work hard to earn a place there. Sales people who have proved themselves with a good volume brand such as Ford (where the market is competitive and you need to meet tough targets) will then progress to mid-market prestige brands such as Mercedes or BMW and only then will they be considered for luxury marques.
On the technical side, you need to plan ahead. If you ultimately dream of working on Porsches, getting experience with Audi is invaluable. And experience with Volkswagens will put you in an excellent position to get a job with Audi and then Porsche due to the similarities in their platforms.
If you’re not sure about how you can shape a path to the career you want, talk to an HCP consultant and get expert advice on what your next step should be.