The sector offers various entry points. Potential employers will value passion for ‘the product’, relevant experience, and an understanding of the retail market and consumer behaviour.
To start a career on the commercial side, there are many sales entry roles with organisations that offer a good route into large companies for a commercial career such as:
If you’re looking to gain experience
Any part time work in food service or retail will be valued as it gives you an insight into FMCG and the buying behaviour of shoppers and consumers.
If you’re early on in your career
Large FMCG companies often run graduate schemes with placements that rotate around different parts of the business. This can help you to identify where you fit best. The scheme may be split into commercial or operational, or may be a general scheme across the company.
Most entry level roles are with sales agencies – third party sales organisations that run field sales teams for suppliers. They are specialists in field sales and marketing, and they often have some flexible and part-time opportunities that offer a way in to FMCG sales.
If you have more experience
The industry values transferable skills and there will be opportunities for full time roles within sales agencies, or regional account roles with suppliers. Other opportunities are often in shopper and trade marketing.
If you’re changing career
FMCG is all about fast moving goods and fast moving careers. Roles develop rapidly, and it is possible to change roles and be promoted very quickly. People wishing to change careers should be prepared to first prove ability and then their career will develop.
Not sure what to do next?
We’re here to talk over your career plans with you. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, so don’t feel you have to have it all worked out. You can book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant on CareerHub.