I came to Canada ready to work. With a degree in Accounting and Finance and knowing that Accounting wasn’t for me, I had a big decision to make. I needed to decide what I wanted to do, and the decision had to be made before I ran out of money. So, I started to plan out how I can keep a roof over my head.

First things first, I needed to answer three key questions:

  1. Where do my interest lie?
  2. What’s available in the market
  3. Where is there room for growth and opportunities in the short-term 

Where do my interest lie? 

Break down your interests into a subset with some more detailed questions:

  • What do you like to read about?
  • What do you have experience in?
  • What value add can you bring to a company?

You can take this a step further with the EHL blog on ‘questions to ask yourself’. Answer all of these and you’ll quickly find a fit for the type of role and company you’re best suited to.

What’s available in the market

Markets are highly dependent on where you live. Myself, I live in Toronto, most financial companies for Canada are headquartered here. Being honest, I'm not interested in working for the large corporates, staying in Dublin in Accounting would have been a better option if that was the case. The finance industry is interesting, especially the businesses supporting Financial Institutions. Toronto is filled with innovative FinTech companies creating smart solutions to help people every day.

Growth and Goals

Having a job to develop yourself professionally and personally is vital. In software companies, this is usually one of two sides, sales or delivery. With limited knowledge of design or development outside of basic website building, it was clear that the best route for me was sales.

Outbound is more often than not the entry-level job here and it’s important to find a company with growth opportunities both in the market and within the company for yourself. People often use business development to leapfrog into other positions in a company.

Requirements for Business Development

Business Development is a highly self-motivating job and requires both the will to grind and an ability to self-assess. Big highs followed by big lows are common in this job so I can't stress how important it is to be in a team and company that support you and can help you grow in the position.

Overall the main role of a business development executive is:

  • To source and find new prospects that find your ICP (ideal customer profile)
  • To generate leads into sales along with achieving monthly and annual targets
  • To identify decision-makers within the target account
  • To reach out and nurture interest from decision-makers to hear more about your company
  • To deal with objections by clarifying, educating and finding a fit with your solutions and their pain point

The hardest things to do are always the most satisfying when you achieve them.


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    Tom Mulreid · February 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm

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