Back in 2012, the DENSO Toyota sales team was looking for a technical person to join as a sales engineer because their current person was changing jobs. They approached me and admittedly, I thought it was a terrible idea at first – at the time, I didn’t have a very positive opinion about sales. Eventually, after several meetings and being told it could be limited to a 2-year assignment, I agreed to the transfer.
I’m so glad I did. In fact, 2-3 weeks after starting the new role, I was already convinced I wanted to stay beyond the outlined two years. I got to work side-by-side with what became my most inspiring leader and learned so much. First and foremost, I learned I was completely wrong about sales. I never worked harder than I did in my sales role and got insight into other aspects of DENSO – corporate communications, tradeshows, etc. – that I never would have before. And, despite having worked in automotive for more than 15 years, the transfer showed me parts of the industry I had never seen – marketing, product planning, etc.
After some time in the role, I began to feel static and made a move back to engineering, but on the R&D side. Now I get to look at where we are taking DENSO in the future in terms of technology – how do we bring new technologies to automotive, whether it be through innovation, partnering with Silicon Valley companies or start-ups.
I never would have been able to be in this role had I not made that first transfer. In fact, looking back, I feel like my career really didn’t start until I made that move. I wish I had done it sooner. You can only grow so much in a role, then you get comfortable and stop learning.
If an opportunity presents itself, take it. Even if it seems scary, it will make you grow and become a more well-rounded person. And remember, your human network is the most valuable thing you have, especially in a big company. By making a move, you could double that network.
The online internal application system only shows non-exempt and exempt office positions at this time. For all other positions, please view local job boards and follow the local application process.Tags: Training & Development