Am I being foolish to think I can switch careers?

Hi Helen,

Helen Brown

Helen Brown


I’m a Senior Account Manager with six years total experience, and desperate to change to a more strategic role: be it as a junior planner, innovation consultant or trend forecaster. Truth be told, I fell into account management after university as a way of getting my foot in the door to being a planner, but have been unable to make this move.

I’ve assessed my skillset, and know that account handling is not the best use of my skills, however there seems to be a great stigma about changing department. I’ve been fortunate to have had some guidance and positive feedback by a few Planning Directors or Innovation Consultants along the way, yet working in a small agency, this has been difficult to turn from theory into reality.

I’m now just over 30 and still in a job I’m unhappy in. It terrifies me. Am I  being foolish to think I can switch careers?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

In Turmoil


Hello In Turmoil,

Having read your request I’m left feeling slightly confused and in turmoil myself. As a senior account manager is it not your job, in part, to lead your client account and be responsible for directing well thought through ideas on how to grow their business? As an account manager is it not your duty to ensure you understand your client well enough to know what new technology, consumer trends, and economic factors will impact the potential growth opportunities for their business and share these with them? Is it not your responsibility therefore to stay well informed and relevant? I understand you are in a smallish agency so maybe you don’t believe this is possible where you are currently but maybe it’s worth trying this approach before turning to the ‘innovation consultant’ for the answer to your clients problems.

If your client is more successful due to your thought leadership, so will you be and more opportunities will naturally open up for you – either where you are, or elsewhere. It’s sometimes easier to change what we do where we are before we try to do it somewhere else.

Kind Regards,


My name is Helen Brown and I’m your Careers Agony Aunt for Brand Republic.  I’m also the Chief Talent Officer for Mediacom.  Maybe you’re frustrated about losing that promotion or not sure whether to accept a tempting job offer?  You might be suffering from a lack of development or struggling with management. Whatever the problem, email here and I’ll do my best to help.

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