Alex de la Mare. Business Development Manager– based in head office
I still remember the day I joined this company back in March 2006. I was tired of routine. I had moved about and travelled a lot before starting my professional career, and to suddenly find myself chained to a desk was not exactly what I had in mind for my future.
After going through the AFA Press selection process I suddenly found myself on a plane headed to Papua New Guinea. That was my first project, a trainee, but looking forward to seeing what this was all really about, and to be honest, pretty excited at the thought I would be going to a place I had always found interesting but knew I would probably never have visited.
|Alex and Gov. Central Bank, Angola
Three months later I was on another plane, this time bound to South Africa, and as an International Media Sales Consultant. Becoming a consultant was a totally different challenge to being a trainee, but also something I was really looking forward to. It was another stepping stone in my career ladder towards becoming a Project Director, the person ultimately responsible for a project, in charge of a team, and usually in places I had never been before.
While I was on the field and spanning my career from trainee to director, four years in all, I managed to work in Portugal, Mexico, the UAE, Russia, Nigeria, Angola and Kuwait, not to mention the many neighbouring places I visited while being on these projects. I was also lucky enough to work with great people that allowed me to succeed and produce great reports and make excellent money whilst at it!
Problem was, what do I do next? After a while, travelling to far corners of the globe to work for a few months had become second nature. The bug for a new challenge was there, and fortunately I got offered a position at headquarters as a sales manager handling several teams around the world.
Settling down in one city and calling it home was a challenge at first, and managing a variety of characters in different parts of the world at the same time was interesting to say the least. I managed to find a balance where I spent about sixty percent of my time at headquarters, and the rest discovering more places with my teams. I had worked with a lot of people during my time on the field, but as a sales manager I probably worked with more in my first six months at headquarters than during the previous four years.
|Alex in Egypt 2007, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea
Motivating people, passing on sales techniques, market knowledge and general experience was always a treat, especially when you saw your team succeed. The travelling part wasn’t bad either. At certain points you could be handling up to eight teams at a time splattered across the world: Chile, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Ukraine to mention but a few. It was challenging but rewarding, and always, always, fun.
If you feel you need to see more, get yourself into surreal situations, deal with people from around the world, and make money from it – the ultimate rollercoaster ride – take this to the end and don’t give up…there’s always something new on the horizon, just fight for it!