If you’re looking to enter the business field but feeling a little intimidated by all the job titles and corporate talk, you’re not alone. Let’s break down some business career positions and explore the levels of corporate structure to help you gain confidence and finally reach for your business career dreams.
6 business positions to explore
There are all kinds of positions in business, ranging from finance to management to marketing. Here are just a handful of business positions to give you inspiration. Most require a bachelor’s degree, but you can certainly start in an entry-level basic business position without college experience. Salary figures are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
1. Sales Representative
Working as a sales representative is a great way to begin your business career. Salary for sales representatives varies by industry. Having experience on the sales side of business will be valuable as you advance in your career, in any business.
Median salary in 2018: $50,000 - $65,000 per year
Experience level: Entry-level
Financial advisors advise company officials on investments and sales of assets, bonds and stocks. They view financial statements, analyze company funds and study market trends to make the most informed decisions for investment. Many financial advisors eventually become portfolio and fund managers.
Median salary in 2018: $85,660 per year
Experience level: Bachelor’s degree required
3. Marketing Manager
These professionals plan marketing programs to generate increased sales and interest in the business. Marketing managers work with digital media artists, branding specialists and other marketing team members. They also explore markets for potential sales tips.
Median salary in 2018: $132,620 per year
Experience level: Entry-level job that requires a bachelor’s degree
4. Chief Operating Officer (COO)
This is a very elevated role in a company, as it’s part of the elite C-suite echelon. Chief Operating Officers (COOs) are often second only to Chief Executive Offers (CEOs) and ensure that operations and employees follow the CEO’s vision. They analyze business strategies, manage personnel and set company goals.
Median Salary in 2018: $189,600 per year
Experience level: Upper-level position requiring many years of experience. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees recommended
These specialists measure and analyze the risks and uncertainties within a business. Actuaries then advise executives on how to help the business minimize those risks. They rely on in-depth knowledge of statistics, finance and business to make these decisions.
Median salary in 2018: $102,880 per year
Experience level: Bachelor’s degree required
6. Human Resources (HR) Specialist
Human Resources (HR) Specialists recruit, hire and place employees in a business. They also handle other employee aspects such as company pay, benefits and sick time. HR specialists often handle new employee questions and orientation sessions.
Median salary in 2018: $60,880 per year
Experience level: Bachelor’s degree required, requires some HR experience
What is corporate structure?
Corporate structure is a widely used business organization method that ensures the best interests of the shareholders (the owners) and the business itself. The company’s personnel are arranged in a hierarchy that allows company investors to be directly involved with the fate of the company.
Here are the tiers of corporate hierarchy:
Shareholders are owners of the company. It could be one person or many who invest in the business. They elect directors of the company and influence major company changes and decisions.
These officials are elected by shareholders and work to ensure the company operates in the shareholders’ best interest. They select lower-level officers and executives and guide the overall direction of the company’s mission and by-laws.
Also called C-suite executives, they’re chosen by the board of directors and report directly to them. These officers manage the actual daily company operations. They watch over employees and serve to look out for the best interest of the company.
Employees are the lifeblood of a company who carry out its day-to-day operations. They answer to management officers and work to help the company meet its goals, missions and values.
How do you land a business role?
Here are some tips to help you land your first (or next) business role:
- Get a degree. It’s not required that you receive a college degree in business to find a job. However, it can save you years of knowledge gained through working in lower-level positions. You’ll be able to apply for higher-level positions than you would have otherwise.
- Find an internship. Lots of companies hire for long-term and short-term internships. They’re a great opportunity to learn the ropes of the business workplace while earning school credit or being paid. Many interns eventually become full-fledged employees at a company.
- Work your way up. Start small if you must. Begin as a sales associate or another entry-level business employee. If you have your eyes set on those upper-division roles, realize it’s going to take years of experience. Work hard for your company’s best interest, network and learn as much as you can to set yourself apart as a shining candidate for upper level management.
- Take charge. Today’s corporate culture requires toughness. Sometimes you’ve got to dig deep to find it. When interviewing for a position, exude a confident attitude and let the interviewer know you are ready for the tasks at hand. A take-charge attitude will get you far in the business field.
- Research potential employers. As you’re looking for jobs and internships, research each company carefully and completely. Each one is unique in its goals, values and work culture. By taking the time to get to know a company, you can mold your cover letter and resume to match and stand out.
The road to your business career
A career in the business field can be challenging and rewarding. Ultimately, having a good understanding of corporate structure and business positions will not only give you confidence, but make you more effective in the workplace. Hopefully, you’ll find that the more you learn about the business world, the simpler it will all become.