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Valeria, I think the answer is sales, especially if you are competitively-driven. But the best salespeople are increasingly balanced. They must be effective collaborators and team-players across both their own and their customers' organizations; time demands require them to be more efficient and organized; competitive pressure requires them to be more innovative at a customer level. I am seeing that not all salespeople are ready for those demands.

I think that in the past, Lewis would be dead on. But the image of the Lone Ranger salesperson "left alone to make money" is fading.

Looking forward, as customer interactions become more conversational, the role of sales will become more important. Charles Green offers a terrific case for this view. http://trustedadvisor.com/blog/123/

Phil -- your recommendation is consistent with what I've heard yesterday.

Joe -- some of the comments during the panel were that unless you gain some experience in marketing before your start, today's companies cannot afford training you on the job.

Lewis -- nicely put: "with direction and advice coming from near and far". Yes, everyone in the organization is usually an expert in marketing, even the CFO.

Valeria,

Nice post and congratulations! My advice to anyone looking at any career is to understand yourself first. If you like to "be left alone" to make money, sales. If you like working creatively within teams, with direction and advice coming from near and far, marketing, and don't expect to make lots of money or have a secure job.

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