I once had someone tell me there was no way they would ever consider a career in sales regardless of being unhappy in their current job and having meager job prospect. My first (and only reaction) was “BUT, WHY?!” (Spoiler alert: blogging is not my full time job.) This person was outgoing, smart, educated, well-spoken but in her mind the world of sales had created this intimidating, scary place that could suck the soul out of person (okay, maybe the latter is close to the truth). All jokes aside, I realized during this conversation that my reaction to the idea of sales had been exactly the same over six years ago. I was fresh out of university and unable to get my foot in the door since I lacked what one might consider “real work experience”. A referral from a family friend, and some life experience to lean on, landed me a job that has completely transformed who I am as a professional and pushed me to become a more confident and assured version of my younger self. Here’s why you should consider a career in sales whether you’re just getting into the workforce or looking for something new:
Develop a life skill: No matter your industry or type of employment, you are always selling yourself. Whether it’s for the next job or launching your own business, sales skills are indispensable.
Earn that “communication skills” on your resume: And I don’t mean one-to-one. In sales you need to know how to navigate and anticipate the expectations and reactions of multiple parties within and outside your organization on a daily basis.
Take your confidence to another level: I remember my manager telling me once I had to be more confident. At first I was offended thinking that I had all the confidence one needed to perform well and get the job done. What I’ve learned since, is not only do you need the confidence to do the job, you need to be able to exhibit that confidence in your actions and words with your customers, partners and internal team.
Be of service: When I first thought of a career in sales, an image of a smarmy used-car salesman came to mind, as it does for most. However, if you change your mindset and start becoming of service to your customers, you quickly learn that you are the person helping them to achieve their metrics and goals.
No two days are ever the same: I always hear people saying that they want a job that isn’t “boring”. Well, I’m hear to tell you that no two days are ever the same. When I wake up in the morning, I know the day is about to be flipped on its head and my schedule looks nothing like what is in the calendar.
You work hard for your money - but the money is good: Sales is tough. “What have you done for me lately?” is the sentiment at the beginning of every month as you start to work on the metrics and targets of the next period. But if you are motivated by being rewarded for the work you do and don’t mind earning a few perks along the way (sports games, concerts, dinners & drinks out) then you’ve met your calling.
Woman-up: Get out of your comfort zone, accept the challenge and be a mentor to young women looking for leadership at work.
Are you in sales? What do you like most about your career? Let me know in the comments below!