Working in sales can be a dream job. It can also be one of the most difficult career choices that someone can make. It takes a special person to be able to form new contacts, create local networks, and essentially be working 24/7 all year long. With the right training, however, sales is also a skill that anyone can develop if they are passionate about this career option. Here are the pros and cons of a sales job to consider before applying for your first position.
The Pros of a Sales Job
1. You have more control over your working hours.
Although you’re essentially on the clock wherever you go in the community, the actual time at your office is something you can typically control in a sales job. There is more flexibility in when you start your day or when you end it, allowing you to deal with the challenges of life that other jobs don’t necessarily allow you the opportunity to have.
2. You really can earn what you’re worth.
In a true sales position, you’re working on a commission-based system. You may or may not earn a base salary as well. This means your earning potential is unlimited, so you can earn as much or as little as you wish. Many workers complain that they’re not paid what they feel they are worth. In sales, that just doesn’t happen.
3. You always get to meet new people.
If you’re a people person, then you’ll love working in sales. Every day is a chance to meet new people. Some sales jobs require an extensive level of travel, giving you the chance to see new places and experience new things. Not many jobs offer you the chance to see what the world has to offer and still get you home on a consistent basis. Sales does just that.
4. Many sales jobs also have reward structures to be earned.
As an incentive to keep going out to sell, many managers have rewards and perks they are allowed to offer to their sales team. It might be gift cards, free dinners, or other local benefits. In larger companies, the best sales people are often invited on a trip with similar high earners for a fun time away from the office.
The Cons of a Sales Job
1. You are always a representative of your company in everything you do.
Every action you take in the community is a chance for someone to judge you. If you leave someone with a negative impression about who you are, even if all you’ve done is have dinner with your family and your kids were a little too loud, then that can make it difficult for you to sell anything to the person who received the negative first impression and their entire network.
2. You can come home without a paycheck.
Because many sales jobs are commission-based, there will be times when you are unable to make a sale during a pay period. When that happens, you come home without a paycheck. Some companies will let you draw against future commissions and others offer a base salary to counter this issue, but the fact remains that your income will not be stable from paycheck to paycheck.
3. You have to talk to people who don’t always want to talk to you.
A good practice to develop in a sales job is to spend the first hour of your day reaching out to new contacts. Unfortunately this also means you’re spending the first hour of your day speaking with people who probably don’t want to be speaking with you. When you’re working in sales, out of every 100 people with whom you speak, there is a good chance that 98 of them are going to tell you to go away – and some in a not so polite way. That negativity can be difficult to handle when it is consistently hovering around you.
4. There may be specific quotas you are required to reach.
Although you have some control over your hours and how much you earn, a sales manager or a company may require that their sales team reach a specific quota of sales over a period of time. If you don’t meet that sales quota, then your job might be at risk. When you’re one of the sales people who are consistently near that quota cut-off line, it can create a lot of stress that never really goes away until you know your job is safe. Then the cycle starts all over again.
The pros and cons of a sales job show that it can be a fun career choice. It can also be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet at times. You really can earn what you’re worth in a sales position, but you’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there to chase your dreams. If you’re willing to do that, then sales might be the perfect career choice for you.
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