Lately I’ve seen lots of graduates on LinkedIn and I’d like to say “Congratulations” to everyone moving on to the next chapter of your life journey. The good news is you’ve made it. The bad news is these upcoming chapters are what actually matter. What job will you land? Where does your career path start and end? What lifestyle will you build? A small number of you might have a very clear picture of this and are already on your way. For those of you who don’t have a path carved out, you might want to give sales a try.
I believe sales is one of the greatest professions in the world. Here’s why:
Sales is a skill you’ll always use
Being able to sell means being able to communicate effectively, make connections and look for positive outcomes. These skills are relevant and helpful in all kinds of personal situations throughout life including dating, buying a car, getting a job, and starting a company. Even if you are only in sales for a short time, the skills you gain will benefit you for the rest of your life.
It can get you into any industry
If you want to go into advertising or public relations, you’ll need to know how to sell clients on services or to pitch to media companies for coverage. If you want to work in sports, every professional team has a ticket and sponsorship sales department. Maybe you want to work for a non-profit. You’ll need to be ready to sell to sponsors and donors non-stop.
It pays really well
For most, the first 10 years out of school lay the foundation of your career. Starting out in sales can help you quickly climb the ladder (many executives start out in sales) and if you’re graduating with any debt, it can help you pay it off and even jumpstart your savings.
It teaches you how to handle rejection
Sales is all about rejection. You could get 99 “no’s” in a row to get to that one “yes” that makes it all worth it. There are very few jobs that are more of a grind than sales. But, if you can get through the first few years and learn from it, you’ll be able to tackle any other job with a greater ease.
It’s fun and rewarding
I love sales because I get to meet some of the most interesting people in the world, like Guru Ganesh, and get to help people solve their problems. It’s also nice to be rewarded for how hard you work. There are very few careers that directly give you what you put in.
You’ll build your network fast
When I was first starting out making 400 calls a week, I wasn’t smart about keeping those connections fresh and my network current. But today, social media and professional platforms allow you to grow and maintain your network lightning fast. Use these tools to find your sales tribe: peers, companies, prospects, whatever. You’ll never know when it will come in handy.
Your first job out of school might not be your dream job, but attitude and work ethic are everything. Put in 18 months of hard work, consistently give value, and focus on your vision. You’ll be on your way sooner than you think.
Congratulations on graduating and remember the learning hasn’t stopped because you’re out of school. It’s only just begun.
Make it happen!