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Looking For Your First Job? Consider A Job In Sales
Young Employees
By John Barrows | June 7, 2017

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!

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  • Daniel Thomas Fro

    Sales was the first job I had out of college and one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not going to say that you’ll make a ton of money by any means. When you graduate and enter the sales forces, you’ll be competing against sales people who have been in the industry for longer than you’ve been born after graduation. Are you up for the challenge? Do you think you have what it takes? My favorite thing about speaking to kids who just graduated is they all have so much ambition and want to rule to world (I love it and don’t lose that spirit).

    Dan Frommeyer

  • Diego Balcazar

    As a GBA major I feel that working in sales will be a good start after graduation. I worked part-time as a sales associate at a sports apparel store and sometimes I did not put in enough effort on trying to convince a customer on a purchase. I have to learn to be more consistent especially if I am going to be successful in sales and my career.
    Great blog btw!

    • John Barrows


  • Andrew Garcia

    Hi John, Great article. I am new to a sales role and am looking to learn to improve my skills. One thing I have been struggling to understand is the dichotomy between highly targeted prospecting and volume prospecting.

    In the article above you mentioned making 400 calls a week when you first started. How do you do adequate research on 400 contacts to make sure you know them, their business, their goals and objectives before making those calls?

    I am trying to come up with a great prospecting process but am struggling to figure out a good cadence and number of prospects I should target. I do not yet know the proper balance between calling as many people as possible with little information on them before the call (quantity) to focusing hours on researching one prospect (quality)…

    Any advice here?

    • John Barrows

      Hi Andrew, sorry for the delayed response. here’s another blog post I wrote that might help:

      feel free to send me an e-mail to if you have any more questions. Thanks!

    • John Barrows

      by the way, when i was doing 400 dials a week there was absolutely no focus on quality. it was all quantity. this was because i was young and didn’t know any better and felt like the only thing i could control was my effort.

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