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Podcast 123: Finding Your Sweet Spot in a Sales Career with Amy Volas
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By Kelly Driscoll | November 11, 2019

This week we’ve pleased to have Amy Volas, CEO of Avenue Talent Partners on the podcast. Amy is experienced in the world of sales but has found her true calling in helping sales people and sales teams get recruitment right. In this episode, Amy and John go through what the journey of finding your true calling is like and how sales people out there can find the right roles for their sales career as a result.

In This Podcast You’ll Learn:

Finding Your True Calling in Your Career

Trying Everything In A Sales Career

Becoming Self Aware

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Finding Your True Calling in Your Career

Amy Volas: I always wanted to do something else, didn’t know exactly what that was. I have an executive coach and when I was going through that and really thinking about what that would look like, we broke it down into two buckets. I’m not this innovative mindset of creating something that’s never been seen before, but I have a lot of experience and a unique blend of experience for my space.

And I also was sick of being hit up by gross recruiters and you know what, there’s something broken there. And the feedback that I’ve received through the years, what were the common pieces of feedback and could I really fix it? Because for me, if you don’t know your “why” it’s a problem. I’m loving some Simon Sinek. You don’t know your why and you don’t have that North star and you’re not really passionate about why you’re meant to do something or why you’re doing it.

You’re going to fizzle out. I choose to work with my clients as much as they choose to work with me. I’m not just wh*ring myself out. If the work doesn’t make a difference then I don’t want it. No matter how much money I could make. And on the flip side, these are people’s lives and it’s their sales career and some of the best nights I have were candidates that wanted the job that I had to say no to, but they loved what we did behind the scenes.

So that’s all the stuff that I think about, that I had been through over the years. And I was like, this is nonsense. This needs to be fixed. It p***es me off. It makes me feel a certain way. And honestly, four years later it is in the fibre of every part of my being. I was put on this planet to do this business. I feel very strongly about that.

Trying Everything In A Sales Career

John Barrows: People say follow your passion and I understand it, but I call BS on that. When you’re starting out, you have to try stuff. At 16 to 20 I just did what I wanted. When you have little kids, they love one TV show one week and forget about it the next.

It’s the same with your sales career, you need to try a bunch of stuff out and it takes time. You eventually get to what you are really good at and like. So is there an age or experience level that you see is usually the point when people just “get it”? That time when they realize they’re in exactly the right spot.

Amy Volas: I wish I could say yes, but I deal with people who are in their 40s and 50s and haven’t gotten to that stage yet.

Or I talk to somebody that’s building a business and they’re in college and they know exactly what’s up. I think a lot of it has to do with self-awareness. I never knew I was going to be in sales and if you would’ve asked me at a young age, and I’d say that was a gross idea.

Actually, I was a criminal justice major, I wanted to be James Bond, which I am so not. But I knew that it had to be with people.

I am someone that gets energy from other people. I’m naturally curious and fascinated by what makes somebody tick and what did they learn and what did they learn it. And that’s the crux, right? So for me at a young age, it was I know I need to be around people and I know I need to move a needle somewhere in that.

And I couldn’t define it cause I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So part of it is, yeah, as you age, I hope that you take time to harness that perspective of what you did, gets you to a certain point. What did you learn and how does that get you to the next point? And a lot of people don’t do that. I have this manifesto of if I care more about your business than you do, or if I care more about your sales career than you do, we have a problem.

I find that a lot of the folks that are coming up through the ranks, regardless of age, they take a drive by to their sales career or to their business. It’s what they should do. It’s what they were told that they were good at and it’s what they studied and they feel dead inside. And so part of the way that I have tried to help people, because I’ve seen people that are 25 that are exactly where they should be and doing what they should be doing.

I’ve seen people at 55 and the reverse of that example, but when I try to tell people is to your point, if it doesn’t fill your soul, regardless of whether you know what you want to be when you grow up or not, don’t do it right. Like life is too short. It flies by too much.

Becoming Self Aware

Amy Volas: So I have a template. It all came from me getting it wrong and being duped into a role where I was completely lied to. It was the worst thing ever. I’m not a crier. And I called my husband bawling on day one. And I vowed to myself, I would never get it again, right? This was not going to happen again. And so the way that the scorecard comes together is you’ve got different categories. You’ve got opportunities.

The first one should be your existing opportunity. What am I leaving? And in my opinion, if you’re going to go elsewhere, it better be to at the very minimum equal or greater than what you have. You should be going to something and not just away from something, right?

Because there’s this whole thing that’s happening in the economy that we live thinking about how quickly we can get a raise in sales. Because your base salary is your base salary. You’d never get a raise is I’m just going to jump around and the next job I’m going to get 10K more and the next job I’m going to get 10K more.

And guess what’s going to happen? The economy is going to start going this way and you’re going to be the last one that anybody wants to talk to you. And people will troll me for this but I am a realist. I have conversations with hiring managers every day. I know what they care about. This will be a problem for you.

That’s a wrap. Join us next time

If you made it this far, you’re the best. Thanks for reading and listening to this podcast. We hope you gained a ton from it and will listen in next week too. Don’t forget to check out our recent podcast episode highlights too.

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