There seems to be a stigma around the word “sales” when it comes to job seekers. The images that come to mind are of cold-calling for new clients, salaries based solely on commission, and forcing people to buy something they don’t want. I am hoping this blog post will help debunk some myths and shed some light on why you shouldn’t shut the door on a career in sales.
1) Let’s consider sales for what it really is – account management, relationship building, and business development. If you have a knack for working with people, love the idea of not being at a desk 24/7 and might want to own your own business, then maybe sales is for you. Take a look at the job descriptions for sales positions in OrangeLink see if they are a fit for you!
2) Not ALL sales positions are commission-based! This is why it is so important to do your research into company-specific sales postings. Many employers will offer their staff starting salaries with the potential to earn more. Even starting salaries for entry-level sales positions are higher than perceived – according to Indeed.com’s salary calculator, the average salary for an entry-level sales representative in New York City is $59,000.
3) The job outlook is good! A recent article from US News listed sales manager and representative as one of the “hot jobs” that will be hiring this year. (We can’t disagree either – look at the positions employers are hiring for at the upcoming Spring Career Expo!) This isn’t a new trend either; CNBC reported that sales was one of ‘The 10 Jobs Most in Demand in 2011.’
So before you completely shut out an opportunity in sales, I encourage you to do some more research. Talk to the employers at the Career Fair hiring for sales positions, connect with alumni on ‘CuseConnect (through LinkedIn) who have started their careers in sales, and attend Career Services events such as ‘Sales Forecast: Successful’ on February 23 (6 p.m., Hall of Languages Room 114) to hear what working in sales is REALLY all about from the people who know best.