Let’s be honest, sales jobs are associated with a bad image. It’s pretty uncommon to hear a student say, “Yup, I think I’d like to be in sales when I get out of college.” The sweaty used car salesman from 90’s movies or incessant telemarketers is a world away from what sales positions today look like. Don’t let the bad rep fool you out of considering the benefits of a sales career.
Could Sales Be Right for You?
Millennials have a statistically higher inclination to consider both their personal and company footprint when choosing a career. In fact, 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place. The preconceived image of a sales person doesn’t make the career feel like an optimal choice for a virtuous grad.
The global economy and world of tech has created opportunities for millions of sales jobs that do make an impact. Companies like Apple and Google would have never have become what they are without a loyal and talented sales team. The modern day sales person, the guy at the booming or new-born start up, is the guy that makes the company grow. No company can survive without the relationships that salespeople create and maintain.
What a Career in Sales Really Means
Being in sales often means relying on your insight and judgment. It means getting creative. It means you understand people and what they want, a skill-set that will take you far in your career. For the budget conscious startups in their early stages, millennial talent is perfect match.
By the way, did I mention the median wage for an Account exec is $68,500- trumping the average national income by 17K? Sales reps in tech earned a median annual wage of $74,970 in 2012. Not a bad way to start paying off those student loans, sigh.
Don’t view sales positions as a last resort. Experience in the field is valuable across the board. Today’s business leaders highly value the important skills it takes to communicate effectively and teach others about a product. For example, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, began his career in sales- along with 20 percent of the current big company CEO population.
Companies want you, fresh grads. An entry-level job or internship in sales may give you some of the best foundational experiences of the business world to kickstart your first after-college career. Consider what sales can do for your career.
Ariel Lozovsky is a Marketing Intern at FirstJob who currently attends the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying Economics and Philosophy. When she's not reading, she loves petting dogs and playing tennis.