5 Reasons To Start Your Career in Sales


Despite common stereotypes like the annoying used car salesman, the sales profession is a long-standing tradition worthy of serious consideration. Talented salespeople can make a good living and, a job in sales truly offers the ability to make a difference.

Scores of sales professionals across a variety of industries help consumers make complicated purchase decisions, providing them with the information they need. Whether it's a sales representative demonstrating how to use a product or a sales agent negotiating an interest rate with a bank, sales pros build the bridges that connect consumers with goods and services and help the economy prosper.

If you've been leery about pursing work in sales, don't let misconceptions about the profession cause you to overlook some fantastic opportunities that might actually make a job in sales the right career move. Below are five reasons why jobs in sales are worth a second look.

  1. Professional and Personal Development:  Individuals who work in sales gain valuable life skills, such as negotiating, persistence, and self-discipline, which are useful in both business and personal endeavors. Salespeople build their confidence from building relationships with customers, and often, the most effective professionals become sales managers.
  2. Autonomy:  Students, working parents and professionals who prefer less conventional working environments and scheduling flexibility often appreciate the freedom and independence provided by a sales position. Many sales associates set their own appointments with clients and telecommute from a home office or other desired location. Additionally, companies that staff sales positions, especially retail salespersons, can often accommodate employee requests for evening and weekend work schedules as well as seasonal or short-term employment.
  3. Networking Opportunities:  A sales agent cannot perform his or her job duties without interacting with other people, and each encounter should be considered a potential lead or opportunity to form a new business relationship. Sales pros who play the networking game increase their odds of uncovering new opportunities in unexpected places. These connections may translate into sales or lead to unforeseen professional development opportunities.
  4. Suits Any Skill Set:  Regardless of a job seeker's college major, favorite hobbies, or professional background, there is likely a sales-related opportunity in just about any field of interest. For those planning a career in something other than sales, holding a sales position can help them develop a strong foundation of experience within their chosen industry.
  5. Advancement Opportunities: Any sales associate with the ability to generate revenue for a company is a valuable asset. In addition to their ability to increase earning potential by expanding sales territory, an aptitude for sales can lead to leadership and management opportunities. A successful career that starts in sales can lead to management roles such as sales supervisor or executive positions such as vice president of sales. In fact, many successful CEOs got their start in sales.

Whether you're poised for a career change or need employment during a transitional period, you have much to gain by taking on a sales job, and you never know where it may lead you. Take this list of professional perks into consideration and try looking at open sales positions during your next job search with a fresh perspective.

Workers from any profession can benefit by learning the ins and outs of the sales process. If you've held a job in sales before, even if temporarily, what helpful skills did you learn that you still apply in your professional and personal life? Please share.

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