In days gone by, graduates were perhaps (how shall we put this) somewhat “snooty” about sales. It wasn’t necessarily the “career job” they were looking for. Today that’s all changing.
With the millennial side hustle - those people working more than one job to supplement their income - now the norm for those in their twenties, today’s graduates are finding the many benefits to a career in sales more and more appealing whatever their degree. Here’s why.
It Pays. And it Pays Well.
With today’s grads leaving post-secondary education with on average $25,000 of student debt and facing an unstable job market, a sales position is extremely appealing. It’s a stable career choice versus the perilous route of unpaid or low paying internships that many other careers demand. In fact, entry level positions, on average, start at $41,010 plus commission and benefits and the lure of those commissions means that graduates are flocking to sales roles, even if they don’t see it as a long-term plan.
Customer Service, Hospitality and Retail Sales Experience Counts
A problem many graduates find when trying to secure their first job out of college is that their previous work experience just isn’t what hiring managers are looking for. Even after you have a specialised degree, many entry level jobs these days call for 3-5 years experience! However, with sales, companies know that the skills they need - problem solving, effective communication and customer service - can be honed in different places. Rather than requiring specific technical know-how, most companies ask for a degree in any discipline plus sales potential, customer facing experience and ambition. That means a grad’s part-time job working retail or hospitality is seen as a plus.
Sales Skills Set People Up To Succeed
Astute graduates have also come to realise that the skills you’ll hone in sales will set you up to succeed in any career. Being able to sell means being able to make connections, communicate effectively, think on your feet and problem solve. If you cut your teeth in a sales representative role and do well, you’ll not not only set yourself up well financially, you’ll also be highly employable with a host of transferable skills.
It Can Get You Into Any Industry
For Millennials, more than any other generation before them, job satisfaction is about more than just money, it’s about doing what they love. One way sales is appealing is that every industry requires salespeople. Graduates know that a sales job can be the way to get their foot in the door to a wide range of industries. Sales or sales type roles occur in media, sports, non-profit, medical and publishing to name but a few. While for some graduates, sales is a stepping stone, for many more it winds up being their calling.
Whatever the reason that lots of graduates enter sales, it’s undoubtedly a great career choice for those that want to work hard and reap the benefits. While a sales career is not for everyone, many graduates who once previously would not have seen it as a good fit, now know that it’s a great way to hone skills, earn great money and work in an industry they love.