Advice: "I finally got my dream job in sports sales, but it's not what I imagined. What should I do?"

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Dear Quota Team, 

I’m currently working for a professional sports team that’s doing pretty well. Sales are slowly but surely trickling in for me. The quota that management provided seems a little unfair and steep, especially since I had less ramp up time in the off-season than my colleagues (they started earlier in the off-season than I did) and was given very minimal training to begin with (less than a week). 

I originally decided to take this job even though my gut wasn’t fully in it because I needed the money and on account of the fact that I lost my first job working for a major league sports team due to the pandemic (an accomplishment I had worked my ass off for the past 2 years to achieve). I had just moved to a new city in early 2020 and was eager and excited to start my new life working as an account executive when it was all taken away from me (Something that still gets to me from time to time). 

I’m about halfway paid off on my credit card debt and looking to get my own apartment once it’s all paid off (2 goals I hope to accomplish this year). I’m trying to enjoy the season, especially since our team is on a hot streak, but sometimes I don’t know if I wanna keep putting up with the stress and bullshit that comes along with working in professional sports, not to mention that the culture in our particular office is extremely lacking and toxic even WITH a winning record, something that shocks me almost everyday. If morale is down even with a winning record, I can only imagine how bad it gets with a losing one. 

My current dilemma is trying to decide whether to ride out my role until the end of the season or jumping ship to a better paying sales position, where I can work closer to home, hopefully in a hybrid capacity. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I was able to interview my way back into the sports industry (I didn’t know anyone that worked with the team/didn’t get a referral) but now it seems like the dream of working in professional sports has officially ended with this new team and I think I would much rather work toward achieving financial freedom instead. Any advice, tips, or insights for me?

Unsure in California  


Dear Unsure, 

Your story shows that selling a product you’re passionate about isn’t always enough, especially if the company culture isn’t right, and you’re not being compensated fairly for your efforts. 

It sounds like you’re disillusioned with the industry altogether, and want to refocus on making more money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You should stop torturing yourself going to a job you can’t stand – life is too short! We say that from experience, and you can be sure that thousands of other reps reading this can relate. 

Switching jobs is a giant pain, but it’s easier than waking up in the morning and dragging yourself to a place you can’t stand. Very rarely has a rep regretted leaving a job they didn’t like, though there are some exceptions when the pay is extremely high, something that clearly doesn’t apply in your case.

As far as leaving now or waiting until the end of the season, here’s what we think: it can take time to find a new role, and it makes sense to be choosy and to make sure you go to a company where you won’t have the same issues you’re having now. This is why you should start looking now. If you get an offer you can’t refuse, then put in your notice. But having money coming in while you’re on the job hunt is a great thing, and you’re still much more marketable when you’re employed than when you’re not.

Good luck – we hope you achieve all your goals and that your other dreams come true!

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