Advice: "I work in marketing and just found out how much salespeople at my company make. How can I change roles?"

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Dear Quota Team

I'm a copywriter at a mid-sized ad agency. It's my first job out of college, I'm three years in. This is what I got my degree in and I've always wanted to work in a creative field since I was young. However, I wasn't prepared for how tedious the work would be, and the pay is so low that I'm basically living paycheck to paycheck to support my lifestyle.

I work with some people on the sales team doing creative pitches for new business, and I work my butt off. We recently won a pitch and I was talking to the guy on my team who brought in the account. He told me how much commission he made and I nearly fell out of my chair. It was almost six months of my salary.

I'm having a change of heart and I'm thinking I want to try out sales. I feel like I'm outgoing enough for it and my creative background could help, but I've never really sold anything in my life. How could I get my foot in the door? Ideally, I'd like to still be working in a creative field but I'll take anything if the comp is right. Any advice is appreciated.

Curious in Location Withheld      


Dear Curious,

Companies are always looking for young and hungry aspiring reps, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to land a job. Of course, you’ll have to start at the bottom, like the rest of us, so be prepared to take a small step back (though your income will almost certainly be higher right away).

As far as where to start, it makes sense to work with what you’ve got, so try selling for an ad agency, maybe even the one you work for now (though that might cause some problems with your current boss). In any case, you already know a lot about the business, so it won’t be a stretch to sell the very thing you’ve been doing for the last three years.

Or maybe you’ll want to start somewhere else. BDR and SDR roles are plenty, you just need to show the hiring team that you’re hungry and will do whatever it takes to land the gig (and then land them clients). Leverage your network, be aggressive, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want (multiple times if need be). Motivation and work ethic will do wonders for you in sales. And if you’re motivated by money, there is almost no better job. Good luck!

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