Advice: "I'm graduating from college and have two job offers for entry-level sales roles. Which one should I take?"

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Dear Quota Team,

I am about to graduate from college in the next several weeks. I’m excited to get into the world of sales. My older brother’s friends are in sales and some of them make a ton of money. After spending the last four years working part time and over the summers, it’s going to be nice to make real money.

I interviewed a ton over the last few months and have two job offers lined up after graduation. (I technically had more, but these are the two I am considering). And I need some help deciding which one is the best for me. 

Offer 1: A Business Development Representative role at a tech company that’s likely to go public in the next five years. Both the base and the OTE is lower than Offer 2 by about 30%, but this role is in a good industry (tech), and I’m likely to gain a lot of knowledge and connections. The RepVue and Glassdoor ratings for the company are good (not amazing), and I’m confident it’s a solid employer. 

Offer 2: An Account Executive role for a high-end electrical part manufacturer. I got this introduction from a friend of my dad’s. The pay is better than Offer 1, but the industry has fewer employers and there’s definitely more of a ceiling. That being said, it’s also more specialized than tech, and I would have less competition both in terms of competitors when selling, and competitors for future roles within the industry. 

Both of these offers are good and they’re the two companies I was hoping I would receive offers from. Overall, my “plan” was to go into tech sales, but I got this other opportunity, which makes the decision much harder. What do you think I should do? Any advice? 


Conflicted in New England    


Dear Conflicted,

This is a tough one. Why couldn’t you have asked us something easier? Fine, we’ll try. But we’re not going to tell you what you should do. Instead, we’ll give you a few things to consider that might help you make your decision.

Offer 1: Even though it pays less, as far as setting yourself up for a career in tech sales (great pay, great opportunities), this is a great option. You’ll be working for a company in an aggressive stage (nearing an IPO), and will get your foot in the door in software sales — an industry that’s only going to grow over the next few decades until AI kills us all. It’s a good option and you can’t really go wrong. 

Offer 2: Aside from the higher pay, here’s something you should consider. Having a niche is excellent, in any type of career. A niche gives you the opportunity to make money where others can’t or won’t. A niche gives you a competitive edge over your contemporaries. Besides the higher pay, accepting this role will give you specialized expertise, especially if the electrical parts are “high-end.” There are billions of dollars in these pockets of the economy, and you can certainly match or exceed your software earnings potential in some of these spaces.

It’s not an easy decision to make, but both options are solid. Option 1 lets you follow a reliable and well-paved road to success, while Option 2 is like a dirt road that leads to a nice, exclusive mountaintop. Your gut will tell you which way to go. Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of sales!  

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