Advice: "I'm not passionate about what I sell. Should I find another job?"


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Dear Quota Team,

I work in sales for a distributor of electrical components. Basically, we buy a bunch of components that lots of companies need then resell them at volume. We have a decent sized sales team and our job is a combination of account management and business development. The pay is pretty good. It’s definitely more than I would make if I tried to get a salaried job with my education and background. I also came from car sales so this is a much less chaotic and ruthless industry. 

My problem – and I kind of feel like a whiner for even bringing this up – is that I am not at all “passionate” about what we sell. I honestly couldn’t care less about electronic components. It was a struggle for me to learn about the products because the whole time we were going through training, it felt like being back in school in a science class where I would just zone out. Now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I’ve got the hang of it, but if I’m being honest, I really don’t care about whether our clients get the parts they need. 

I know it sounds awful to say, and I definitely treat our customers fairly and everything, but I have zero passion for the job. Even when I was in car sales (which I would never go back to), I would get excited about new models or when a customer fell in love with a car, but how can you get excited about electronic parts? Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the job, but part of me thinks I’m wasting my life and should find something I’m passionate about. What do you think? Should I just suck it up or look for something better? 

Bored in Florida 


Dear Bored,

Millions (most) people work jobs they don’t really care about. Studies show the majority of people are unhappy at work, and a big part of that likely has to do with passion for what they do. And while there are people who can make themselves excited about their work, this more the exception than the rule.

Should you suck it up or look for something better? The answer depends on your financial situation. Are you in a position to switch roles and potentially take an (at least temporary) pay cut? If so, then you should do it. You only live once, and life’s too short to do something you care about so little that you thought it was worth writing in about.

But here’s the good news: you work in sales, which means you have a lot more opportunities than most others. Nearly one in eight U.S. jobs is some type of sales role, which means that no matter what industry you pursue, there’s a high chance that there will be a sales role available for you. So if you can swing it financially, start looking around. Just make sure you grab another rung on the ladder before letting go of the one you’re holding onto now. Good luck!

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