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Dear Quota Team,
I’ve been in marketing and sales at the same company for the last seven years. Although I had other jobs out of college, I would say this one was my first “real” job in my profession. Overall, I’ve loved the company, even though I’ve seen many coworkers come and go and haven’t always felt all that valued (I am 3rd most senior person including the owner). I never really saw myself doing sales, but as I got more comfortable with the job and the product, I got more comfortable doing sales.
We sell amenities to housing and residence life at colleges and universities. Selling to this industry is very hard, as there are many hoops to jump through to get to the decision-makers, along with budgets (especially for large, public schools with mandatory state processes). The potential commission earnings are huge and uncapped, however, it is very hard to close deals. I work hard all year long, only to have the opportunity to close a deal essentially once a year. Because of this, there aren’t really any achievements throughout the sales season to measure.
I have seen some success, but nothing too outstanding, so now more than ever, I am questioning my ability to sell in this field. I am competitive in everything I do and starting to ask myself if I should move on from this job and look for something else. But I also work from home and have a ton of flexibility, so I would likely be giving up that as well. I really do enjoy like 90% of the job, but that 10% is very stressful and has me constantly questioning my abilities.
I just moved to a large city with a ton of opportunities, but it’s hard for me to get excited about other jobs that I am qualified for. Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Do I stay where I am, get better at my skills, and hope the potential and the reality soon align, or do I seek out something that I can feel more successful in?
Ambivalent in North Carolina
You said you enjoy 90% of the job, but that 10% of it is stressful and has you constantly questioning your abilities.
A 90% satisfaction rate is actually pretty incredible for any job, let alone a sales role, where stress and pressure and self-doubt are par for the course. I think if you polled our readers, the overwhelming majority wouldn’t come close to those 90/10 figures.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye out for another opportunity. Challenging yourself is important, and if you’re not feeling like you’re operating at your full potential, then you might want to consider finding a role that pushes you to your limits.
Our advice is to hold on to your current job, but to keep an open mind when it comes to other opportunities. Most people switch jobs every few years (or less frequently than that), but you’ve been with your company for seven. You’ve shown that you have commitment and follow-through. But the question is: will you stay complacent, or will you push yourself to grow?