In the process of job seeking I came across with job stereotyping. While sure enough some jobs sound more spectacular, require more skills and bear additional responsibilities, I believe it is not a reason to underestimate other occupations, especially as a fresh graduate. To be fair, if there are peers who got accepted as a traders in prestigious investment firm or researchers, of course we (or actually me) will say “WOW”. But if other peers were to say they got a job as clerk, sales or even HR, most people will frown, give an awkward smile and say “ah… good”.
Like majority of people, I don’t fancy those roles. I used to be those who frowned when I heard the word sales, and honestly never ever want to be associated with that word ever. That was my feeling before. Quite recently, I started to think more about it and somehow it dawned to me that I must have been wrong. All my life I have this terrible stereotype on this profession (you know they force you to buy things) but I realized I was not thinking very openly. Forced selling (such as foot-in-the-door) is so yesterday and it is just a very small thing of sales. Honestly, every business can only sustain if they can sell. Either the products and services are so good and useful thus people will buy it voluntarily, or that you are so good and able to convinced the public to buy things/services they actually might not need. Dig deeper, sales should also be associated to the event when entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors, to the social events where there are implicit connections sales a.k.a building connection, interviews (selling one’s qualification), even as a wife convincing the husband to buy her a Zara dress (selling reason) and many more. Selling is what we do everyday and it is not a shameful thing. IB traders is useless when there is no demand in their services, selling is arguably the core of the business. I hope by now you are at least a little convinced of the importance of sales job and how it had been underestimated all these years. So now the important question is how good are you at selling? I believe how far one can take their selling ability will be one of the success measure to which extend he/she or me will succeed in life.
Apparently, I am not the only person that have this view, I have only read the sample chapter from Amazon but I will recommend it anyway for those interested: “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” – Daniel H. Pink (Amazon link). The sales approach is changing, less (if there is at all) catalogs and door to door sales, more technology implemented giving the exact suggestions to the right customer. The role of sales is shifting, not to force but to be creative such that they could successfully convinced the other party. This is one of the crucial skill needed by any CEO as well. So you might start as a small sales potato but I firmly believe that learning from it could bring really promising future.
Lastly, in the first paragraph I say not to underestimate any occupation. Sales is underrated but it is hardly the worse job, I mean, some people do choose to be in the field and there is professional terms for them as well. How about cleaning services, cashier? A lot of people never appreciate their doing and maybe even think they are filthy. But here is some evidence why low paying occupations are also important in a business. As you might have guessed I will say “can you imagine if no cleaning service to clean your firm’s toilet” or “imagine if there is no trash collector”, I believe you had imagined it (and maybe now you will say, “well I don’t need cashier because I can be charged online directly from the barcode”) and yes they play roles there. But take a sit and think about this video
Try to look behind the citizens who are in crisis and waited hours to spend their money to supply their home. Try to think about the cashier officer on the end of that line, he/she cannot buy but have to be stand by there to serve others (and make sure the grocery was not raided), see the back officers who, in the middle of the heavy rain after big storm, came to work to provide others facilities. Then maybe take a look at this news titled: Japan’s Richest Village Can’t Find Workers for Its Factory. A business cannot work effectively and efficiently with only top management, they need people to do the small things too because a lot of small things will turn big in the end. That being said, the news of Elon Musk that fired (or not) his secretary after asking for salary raise. Whether he fired her or she decided to walk away, I cannot appreciate his way of treating her. If he thinks that her job is so easy that he can dispose her then shall he not say it so in the first place? Rather he decided to let her take a vacation while he showed the world he can do her and his job similarly well (I mean she has worked for him in the same position for 12 years). This is somehow more shameful than being fired right away because it is like saying that all those 12 years he was just tolerating her to be there and she added very little value to his company. But anyway, that is just my opinion. The third story is more personal, as the news had covered, typhoon Hato that hit Hong Kong and Macau recently left very bad taste in the city. The condition was terrible the day after the typhoon; trees, trashes, and every other things were scattered all over the place according to the footage. But amazingly, on my way to work the next day, the traffic in most places I passed are cleared and even the foot way have only several obstacles. The dirt of Hato still remains but only on the sides, places where it does not affect anyone. Meanwhile, I also saw the cleaning squad swept the road and clear it. I dare not to guess at what time the team started the cleaning such that the morning traffic went pretty smoothly but I guess there are people who don’t care as long as they can arrive to their office safely. I am too sometimes forget to appreciate their work, but I am trying my best to do a better job at it starting by giving a simple greetings~