How To Transition Out of a Sales Career (And When To Know It’s Time)

One of the reasons most salespeople enter this unique, fast-paced industry is because they love the thrill of chasing. If you work in sales, finding new clients and prospects, hunting them down, and hooking sales for commissions is probably part of what you love to do.

Ultimately, however, there may come a time when you want to move on from a sales career because the job no longer satisfies your professional needs, or because you want to pursue other prospects.

This article explains how to know when to move away from selling and how to streamline the transition.

Signs that it’s time to step away from your sales career

People who love selling products and services may not know when to turn their career to another industry or focus. Here are some classic signs that it might be wise to move from the sales department to a new one.

You have unrealistic goals (self-set or otherwise)

You may be setting unrealistic targets for your current sales metrics. These may be imposed by you or your boss. For example, a manager may want to meet an unrealistic sales target by achieving a certain number of sales by the end of the fiscal quarter. Unfortunately, this has become more common in recent years as companies expect more from their employees without paying them more in return.

you are micromanaged

Or, if your employer is constantly micromanaging you, you may feel it’s time to move on from a career in sales. is death for If you feel like you have to constantly check to see if your boss is watching you, it might be time to jump into a new career.

no growth opportunities

You may be getting to the point where you need a promotion or a career opportunity that demands more money. Even if your current employer doesn’t offer these growth opportunities, it doesn’t hurt to decide to change jobs. However, you may find that there are not enough growth opportunities across the sales industry. That means you have to look at another industry to be successful.

you are underpaid

Of course, if you’re not getting paid for what you’re worth, it’s time to move on and find your money elsewhere. Many salespeople aren’t being evaluated the way they were in the past. Especially since large employers value algorithms and big data gathering over the intuitive and personal aspects of person-to-person sales.

Don’t work for less than you are worth. If you’re not getting paid enough, it’s time to start looking for new jobs instead of looking for new clients.

How to transition from a sales career

You’ve decided you don’t want to work in sales anymore, but now you need to think about what your new career will look like. Luckily, there are some smart steps you can take to streamline this process.

Conduct Skills and Passion Audits

Take a day or two to assess your skills and passion. This may seem a little strange if you haven’t done it in a while, but it’s very important.

You need to analyze your current skills and qualifications and what you are passionate about. For example, you may have taken a sales job to finish college, but have deeper ambitions and ambitions in another industry. Or maybe you’re already in the right industry, but it’s just a job that needs a change. For example, if you like working in the financial sector but not in the sales sector, you can try a career in trading, investing, or banking.

Auditing your skills and passions will help you understand where to focus your efforts for a new career.

identify new potential jobs

Of course, you can’t pursue a new career if you don’t know what to do with your time after you leave sales. Many former salespeople pursue careers in the following areas or industries:

  • Business Ownership and Entrepreneurship
  • Business management
  • marketing
  • corporate strategy
  • consultant

In this way, we can draw on our wealth of practical experience by offering talent as an advisor, business owner, or manager. You already know the ins and outs of selling. Learning a little more about marketing and customer psychology might make you the perfect marketing specialist or manager for another company.

There are no limits once you decide what you want to do and how you want to apply your current skills.

Refresh your resume and cover letter

Remember to refresh and revitalize your resume and cover letter for every job you apply for. A good cover letter can make a big difference in whether you get hired right away or are overtaken by similar, competing candidates.

Your resume should include all the details about your work experience, expertise and other notable factors that could make you a good hire for a new company. Take a few classes to enrich your resume, even if it’s just to get a basic certificate or license in a new field.

When it’s time for your interview, you’ll be ready to wow your hiring manager!

start job hunting

Once you have identified new potential jobs and ambitions, you can begin your job search. Reach out to contacts (I’m sure you’ve trained many as salespeople) or use online job boards to find new jobs.

Consider going back to school and earning a new degree or certificate if necessary. In the meantime, you may need to keep your sales job or take another job to cover your living expenses. If you decide to quit now and live off your savings, make a budget and stick to it. Remember to factor in bills and credit card payments and keep your credit balance below 10% of your credit limit. The last thing you want to do is start a new job with a lot of debt to pay off.

Regardless of where you go or what you plan to do, your new career will thrive thanks to the skills and work ethic you develop as a sales representative. Happy hunting!

New York-based contributor Kiara Taylor specializes in financial literacy and financial technology. She is a corporate financial analyst.

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