I've worked in sales. Not the car sales type gig, but the media sales type gig. At times, this position was as lowly, petty, predatory, and even humiliating as one who's never done sales, can imagine. Then there were other sales roles (I got to be a sales 'director' at one point :)), which I found satisfying, engaging and confidence-building. These were better.
Fast forward to now, and in the last two weeks I've had not only been approached by my previous employer for a role in sales but by another media agency, today.
And it felt terrible. The offer was introduced vaguely in an email. The writer is someone I've known in the field for a few years and I think we've grown to respect one another. In writing, she didn't initially state the type of job, just suggested I might be interested in some work.
Then I made an assumption. I assumed she'd done a little digging. At least looked at my profiles online; seen I was fully engaged with my current work. I think so far my content demonstrates that I'm not only happy but that I'm employed in marketing.
In my head I began creating all types of scenarios: her media company could contract with me. We would work out a retainer deal. I'd get to execute my big ideas with their big clients. I'd add so much and in turn learn and grow!
Aw, so sweet.
Then. We met. For a whopping 20 minutes. She asked about my work. I told her. She asked if I was happy. I responded with a resounding yes. She frowned in disappointment and the meeting fell flat. Sure, I pitched my latest work. My skill set. Delivered what I love doing and why.
And then she asked me why I don't want to be in sales anymore.
And let's be clear. I use sales almost every day. I used sales with my neighbor as we exchanged plants. I use sales with my landlord to get off-street parking. I use sales every single time I log on to social media and tell my followers what I'm up to.
I actually really like sales.
So I told her: To be honest, there are so many other things that...I'm better at...that make me happy. At the end of the say, I was never proud to say I was in sales.
She nodded. Gave me a tour of their new office.
Maybe she'll keep me in mind. Maybe. I left and felt defeated because the wild scenarios in my head (albeit, totally realistic) couldn't have been further from her goals.
So I came home and debated a run. But a client call pulled me back into work-mode and suddenly I was doing research again and came across this: two of my favorite business leaders, sharing an interview.
Seth Godin explains to Marie Forleo:
there is no perfect scenario; your fate or your purpose is ultimately a decision about commitment. The opportunities are like a carousel. They're going by you every single day. They were going by when you were 15, they were going by when you were 26. But if you didn't hop on that damn horse and ride, then they just passed by.
So to hell with someone who doesn't want to leverage what I love. Moving on. I've hopped on and I keep moving.
"...If you leave this trail behind of thoughtful examination of your world, you can't help but get better at what you seek to do." - seth godin.