If you have as much sales experience as you think you do, it's possible that you could sell yourself for nearly any job with nearly any employer. However, after the initial sales pitch, the employer may come to find out that you're qualified to sell your skills, but don't actually have the experience it takes for the job. Don't lose hope, though -- your sales experience can actually come in handy for a number of careers with promising futures.
Sell an Image
You've been focused on selling products directly to customers in the past, but your skills can also come in handy in the world of advertising and marketing. Marketing professionals need to have the people skills that sales people do -- but they typically don't have to trouble with the day-to-day number crunching and sales quotas. That's not to say they don't have to follow the returns on investment and monitor the conversions of marketing to sales -- they just may not have to do it on a daily basis as you may do now. If you're also the type who has an eye for design or skills in photography, graphics or writing, advertising and marketing can be an even better fit.
If you've spent your career selling things like electronics, cars or cruise packages, another option is to up your game and start selling higher-ticket items. Real estate, for example, is a viable career that can help you earn more money than you might be making in your other sales positions -- and it doesn't take a great deal of training. Also consider selling life or health insurance plans or even investment plans -- all positions that require you to maintain a rapport with clients to sell them multiple high-dollar items over time.
Strike Out on Your Own
If you're driven by the numbers and have a passion for a certain activity or product, you may be the perfect candidate for starting your own business. It doesn't matter whether you aspire to sell hand-made kites, build backyard fences or walk dogs for a living -- your skills in selling products can help motivate people to believe in your cause. If you don't have your own ideas for a business or you need a little help getting started, also consider investing in a franchise, such as bagel shop, cupcake business, a chain clothing store or anything else that piques your interest.
Move Up Where You Are
Your desire to move beyond that day-to-day sales gig doesn't mean you have to totally start over. Your sales experience can also land you a job in management within the same company, or a similar company. Talk to your human resources officer or other managers and inquire about training and advancement opportunities. In some cases, your employer may help you get the training you need to be a successful manager. When you're selling yourself to your employer, remind her that you're more than versed in the challenges of the sales staff, and that will make you an informed, sensitive manager.
- U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
- U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents: How to Become a Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent
- U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sales Occupations
- Bloomberg Business Week: Eight Career Paths for Salespeople
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images