During elementary school, I had mixed feelings about the school fundraisers. On one hand, I thought they were fun and the items in the catalogs were cool… and the rewards were even cooler, but … I was never able to sell a lot for the fundraisers, so I hardly ever got any of the prizes. This was in part to the lack of support from my single father. After all, when a 7 year old lives out in the country, how can she be expected to sell much?
It has been over a year — almost two years — since I have graduated college. Wow! Time flies! It has been a little difficult on the job front. Don’t get me wrong. I have been working, but I have been having trouble finding something that empowers me… that feeds my passions. Why is that? Well, for one. For the longest time, I refused to work a sales job. The trouble with that is many companies use their sales reps to vet employees for “hire up” positions, some of which I want(ed).
Why was I putting off getting a jobs in sales if I wanted a hire position – or a different position – that require such experiences? It is because sales scare the crap out of me — as do people but that is a different issue. Over the last few weeks I have been contemplating why it is that I have such an aversion to sales. After much contemplation and following train reactions, I have come to the conclusion that … it is my father’s fault.
In the third grade, I really wanted to do better than in years past. Being 9 at the time, so of course I would need parental help. Now, I don’t remember how I approached my father on the subject; however, I remember his response — almost verbatim. “You are going to school to learn. Not to be a salesman.”
Since then until now I have been opposed to a sales position. There are other factors that have a played a role, but that was the defining moment that pushed me flying down that path. The other factors just kept me there.
Now, my advice is not to ensure that your kid gets the top price during the fundraiser. My advice is to be careful how you address the situation. This is a great learning opportunity for your child. Don’t pass it up, and most definitely don’t teach him or her the wrong thing.
The American job market is predominately a sales market. Your child will be selling one thing or another to one person or another. A few weeks ago, I received the most outstanding advice from someone on the Leadership team of The Oklahoman Media Company (which I don’t remember verbatim) — You are all in customer service. You are all selling a service. Wheth you are interacting with a customer or a co-worker, put your best foot forward, do your best.
No matter what your child grows up to be. She or he will be selling their services. So during the school fundraiser, take the time to teach them some important skills about interacting with people, sharing information, and other skills involved with selling.
I am slowly but surely cover coming the challenges of my upbringing. My last day with BigWing (a brand of The OMC) will be November 27th, and I start my next career on November 30th. Going from an Admin Assistant to a Credit Consultant — Inbound Sales for Progrexion.
This move will be an outstanding experience and much personal and professional growth is in my near future.
Wish me luck!