My First Impressions of the Job Market as a Marketing MBA: Sales, Sales, Sales.
When I moved to Denver, I expected to have quick success in the job market. As a business owner and holder of an MBA, I figured that I would be fairly employable and that employers would quickly respond to my applications. I have only filed around twenty of them so far, but the results have been disappointing: a few have rejected me, but the vast majority have not even responded. Not even staffing agencies have been contacting me. It’s frustrating: As someone who runs a team, I know the value of constantly bringing in new people and recognizing the types of people who have a track record of accomplishment. Knowing my abilities and my well-rounded experiences, I feel that I could be a valuable fit for many types of jobs. When searching for jobs in my field (marketing), I forgot to calculate just how terrible many available marketing jobs are: the majority are looking for a “self-starter interested in unlimited growth.” Do you know what that means? That’s right: sales, sales, sales.
I’m somewhat resistant to sales jobs: I’ve tried doing sales with insurance and advertisements, and have usually found it to be disappointing. The majority of people are inclined to say no before they even hear what you have to say, and most of the time you are selling a product or service that isn’t really better than the competition’s. It’s soul crushing to spend hours and hours dialing your phone to talk to people who do not want to called about products that you don’t believe in. Additionally, many of those types of jobs are designed for someone who wants to make that a full career, which is not my intention. I’ve been attempting to apply for other types of jobs with little success: many want a marketer with 5+ years of experience or a business analyst with knowledge of certain programs, which as a recent 24 year old graduate, I do not usually have. I’m very well-rounded and have taken responsibilities at the bottom of a company and at the top, but I’m lacking specific experience over many years.
Accepting a Sales Job… On my own Terms
If sales are my best bet for employment, I know of a great company that needs a heavy dose of sales: Simply Smiles. Looking at my employment opportunities, my savings, and how I’ve been feeling has helped me develop a plan: two months of heavy sales for Simply Smiles, while continuing to apply for high-quality jobs. This would allow me to start generating some cash flows for the company and get things started. It would inevitably be less money than I could make with a typical job, but it would be more fulfilling and pay off down the line. There are a few issues with this approach beyond just the financial ones: if I make many sales and have lots of restaurant bookings, I won’t be able to abandon these deals and accept a full time job without hurting the company. While that sounds like a good problem to have, ultimately I want to retain some flexibility. I’ll need to spend lots of time on sales while also investing my time heavily in recruiting and training, so that I can slot in new entertainers for the restaurant bookings I plan to arrange. It will be a lot of time, but I feel ready to give myself to it.
When I ran my previous companies, it was always a part time affair: at first I had a full-time job, then I started graduate school, while working for 3 companies at a time (running two). Things are different now: I have fewer responsibilities outside work and have the opportunity to dedicate all of my time, energy, and focus to selling Simply Smiles’ services. We already have some jobs coming in, we have our first potential trainees on board, and we have a need to generate immediate cash flow. No matter what I do, I’m going to have to work long hours this year: my choices are to hold out for a good job, accept a sales position, or work for myself and force myself to dedicate the time that this company needs.
A Change in Perspective
In many ways, I feel that I am in a new stage of life. When I lived in Bloomington IL I felt that I was in an odd transition between being a young adult and a real adult.Yes, I was responsible for all of my own bills, in charge of a company, and attending graduate school. At the same time, it was designed as a transitional period: improve my education and appeal to employers, learn how to manage a successful entertainment company, save money to move to Denver, and learn more skills crucial to fulfilling your dream of running a company full-time. Most of the things that I did then would not have reverberating consequences: my MBA would be finished, I would no longer directly benefit from the companies that I was running, and I would be starting over again under a new company name.
When I was in Illinois, I could never shake the feeling that everything that I was building was temporary. I would have fleeting motivation, working hard for a few weeks only to revert to a more passive role. As someone who has always looked at the big picture, it was easy to see that period as a time that I should enjoy, relax, and learn. I didn’t want to grind in order to make some money for a couple years and to have my business partners enjoy the bulk of our profits. Now that I am here, I see it as an opportunity to apply the knowledge I’ve learned and work harder than I ever have before for something that is literally my dream. It has been my dream for almost four years now to work full-time for my own entertainment company. I want the opportunity to work hard, and for that hard work to have reverberating consequences in years to come. I’ll be here to benefit from my hard work in one year, five years, and ten years. At last, my internal compass isn’t pointing in several different directions: it’s pointed directly at Simply Smiles and towards the future.