The US Census income data from 2014 is released and reports the median income by different age groups and gender. I’m not going to get into the wide disparity between men’s and women’s income by age (which is shameful), because this message is about how gender and age don’t matter when considering income potential.

If you want to earn more than the median, earn what you are worth, and be compensated for your efforts, work in sales!!!

sales is worthwhile

Sales jobs are aplenty and earnings are directly tied to your willingness and ability to contribute to the topline (and bottom-line) of the company.

Sounds like an easy choice, doesn’t it? Yet, every day I work with companies who cannot find enough people who are willing and able to take a sales role.

It’s even bleeding into personal conversations. At a party celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, I had a long conversation with a sales leader about his frustrations of not finding enough people for his sales openings. Like the other 40 sales leaders I worked with this past month on hiring top sales performers, he is perplexed why he can’t find enough salespeople for his team.

We pondered the reasons why a professional sales career was not high on the list of recent college grads who are having a hard time getting their foothold in many office/business roles. We also discussed the many, many benefits of sales, which includes busting this median income report.

The pluses and benefits of a sales career:

  • Opportunity to grow directly related to your efforts.
  • The chance to really make a difference. When you sell well, you help the buyer get what they need and often relieve some sort of problem and a stress for them. Your efforts also provide job opportunities for everyone else in the company. A company with sales needs customer service people, production, marketing, etc. You create jobs and build the economy.
  • Compensation tied directly to your output. You can earn more for your efforts and not have to wait until the annual 3% salary increase.

We also discussed the reasons we think people stay away (or run from) from sales roles:

  • Fear of rejection. On the way to productive “yeses,” many “no’s” will be heard. The resiliency needed is high.
  • Accountability – no hiding your performance level in sales.
  • Mom and Dad say “no” – “That’s not what we paid your college tuition for.”
  • The lingering dread of salespeople – sales is not a dirty word or career.

While a sales role isn’t for everyone, it is an often overlooked career choice. It doesn’t have to be something you start because you can’t find anything else. You can beat the median income reports very easily with a career in sales.

What do you think? If a sales career has been good to you, what advice or benefits do you think employers, sales leaders, and beleaguered HR recruiters everywhere need to do to attract and hire new sales people?