As I sit in my room pondering on the career path I’d truly love to take after my usual “Kopi” session with my friends, I thought about the pros and cons between a traditional 9-5 job compared to a commission-based sales job.
As a firm believer of not “capping” my income, a commission based job speaks to me naturally but as I start to understand the different commitments I’ll have to take (paying off a house to having kids) made me think twice.
Speaking to some of my friends who have been in the corporate world for years now has also made me felt that it was not something I would like to dwell into, from the people-pleasing attitude you have to put up with to facing the different office politics everyday.
This made me asked one question to my friends, “With the understanding that a commission based job could make more money than you have now, what is stopping you guys?”
The answer I’ve received was expected as I realized quickly that not everyone would be as “driven” and keen to “chase” after money and hitting the quotas.
This is where I thought about writing this article, the pros and cons of a sales job.
Pro #1 No limits to your income
The first and apparent advantage to a sales job can be perceived differently by many people, as there are no limits to one’s income in a sales job, it can be deemed as something without stability.
Depending on your commitments and journey in life, stability and a peace of mind of a 9 – 5 might be a better choice.
However, if you’re willing to take the leap of faith, with savings that’d last you for a few months, it is the understanding that your income is not capped or limited by your company is what makes many people jump the boat.
Pro #2 A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
As the saying goes, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” shows that it requires you to go through a tough time as you start off your first few months or years in sales before you can reap what you sow.
Once you endure through that phase, you start to see your pool of customers forming as word of mouth spreads be it in the different type of sales you are in and that is when things get better where you’ll start to see yourself breaking the limits of your own income.
Pro #3 Customers come to you?
When many people think of sales, they think of the different kinds of selling from upselling to hard selling and how dishonest many salesmen or women (no sexism here) can be.
Depending on the product you’re selling, there are sales that customers do come to you, from car sales, luxury goods to property sale (subjective) as these are the products that are highly sought after by many.
Personally, if I were to go into sales, these are the products I see myself selling as there might not be a need to hard sell or upsell anyone as compared to insurance sales or any other types of sales as customers might already know what they want.
Although it is debatable that everyone needs insurance, it’s better off selling something people want than need (personal opinion).
Cons #1 Stability
The first con is none other than the fear of not hitting your annual quotas and sales as stability is in question here for every kind of commission based jobs.
This might be contradicting with Pro #2 but not many people can or are willing to take the risks to sail through the toughest oceans without the guarantee of finding the treasure.
Con #2 Knowledge and Progression?
In a typical sales job, it is arguable that there are no progression in your job and when things go south and you’d like to look for a stable job like a 9-5, you may find yourself having little to zero experience in the corporate world.
Depending on how long you have committed in your sales job and when the day comes and you’d prefer stability than chasing the quotas, you’d likely be starting from scratch in a corporate job.
Comparing it to starting in the corporate world early, you’d be seasoned with years of experience and climbing the corporate ladder as time goes by.
Con #3 Working round the clock
Something I have seen for myself is that, too many people dread to be in their 9-5 job as time passes and they come back home to their friends and families complaining about another dreadful day. But when you work in sales, your work does not end after 5 as you might need to tend to customers well over the working hours or even during the weekends.
This can be a deal-breaker for many as working in a 9-5 can give you that “assurance” (subjective to your position) that you may not need to work after the working hours.
As I told another friend of mine, the psychology of being able to make more money even though you are required to work “more” may not seem as bad as it looks. But who’s to say? I’ve never experienced it myself.
How About Both?
I’ve been thinking about these for awhile now and realized that no matter how hard I think, there will always be questions and the only way for me to find out what suits me best is to put my foot in the water and give both paths a try.
There may be an opportunity cost as I work a 9-5 rather than a commission based job as I may make more money, but I think the best way is to gain a little experience in the corporate world while building my savings before stepping into sales.
The only question is, what if I start to get comfortable with my 9-5 and waste my years away while thinking, “would I be able to make much more if I were to be in sales?”
Guess there’s only one way to find out..
Regardless of the path you take, I personally feel that we need to build side hustles along the way and invest our money for the long run as we may not know, it could be the third path you actually needed.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the pros and cons of a sales job, if you enjoyed this article, feel free to read my previous articles about how you can read more books and also a guide to investing for beginners.
Writing this article definitely helped me clear my thoughts and hopefully it can help you make a decision for yourself too. Do let me know in the comments section which you think is the recommended path to take for a fresh graduate or both?
See you in the next article!