There is a ton of pressure on last year college students to be accepted to a job before graduation. You and everyone close to you want to see all your hard work pay off over the last four years, start making money and paying off those loans immediately. However, don’t move too fast. Be wary of your first job don’t just jump into it.
I majored in Communications and after graduation, to the surprise of everyone I knew, I had gone through the job search, passed three rounds of interviews, and after not having a “real major” I landed a “real job” in sales. From graduation to “real job” in only a month and I was ecstatic to start. To quote my mom, “He got a real job with benefits and everything!” If you never had a job in sales, don’t be fooled, they will hire everyone no matter what your qualifications. If you’re not a money-sucking-heartless-shark of a person you won’t be successful and the company will drop you quicker than they so pleasantly hired you.
The “problem” (I quote problem because this is a flaw not a skill) was that I was pretty good at lying my ass off and convincing struggling business owners to buy my shitty advertisements. I was the youngest sales person in my area and quickly started to learn sales tricks from the other more seasoned sales reps. As soon as the reps were around long enough for me to learn their heartless closing skills, they were gone. Sales reps were dropping left and right for not hitting numbers or getting laid off because my boss or someone higher up the ladder didn’t approve of their sales tactics. I was stressed out every quarter. I found myself rushing around to try and get the required number of new sales. My boss was on my ass following my every move. I started going against my morals and bullshitting a product just to get one last sale for the quarter, being unaware if I was the next one to get canned.
The worst thing about my “real job” was that I had plenty of money. I had more than enough dough to live happily but, to keep my job, I had to keep hitting numbers. That is one thing I will never understand about sales jobs. The more successful you are at selling people into your company’s trap the more you have to sell. The only reward is more money, bonuses and stupid incentives. My job situation became all so clear to me. I was just being held hostage by this company (which will remain nameless). Then, without warning, my closest co-worker and the number one overall rep in the area was fired. I couldn’t believe it. I had learned so much from him and it didn’t matter. He was gone with a single Donald Trump “you’re fired.”
I found myself changing as a person, losing weight, staying up all night preparing for presentations the next day, hounding business owners on the phone every hour. My girlfriend even started to take notice of how much I had changed that our relationship began to struggle. Why was I putting myself through this for a job? It just didn’t make any logical sense to me. I made eye contact with myself in the mirror with my button down shirt and tie and told myself I couldn’t go on like this. I was no longer the free-spirited communications major I once was and I wasn’t ready change. I sent my boss an email the next day and gave my resignation letter.
Fast forward two months later. I was living at the beach with my mom making sandwiches at a restaurant for the summer. I grew my hair and beard out and I am now spending too much time in the sun. Leaving my “real job” was one of the best responsible life decisions I could have made. However, I still get asked, “What do you do now?” “When are you going to get a real job?” “Are you ever going to use your sales experience for anything?” I don’t understand why that seems like the path we all have to take. Is it so bad I am actually happy making sandwiches at a service job? I hated having a “real job” having to answer to someone that doesn’t take you seriously and only cares about hitting the sales numbers for the next deadline. Growing up is not having someone dictating you it’s standing up to the dictator and doing what truly makes you happy. My “real job” was more of a problem than a solution and it was forcing me to change myself. Making another struggling small business buy another advertisement isn’t going to make a difference in the world. In all seriousness, advertising probably does more harm than good in the world. I would rather flash a person a smile and making them a nice lunch. Maybe they think it was the best sandwich they ever had. One can only hope.
From time to time, a women in a high-waist pencil skirt with a tucked in blouse having just enough buttons open showing off some corporate cleavage will fly into the restaurant accompanied by a business man in a tailored suit, gold pen in the chest pocket, neck tie restricting his airway just enough to bring out the bags under his eyes and ask, “I need 5 of this sandwich, 6 of this sandwich, A turkey with no mayo and 13 coffees.” Followed by, “Can you hurry it up too? I don’t have a lot of time.” To them I’m just some loser behind the counter that wouldn’t last a day in their world but, to me, they’re the ones losing because they were sent to get lunch.