Finding a new job can be a job in itself! Whether you just graduated and are looking for your first job in sales or you’re a seasoned vet who’s on the hunt for a new role. There are three things you should be asking yourself when looking for a new job:
- Why am I looking for a new job?
- How much time should you allocate for job hunting?
- Am I settling?
Why am I looking for a new job?
More importantly, what am I looking for in a new job?
Know the difference between working at a seed startup and a Series C (or later) company.
Selling for startups or seed companies sound great, you’re the first salesperson, tons of equity, autonomy. But it’s also risky and you need to actually enjoy chaos and thrive in that environment. For those that do, the upside can be incredible for your career and finances.
Deal cycle- do you enjoy transactional sales or a more strategic enterprise sale? Are you prospecting yourself or do they have a strong demand gen program and leads filtering to you?
TAM and Product Market fit: do you want to be selling to that persona? Is it a no-brainer or an uneducated buyer that’s going to make selling that much harder?
While sales is all about negotiation, most entry level roles do not have flexibility for sales salary negotiation).
Commission structure is important. Instead of “How much of the team is attaining quota?” I’d try to understand: “What is the top and lowest performer making and why?”.
Glassdoor reviews are not a reliable metric for judging a sales culture; most companies require their teams to put positive reviews. Think about it -- when’s the last time you went to a restaurant and thought, I’m going to log on to Yelp and give a positive review? You only go there when you’re pissed, and in sales people are usually pissed because they got fired for missing a quota.
Backchannel company reviews -- odds are the company is doing the same for you too. Interview some people on their experience working with the company. Not AT the company, but WITH the company. The way customers feel from a sales process will tell you a lot about the way the sales team is run.
How much time should you allocate for job hunting?
More importantly, where do I start my search?
Referrals tend to be the strongest at any tech company so leverage your peers and start building your sales network.
Leveraging LI Connections - you’d be surprised how many strangers are willing to help you if you just ask.
Join the top sales communities and be active. Attend webinars and find a mentor that will help you start these conversations.
Recruiters aren’t terrible.
- Turn on “Open to new opportunities” on your LI profile and watch your inbox blow up.
Prospect your future boss, write a badass email on why you’ll be their next top performer. Then be persistent, one touch never gets the deal closed.
Am I settling?
Don’t get distracted by the first offer you get.
Schedule the interviews at the companies you’re most excited about last -- your sales interviewing skills will continue to improve along and you don’t want to squander the best opportunities while you’re getting warmed up.
Trust your gut after the interview process.
Finish the process with all of the companies you started it with, unless there are major red flags.
Don’t ask your parents, they probably have no idea what you do or what the company does.
At the end of the day, searching for a new job can feel daunting. Like a bad relationship, sometimes it’s easier to stay than leave. But that’s not healthy. Understand what’s important to you from a day to day perspective and also long term for your career. Where do your strengths and opportunities align? Then go get it!