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Switching Lanes

Drive

It all started with one thought: “let’s see how the market for sales jobs in corporations looks like”.

It ended up with a breakdown which had at its core the question “what the hell do I want to do with my life?”.

Before getting into it, a short background:

For more than 2 years in my previous job I have never doubted that I was pursuing the best opportunity I ever had. My manager would let me come up with as many ideas as I could and he would provide positive feedback to almost all of them.

When I was given my first budget (40k EUR for app marketing) 6 months in, I thought he added 1 additional zero by mistake.

When I was given the chance to work in cross-functional teams, I’d be so excited that I would come to the office for the daily stand-up meetings, then leave to school and then come back again after classes to work.

I had the drive and there were a lot of exciting projects I could be part of. What is more, the people around me would encourage and guide me if I’d get confused.

I was thinking about work 24/7 and I have never felt I should slow down (until I failed plenty of exams, but that’s another story). I was seeing positive results and I never asked myself how I’d be rewarded for it. I didn’t care at all about taking a holiday or checking what other opportunities are in the market.

Because of my switch, I got back to square one. I started from scratch in a city I have never lived in, with a small network of people and with no experience in sales & business development.

That’s exactly how I thought it would be.

However, after a few months I started to ask myself if I am not wasting my talent.

One question started mumbling in my head:

Am I selling myself low? Can I actually learn and do more somewhere else?

I didn’t really understand what was going on, because the people I was working with were extremely nice and I could learn from each member of my team.

Maybe Romania offers less opportunities?

Maybe sales is not that exciting as marketing?

Maybe the company is not the right fit?

Maybe it is a matter of timing / luck?

Maybe I just had to be more patient?

Still, I didn’t feel as ambitious as I was 1-2 years ago. Deep down, I knew I had the potential to develop myself way more than I was already.

I started speaking with people smarter than me to get some feedback. With each discussion, I’d get even more confused. At one point, I was considering going back to Denmark.

But no matter what I’d choose, I had to give it everything I had before saying “that’s it for me, let’s what else there’s to do”.

I’m not talking only about a job.

It takes time to build a network, to meet people from different industries, to get a good overview of the business landscape etc.

Thus, I could go back to Denmark only after I played all my cards in Romania. Otherwise, I’d lose more than a year without really learning something new.

All this thinking drained my energy and got me into a constant state of analysis paralysis.

“At your age long-term thinking means maximum 3 years.”

“Man, choose one thing, but then don’t think about anything else. Give it everything you can.”

“Now you are thinking too much about what might go wrong. Decide to focus on one thing and then do not even care about other directions.”

That being said:

1. I decided to pursue a new challenge career-wise. I’d like to thank SpamExperts for introducing myself to the world of sales!

I have been learning some important lessons during the last couple of months:

2. I am going to take a break from working in internet-based startups, reading about technology trends, discussing strategies, planning and basically thinking too much.

I am going to continue working in Sales & Tech, but I am all-in back to the basics. I want to do the hard things first. More info to come.

3. Thanks to:

  • Andreea for keeping it real in our talks regarding my opportunities and my potential (when one gets job offers from Oracle, Vodafone and others, not believing all the hype around them can be challenging).
  • Radu for helping me in asking the right questions and for encouraging me to do much more than just Inside Sales.
  • Ulas for making me realize that my biggest problem at the moment is overthinking / overanalyzing.

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