Do You Know When It's Time to Quit? I do and I did!
Last Update: Nov 24, 2014
This is a pretty long post as I update you on where I'm at, but I'd appreciate it if you'd take the few minutes to read and comment below...
It's been a pretty busy last few weeks as I started with a new job.
While WA's the place that I love and ultimately where I want to continue to learn to bring in a passive income online, in the meantime I need to cover my rent, pay my car, telephone and food bills as well college expenses. Needless to say, after picking up and moving to LA, I needed to find a job.
I was looking for something commission based in outside sales. I am not a sit-in-the-office-from-9-5 type of person and want unlimited income potential that is dependent on me and how much effort I put into my job.
Not only did I find the perfect job, but I even went a step further and found my dream job. Because in addition to all of the above, it was a traveling position which means that my company would send me around the US - and if I wanted to, I could choose where I want to go. As a travel junkie, this is awesome and I thought I would be able to cross something off my bucket list - 'Visit all 50 states by 2020'.
By the time I completed my interview, training and my first week on the job, I knew my manager really liked me! Statistically, 25% of new trainees stay on past the first week and I knew and they knew that I had what it takes to really succeed in this position.
The only problem was... I was uncomfortable with the approach that I was being pushed to take in order to make a sale. Here is the first email to my manager's manager in which I brought up this issue:
I appreciate the response! I know that miscommunication happens, and that's ok, but it's good to know that everyone is doing their best to make things work. I love these weekly recaps :)
There is one other thing that I didn't want to bring up until the end of this week (figured I'd give it another few days to see how things go), but once we have this conversation going, I feel that I may as well bring it up now.
When I first looked into this position with PS, I decided to give it a full month before deciding whether or not this was the right job for me. I don't have any prior experience in outside sales and I understood that it may take me some time to warm up to this and to really get on a roll and start closing sales consistently. It seems that there have been bumps on the road right from the beginning (concern about my personal safety, religious needs, miscommunications, etc...), but I am still in this and do believe that I can work my way up. However, there is something else that I've noticed that may or may not be an issue and I think that it's important to address it.
Above all else, I value honesty and integrity.
As a small business owner of a retail clothing store in Toronto, I know what it's like to struggle to make profits on a monthly basis and I know what it's like to deal with dishonest salespeople who, while simply trying to make an income for themselves, take advantage of the merchants. I will not do that. 'Little white lies' and 'lies to get the merchant to realize this potential' do not exist in my world. For example, I will not tell a merchant to 'just try it out for one month free during which time he can simply cancel if he chooses to do so'. Yes, we may be able to work out cancellation of the payment processing part of the agreement, but he will still be stuck in a non-cancellable equipment lease. No, knowing that it's transferable doesn't make it any better. (For the record, when this recently happened, the merchant was actually smart enough to realize this and made the decision on his own.)
I promote PS services because as a merchant myself, I see the value in it and appreciate what it can offer others. However, this is a service intended to help people. I will not knowingly recommend (and push) someone to buy into this service knowing that it is not in his best interests. I do not take advantage of people and I am not looking to learn how.
I will not 'work the numbers so that the numbers work for me'. I will take an honest look at the numbers and see whether it is worthwhile for the merchant to switch to our product and if so, I will do my best to convince him in any way possible, and if not, I will tell him exactly that and we will respectfully part ways. I don't believe in telling a merchant that we can save him 50% when I know we will only save him 15%. Because I believe in the value of the service, a savings of 15% is a good enough reason for a merchant to switch and I would be happy to show him how, but I won't lie about the numbers in order to convince him about that. A great salesperson knows when his product is right for a potential client and when it's time to move on.
I have no hesitations about working according to my values and standards and I know with absolute certainty that yes, I can still close deals this way.
I am being open about this because if I will be manipulated and pushed on a consistent basis to follow through with 'little white lies' then this really isn't the company for me. What I'm struggling to figure out is whether this is the industry in general (in which case, I may have to consider looking into an entirely different position) or if this is something that is more of a personal style and in that case, is something that I can work with so long as I am not put in a position where I am forced to work in the same manner.
I presume that An (hey, An :) will comment on the fact that I have been causing 'so many issues'. From wanting to be in safe areas to not being able to work late on Fridays (for the record, that's only in the winter. Sabbath times vary with the sunset, so towards the summer, I'll be able to work later...), and finally with this. I want to make something clear: I don't think I'm better than anyone else, I don't think I'm different than anyone else, and I'm not asking for special treatment (despite the impression this may give). All I'm saying is that I respect myself enough to know that I will not be pushed around and made to cross lines I don't intend to cross or in any way disregard my personal values and beliefs. And if that's not something that we can agree to settle on, then please let me know.
I appreciate you 'hearing me out' and I look forward to your response.
I received a vague response along the lines of "Let's have a great day tomorrow!" Gee. After that whole long heartfelt email...
After one more week on the job I was becoming more convinced that this really wasn't the right company for me. However, I have my first cousin's wedding in New Jersey coming up in 3 weeks and like I mentioned, I'm struggling financially, and they already agreed to fly me out there for work. I was thinking that maybe I'd just wait till after the wedding to make a final decision.
However, G-d is always looking out for us and when we're seeking to do the right thing, he helps us out. This week it came in the form of the Rabbi's lecture in synagogue after the morning prayers. His main focus was on how important it is for us to hold true to our standards and not lower them when the going gets tough or for other people who try to persuade us to do so.
That speech couldn't have come at a more opportune moment and I thank G-d for giving me that little push of inspiration exactly when I needed it. Last night, I sent the following email to the appropriate people at my company:
Dear An and Am,
Firstly, I want to thank you for giving me a great experience as a PS agent! I learned a lot, and really appreciate and value the time, education and respect that you've given me.
I've given this topic much thought and have decided that I will not be continuing to work as an outside sales agent. Like I mentioned earlier, I value honesty and integrity above all else and I'm not willing to risk losing that. I know that it won't take long for me to lower my standards in an environment that doesn't directly correspond with those that I value and I'm afraid that if I don't walk away now, I will end up doing just that.
I want to stress that this decision is about me and my standards. An, you're a great guy and I really enjoyed working with you (yup, this coming from your CJG ;) and Am, it's been a pleasure to get to know you and work with you on occasion. I will not be one of those people who go to post a negative review about PS because I still believe that the service you offer is a good one and I do respect the employees of PS.
I really wish you much success moving forward!
Have a great Thanksgiving and try to relax a bit :)
I'm now jobless, have no clue how I'm getting to that wedding, or how to cover my rent and car bills, etc... but I have a huge weight off my shoulders. And I have pride in knowing who I am and what I stand for and being certain that no one can push me to do something I don't want to do.
I shared this with you because I could use all the support and encouragement I could get right now and because I know that you'll agree that I did the right thing.
Thanks for just being here to 'listen' :-)