Advice for son please - hates first job(13 Posts)
My DS graduated in July with a 2:1 in a humanities subject from a pretty low-ranking Uni (he messed up his A levels, got BBD).
He tried incredibly hard to get work, and finally was offered a job in sales in a medium sized company in central London. He was so delighted after 92 applications and 23 interviews to finally get something.
Started 5 weeks ago and is really unhappy. He's a very outgoing, personable person which is why I think they gave him the job but so far he's made no sales at all. It's selling tickets to globall event/conferences at £4k a throw, so he's been told his target is only 2 or 3 a month. 5 young lads all started on the same day and none of the others have sold anything yet either.
The problem is that he's extremely ambitious and sees himself as a failure. He's under a littlel bit of pressure but not much, he's really putting the pressure on himself, in fact last week his line manager took him to one side and said that he's doing all the right things, and sales will come in time, and that he himself didn't make a sale for the first 4 months.
On top of that, he's been accepted at Birkbeck to do an MSc in finance with a view to eventually going into merchant banking, so soon he'll have all the course work on top of the full time job.
He's permanently worried about money as the salary is just £21k per annum without commission, and he and his girlfriend recently moved into a little flat in zone 2, their first home together.
So, today he texted to say he really hates his job and wants to leave. We've arranged to talk tonight. I don't actually know why he hates it so much. It basically involves making 50 plus calls a day to warm leads generated by marketing, and is B2B.
My inclination is to say that it's very early days, and that he is going to have to just stick with it, at least until he's been there a year.
Should he talk to his line manager and ask whether they think he'd be better in a different role in the company, or keep quiet because he doesn't want to be seen as a problem?
Or just get back on the job hunting roundabout yet again (tho' interviews will be difficult as he doesn't have any holidays accrued yet)
Tell me what to tell him O Wise Mumsnetters!
His line manager sounds decent, and seems to be recognising that your son's expectations may be out of kilter with reality. Has your son gone in thinking that he will definitely get 2-3 sales a month and therefore will be earning £XXk and was counting on that money rather than working off £21k salary and commission being a bonus? Sales is tough, but 5 weeks is early days, and for £4k a pop then people aren't going to necessarily buy there and then, in a B2B context there'll be budget approvals and PO raising and all that malarky which takes time... If the line manager says it took him 4 months to make a sale, and no other newbies are making sales, then that's probably a realistic indication/time limit to put on it?
Thanks for your response WuTang.
I think you're right, and that he did expect to start getting sales straight away. The woman on the next desk has been there a year and is making £50k inc commission, and he's comparing herself to her rather than the other newbies.
He isn't going to starve we've been supporting him financially for the last 21 years and don't mind subbing him until he starts earning decent money.
What you say about budget approvals and PO raising etc is absolutely spot on.
Do you think he should keep quiet or talk to his line manager?
I fully sympathise as I'd absolutely hate to be in sales. Relentless. And as he's discovered it's not easy.
But that salary's not bad for a sales role and a first job. And I think moving into a flat in zone 2 at his age is quite a big commitment. Most people I would think at that stage are renting rooms in the back of beyond in order to have a bit of financial slack and to try out a few different things.
Could it be he's trying to run before he can walk, committing to the centrally located flat etc like someone quite a few years older than he is and wanting to knock it out of the park in terms of sales when he's (presumably) never had to sell anything in his life before?
I think these first years out of uni can be really tough. Expectations are so high and the reality is really different. I moved back in with my mum for the first year or two so I could find my feet.
In terms of advice, I guess the best thing is to hold your nerve. I suppose the truth is that straight out of university, you are actually not particularly useful. A year of straight working, even if you hate it, will put you streets ahead of where you were.
Just read about the woman on £50k. I think he really needs to adjust his expectations sharpish. We employ lots of people straight from university and it's a long haul until they are at their productive capacity. He's learning a huge amount just by being there, even if he's just learning he hates sales. Budget approvals and POs are also part of the job - he's learning about all that too.
Thanks Backing Vocals for your input.
And yes, he's always been a run before you can walk type. He's currently working 12 hour days, getting ready to start his MSc by reading loads about banking, teaching himself coding and god knows what else.
Hugely ambitious but the flip side is putting a lot of pressure and anxiety on himself
I am a bit torn about this, it is probably that it is just early days and he is putting too much pressure on himself. I would say he needs to give it a little bit longer, learning that you can't always be the best at something immediately isn't a bad lesson to learn early on. However I do think a sales job is almost impossible for the wrong type of person. I would be useless at sales, would never get any better, and would loathe every second.
I did a job I loathed for a year and was very unhappy. I didn't leave till I had a new job in place, I learnt a lot from that experience. However if you had told me it was a learning experience at the time I would have screamed. Could he tough it out till he gets something else.
Poor lad. I really do sympathise. At the same time, he's been in the work place 25 days! Can you help him slow down and see the big picture?
I think he is actually right for sales, at least at this stage; when he went for his interview, the panel were really really impressed; they got him to do a trial shift and said he was by far the best candidate, as he really did his homework, and has a great, outgoing personality.
But as you say, it's soul destroying to be in a job you hate, I know, I've had my share of shit jobs too, but you just have to keep at it until you get somehting else.
He wouldn't dream of resigning without something else in place, so I think the thing to do, as you've all said, is to look at the big picture, recognise that this is very early days, try to stop putting so much pressure on himself and have faith that things will get easier.
I am hugely grateful to everyone who's offered insights and advice
It sounds like he enjoys sales but would be better off where he can actually make sales to keep motivated.
Would he enjoy a trainee management role with M&S, Ikea or a bank? I worked in the past at Ikea and M&S and they were both companies that were willing to put training in for staff who showed promise.
Thanks Butterfly; that's a good point. If this doesn't pan out, he may well go for retail banking whilst doing his MSc I think.
What about looking at sakes but a different industry, something modern and with a decent pace - aws (Amazon) Microsoft, emc, dell
Easy enough to with 2:1 and bbd I'm sure.
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