I enjoyed your book Thou Shall Prosper. I am looking for any suggestions regarding the frustrations I am having with getting a job. My degree is in engineering and I have worked several jobs as both a sales engineer and technical support person. I don’t like engineering! My family coaxed me to do engineering.
I have also owned two businesses in landscape design and supply. Both of which I sold. I recently tried two technical sales support positions and I did not enjoy either one. I enjoy customer support but no longer enjoy the technical side. Any suggestions?
We had to laugh reading your question because, it could have been written by me! (Rabbi Daniel, not Susan) I also went into engineering after being encouraged to do so by my family. I guess they hoped there might be a redeeming economic value to the mischievous and disruptive contraptions I engineered that got me thrown out of several schools.
While I do have an aptitude for engineering, I was miserable working in that field because I was working with things rather than with people.
I had also started and sold a business, in my case a boat-building company. In other words, I feel your pain.
Then I went into sales. And I loved it! Every encounter was another opportunity to get to know another person. Winning a customer was just another way of helping another human.
It sounds that, like me, you prefer working with people to working with things. Like me, you have probably also discovered that once you have learned how to sell and are comfortable doing so, it is relatively easy to change what you are selling or for whom you are selling it.
(Both of us again) Any company should be interested in someone who walks through the door and announces, “I will bring in more sales revenue for less than it will cost you to hire me.” If you are good at sales, a commission based income is better than a salary. While you may need to start out with much less than you hope to earn, increasing your income is in your own hands.
The important thing is to sell a product or service in which you truly believe and that you are passionate about. We are not saying you should seek only fields for which you have enthusiasm and passion. We are saying find the right people and product to work with or for and then devote yourself to developing passion for what you are selling.
In this area, we don’t know a better teacher than our dear, departed friend, the late Zig Ziglar, who work is carried on so ably by his son, Tom. Buy their training resources and absorb them into your very bloodstream.
If you are working for a company, you should make sure that you agree with the company’s core values and are confident the relationship will be one of integrity. For us, we began sharing ancient Jewish wisdom, first with Jews who had not been exposed to it and later with Christians who had lost that part of their heritage. That has been our passion for many years now.
We hope you can follow a similar path by finding the intersection of a need that your fellow human beings have and your passion to cater to that need. As a bonus, please be assured that understanding how the physical world works through the lens of engineering will really be useful in other areas of your life.
Finally, we want to suggest gently that for the young person you sound like, the six positions you have already worked at is a few too many. (Unless we’re wrong and you are describing a sixty year career!) Please, commit yourself soon to a job and don’t even consider quitting until you’ve been successful at it. We think that by that time, you will be enjoying it immensely.
Wishing you success,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin