Reluctantly, A New Path
By Saul Good, JVS Client Blogger
Six months into my unemployment, I was restless. But I was energized. The time off was rejuvenating. It allowed me to investigate some different career fields I'd been thinking about. (Some of them, in retrospect, were kind of out there. Starting a coffee business sounded cool, until I thought about how many Dunkin Donuts there are around here.)
Disappointingly, I didn’t find much to hang my hat on. I wanted to find a calling, thinking it would be the path to blissful career satisfaction. Somewhat desperately, I joined something called the American Medical Writers Association, and even attended one of its conferences in hopes it would lead to an exciting new career. It didn't take.
Since college, my work experience had been in either writing or publishing (was that my calling?). I would have been happy to continue doing that, but at the time, people were losing those kinds of jobs, not getting them. It was time to go a different route. But down which road?
Someone I knew had a connection to a direct-mail advertising publication that was hiring a salesperson. It would take a while to build a client base and make real money, but I would learn a new craft, hone my people skills, and do some good hard work again. I took it. With that, I became a salesman for the first time in my life.
It was a job, and I was happy about that, but I was a little nervous about the sales part of it. I had always played more of a background role during my career. I was not accustomed to being the main event. It was way out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what to expect, other than what I could glean from the war stories of my new colleagues, who were encouraging, if not terribly comforting.
Didn't matter. It was time to get to work. There would be no dilly-dallying. I had one day of training, one pep talk from the boss, then they threw me to the wolves.
And I felt like a raw T-bone steak.