Two months ago, I began the process of working for a direct sales and marketing company.
The office I work for is a subsidiary of a much larger national company called Smart Circle. As I first discussed in my post Can an INFJ Survive in Sales? I went into this job with some serious concerns about whether or not I’d have what it takes to succeed in their business as an introvert. It has been one heck of a ride so far.
Although my biggest concern was the overwhelming thought of talking to 150 people every day, the biggest challenge I have faced is the fast employee turnover in the business. I tend to build relationships with people quickly and seeing so many new friends come and go has been a bit hard. As soon as you start to get to know someone, boom, they’re gone. I guess that is to be expected with most multi-level marketing businesses. There is going to be a high drop-out rate simply due to the difficulty in the early stages. I’m learning to cope.
I miss my colleagues who have come and gone. I have only been working with Smart Circle for a little over two months but we consistently see new faces in the office each week. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is definitely a weird process to witness from the sideline as your office gains and loses team members so frequently. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me since what we do, in my opinion, isn’t easy. Most people aren’t comfortable talking and relating with strangers who, in most cases, don’t want to be bothered.
Working in the field has taught me a lot about myself. I enjoy being in Home Depot because each day is a new challenge. You have to be agile and adapt to each person you approach. You never know which negatives you’ll need to overturn. I have been listed as a top Client Representative in the nation and qualified for a promotion after my first month in the business.
The stores have shaped me into a better version of myself. I can honestly say that thanks to this job I no longer fear the word, “No.” Dealing with SO MUCH rejection on a daily basis has made me numb to negativity. To put this into perspective, I’ve had about 9,000 people say no to me for maybe 75 yes’s. I have gained a sense of self-confidence I lacked coming into this job. Now I understand how to not take business-related rejection personally. I am able to laugh off the small things and stay goal-oriented as I work. An unwavering belief and trust in the Law of Averages is all you really need to succeed in any business.
Home Depot is an excellent place to be. They’re a top retailer and Fortune100 client. Our marketing job is made easy by the fact that we look like we work for Home Depot. We are self-manangers meaning we mostly work solo. For this reason, a positive attitude, great work ethic, and ability to self-regulate your emotions is so important. I like to keep my energy up by appreciating all of the weird things you can find in Home Depot. Around Halloween time, there was a $300 8 foot tall dinosaur and a huge $270 gargantuan spider. I waited all season to see someone buy one. Never happened.
Once, I even had to work in a Home Depot for a whole day while the power was out. If you think what we normally do is hard, imagine approaching people shopping in the dark. That was fun.
The constant extraverting does get tiring but I try to balance myself by taking 5 minute breaks throughout the day to recharge. Sometimes, I’ll walk over to the plants and look at what they have. On one of my best days, I treated myself to a potted assortment of cacti! ?
Even though the stores are supposed to be a temporary stepping stone before qualifying for higher management positions, I am not sure that that is even what I want for myself long-term. Doing this full-time has taught me more about what I want out of my career. Yes, there is a great career opportunity here. I’ve witnessed tons of young owners make it in our business. Personally, I know several 22, 23, and even 24 year old Smart Circle business owners making six figure salaries already. I suppose money isn’t my greatest motivator because as much as I enjoy getting nice size paychecks, I am more excited when I am helping people, writing, teaching, and working towards a cause I am passionate about.
For these reasons, I am not sure how much longer I will continue to do this. It is extremely confusing since I have several other career options I’m more excited about and need to decide where to focus my energy going forward. I recently left Mad Science and I’m thinking this job might be next. For now, my focus is to gain as many skills and as much experience out of this as I possibly can. Once I’m ready to move on, I will.
Update: I’ve moved on.