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So You're Graduating…Now What?

Carolyn Betts Fleming
May 2, 2016

College graduation is a daunting time. EVERYONE asks what you plan to do next, and most likely, you don’t have an answer. You’ve probably thought about your dream career and what jobs you absolutely don’t want. Many high-paying professions require more education and that doesn’t seem appealing to most people who are just finishing undergrad.

If you haven’t yet considered a career in sales, you should. Sales has changed dramatically in the last decade for the better. With the technology available, a strategic approach to selling, and readily available data, the sales environment is an exciting industry to join. From money to recognition, revenue generating careers are a unique opportunity to become successful fast.

Why Recent Grads Should Pursue Sales Careers


Years of experience and levels of education do not correlate or dictate success in sales. By the time many of my friends completed graduate degrees, I had started my own company. To become a lawyer or a doctor, it can take up to eight years to complete schooling and the required testing, as well as cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet, the mean salary for a lawyer and a general practice doctor is nearly identical to a sales director when including bonuses[1].

A sales career doesn’t require loans that other career paths need to gain access to more schooling or training. With five years of experience, Chief Revenue Officer positions are available and you can double the average salary of a doctor or lawyer, in three years less than it takes to even graduate the additional schooling[2]. You can start making the same amount of money as any of the high profile jobs you’ve heard of in literally one third of the time and with none of the debt. Contrary to popular belief, jumping into revenue generating positions early projects your income well above most high-profile paying jobs over the same course of time.


A revenue-generating job is the only profession where you can start making serious money immediately. Top performers can earn six figures in your first year of employment! In fact, college graduates that get sales positions right out of college on average make more in three years than MBA graduates make in their first employment after school[3]. Because the revenue department is so important for the bottom line of a company, star employees are substantially rewarded. Between commissions, bonuses, award trips, and other incentives, sales people can tap into BIG money right away.


Growth stage companies are looking for revenue generating employees that are trainable and can take on additional responsibility. Whether its managing bigger accounts, heading a team, or starting a new office, your career can skyrocket as fast as you want it to. If you’re smart, you recognize that sales is uniquely positioned to hit the ground running. With a sales position, the effort you put in is what you get out. You don’t have to sit in an office just for “face time” or travel to remote locations for project-based work. Revenue generating is solely about productivity.

Unlike finance positions, where managers expect you to literally sleep in the office, sales hours are not as stringent. While sales involves you being in the office and attend events, I’ve never heard of a sales representative burning the midnight oil on spreadsheets. In revenue generating, it’s on you to be as productive as possible. You have the freedom to manage your time as you see fit, and in turn manage how rapidly you move up in a company.


You control your own performance. You can measure your revenue, your meetings, your calls, and your pipeline timeline, down to every minute of your day. Sales emphasizes your individual contributions. If you’re good at your job, it is easy to track and easy for management to notice. Performance drives positions, so knowing how much you impact a company’s revenue puts you front and center for advantages.

Overall, a sales career offers you the opportunity to learn, make money, and expand your skillsets quickly.