John landed his first sales job out of college almost two years ago. Yesterday, his boss brought him into his office and told him he was being let go. Panic immediately set in and John wasn’t sure what to do. Related: How To Answer, ‘Have You Ever Been Fired?’ Many people have been in John’s situation. Knowing you’re not alone can provide a little comfort, but immediately turning this negative into a positive and taking action will ultimately get you back up on your feet. Fortunately for John, the skills he built over the past two years at his first sales job are going to be exactly what will help him find his next job. At this point, you know the drill - you’ve been through the job searching process, and you have learned invaluable skills as a salesperson. Now is the time to reflect on and learn from any mistakes that got you to this point, update your resume, check to make sure all your social profiles are up-to-date, and then take a new, vested interest in finding your next opportunity. If you've been fired from your first sales you, following these familiar steps will help you get back into the game:
Build Your Prospect ListIn your sales role, you were probably assigned goals and the first thing you had to do in order to meet those goals was build a prospective client list. When searching for your next job, follow the same process by immediately identifying your target companies and giving yourself a goal of applications to send out each week or month. Going through this process, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Resources: Use all your resources to build your list. Niche job boards can be a good solution for job seekers, especially if you have a specific industry or role you’re looking for. These job boards have a strict focus, like medical or technology sales reps, so they are often a great resource.
- Networking: All good salespeople know that networking is among the best way to get new business and it’s no different in job searching - 64 percent of recruiters and hiring managers actually rate referrals as the highest-quality source of hires. So make sure you tap into your network to see who can help you connect with potential employers.
- Materials: You’ll need material to accompany the pitch, or application, so make sure your resume and cover letter are primed and ready to go. Sales is not taught as a one-size-fits-all template, and the same applies to finding a job. Make sure you are aligning your messaging with the companies you are reaching out to. Hiring managers are looking for someone that wants to work for them - not someone that is just looking to land a job.
- Expectations: When building your list, take some time to reflect on the mistakes you made in your first role in order to help you set realistic expectations for the upcoming interviewing process and the type of roles you should be setting your sights on.