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Midlife Crisis at 23?

DakalDakal Registered User
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright... first time I've ever done this. Bare with me.

In High school I wanted to be an engineer. I took Co-Op and found out I didnt like where I was headed. That and I didnt have the math skills for the position. I decided that Policing would be a great career and went to University and College and got a BA Honours in Criminal Justice and a College Diploma in Police Foundations.

Next, I applied to forces... they told me to get more muscular and get more experience in a round about way. So I looked for some other related jobs and nothings been tickling my fancy. I started tossing around the idea of joining the military... but then I wasnt sure... Then the Navy and I wasnt sure. Soon enough I started to run out of money and I took a job as a security guard. Pay is above average.. but still not enough, and I never get any Hours.

So, I posted my resume on a website and got a call for an Insurance Sales job. I went to their interviews, and I liked what I saw. I could make a lot of money so long as i worked hard and sold a lot of policies. So, I got that job and I'm training for it now. It should be great money but it has nothing to do with my education.

I'm also in the application process for a Border Guard position and I dont know if i want it.

So, my question to you is if any of your have gone though this... and if so, do you have any advice? I have no idea what my career goals are. I have no what I want to do, be or become involved with. I'm essentially adrift in a sea of career possibilities.

TL;DR I dont know what to do with my life, education or anything. Should I ditch my education and go with the Big Bucks sales oportunity? Try and get the job in the Border Guard where I will make less money but it will be related to my education? I dont know what to do.

Dakal on

Posts

  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Id say stick with the education. Having decent credentials will support you for decades while the quick buck insurance job could fail tomorrow out of the blue.

    No-one can take away your education. And in modern society, well educated and experienced people can always find work. Always.

    scarab you have mental problems
  • NogsNogs Crap, crap, mega crap. Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The feeling you are having is really quite common. It's call the Quarter-Life Crisis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-life_crisis

    That being said, don't think of it as 'ditching your education'. Chances are you probably wouldn't get that insurance job without having that educational history on your resume. You are hung up on whether or not you should take a job based on what you went to school for. I think what you should really be asking yourself is, do you like what you went to school for? If you ENJOY that industry, stay in it. If you feel like you are just floating around in security with no future - then change is in order.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Most people who make money in sales do so via established companies -- they use their skills in marketing to sell useful products to interested clients. Selling insurance is typically not a career, nor a way to make money -- some people will excel at the position, the vast majority will flounder, make enough money to pad their bosses' salary (but not their own) and leave the position.

    Are you naturally persuasive? Are you good at selling things to people who aren't interested? If so, the sales thing is the right job. If not, I don't want to burst your bubble but don't go into a job starry-eyed. There are precious few starry-eyed jobs available, and those are often a matter of perspective. Say, the person who has dreamed of working on repairing deep sea oil rigs landing a job on a platform -- they're pumped. Me? I'd think it'd be hell on earth.

    I guess my point is that serious companies that have an honest sales division *never* hire newbies to the sales force -- the sales force is the face of the company and needs to be intimately aware of the product lines, the company history, the customer history, and able to answer any and all questions the customer has. New people hired to sales forces spend years working behind the scenes and accompanying established people to established customers before being cut loose to attempt new sales.

    So, maybe you'll find this commission based insurance sales job to be different from most, but don't bet the farm on it. Try it until you get your first paycheck and see how you honestly feel about it. If you sell enough to even get a paycheck.

    A security job isn't great but it definitely qualifies as "experience" in the eyes of more serious law enforcement. I'd say it would be more wise to simply look for a security job with another company, now that you have the experience that you do. Companies are more likely to hire security personnel who have experience, as long as you left the previous employers favorably.

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  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I guess my point is that serious companies that have an honest sales division *never* hire newbies to the sales force -- the sales force is the face of the company and needs to be intimately aware of the product lines, the company history, the customer history, and able to answer any and all questions the customer has. New people hired to sales forces spend years working behind the scenes and accompanying established people to established customers before being cut loose to attempt new sales.

    What? There are plenty of serious companies that will pair up a new sales guy with an old one for ridealongs and 'training' for a month or two and then cut them loose. I don't know anybody in sales that spent "years behind the scenes" before going into sales. Sometimes they'll make new people spend time in inside sales before sending them outside, I guess...

    I am not in sales. However, my brother is. My father was a salesman. Both my grandfathers were salesmen. Both their fathers were salesmen. Sales is a tough job. It's better if you're younger. It's very difficult to sustain in the long term, for a few reasons. First, there's little opportunity for advancement. Your territory and your clients can get bigger, but eventually you have to move out of sales to increase your income and the stability of that income. Stability: you can go from hero to zero in a matter of weeks. On commission, your salary is not tied directly to your skills: if your company has saturated the market or the economy changes, your income takes a big dump and there's not much you can do about it, even though you didn't do anything wrong.

    Worse, experience doesn't really make you a better salesperson. Sales is a little bit about product knowledge, some about contacts and relationships with customers, and a lot about charisma, energy, and the willingness to push product. You don't get more charismatic or more energy as you spend more time in sales. This is why it's very hard to be an old sales rep: because younger kids fresh off their business degrees will do 90% of the job you're doing for 50% the money.

    Spoiler:
  • DakalDakal Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Thanks a lot for the replies guys. What you've said has help[ed me get things straight in my head.

    What I'm going to do is appease the people around me by going to the Border Guard interview. That way, if this sales position doesnt work out for whatever reason, I have something to fall back on. And this security guard job is just something to pay the bills that I can get rid of when either of the other two pan out.

    I really want this Insuarance Career oportunity to pan out.

    [edit] Nogs, that was an awesome article! Thanks

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