Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Benefits of Paying Your Dues

As December graduation approaches, I am hearing from upcoming grads about the best way to "break into medical device sales". I have referred many of these people to my earlier post on copier sales as an excellent route to prepare oneself for success in this field. After all, it's not just about getting the job- it's ultimately about succeeding, isn't it?

Although every employer would love to achieve perfection in their hiring process, most employers admit that they've made a few "bad hires". For my part, the most tempting candidates are those who have the potential, passion and personality that would seem to indicate they are destined for success. Such a candidate can be a great fit for a sales associate opening, where they will have an opportunity to learn from and be mentored by a seasoned pro.
But sometimes, the kindest thing I can do in such instances is encourage such candidates to pay their dues by getting the right kind of experience and to stay in touch with me as their career develops.

Because the hiring process is so complex, as much art as science, it is essential for candidates to be proactive during the interview process if they are to make the best career choices for themselves. A recent article I read in the employment section offered an insightful perspective on this matter.

"'It may sound basic, but, unfortunately, applicants frequently place all their emphasis on getting the actual job offer and fail to recognize the importance of truly objective self-assessment of the skills he or she actually has to offer,' said attorney Kim L. Ritter. Her practice emphasis is in employment litigation with Minor & Brown in Denver. 'In some cases, after being hired, this can translate to a core competency mismatch and result in being fired for inadequate performance.
'Job-seekers should be accurate in their own self-assessments, even if the hiring official mistakenly overlooks critical skills necessary to be effective on the job,' she said. ' Do some research before and during an interview, and relate your skills to the actual requirement. Also, be honest in your self-assessment. Be objective and know what you can or can't offer.'"

While confidence is an essential part of being a sales person, humility, honesty and integrity are just as important. Overconfidence can be costly. Consider paying your dues a wise investment in your career.

Next Up: Essential Skills Checklist