3.15.2021 18:11
Career advice

Taking The Leap Into Sales? Here’s What You Should Know

Taking The Leap Into Sales? Here’s What You Should Know


Alex Holderness

September 21, 2016

Career advice

Why A Career in Sales?

Graduating from a double degree specializing in Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Japanese language, I knew I had a passion in not just communicating with people in their native tongue but also doing my absolute best in adding value to the people I come into contact with.

As a fresh faced graduate, there were lots of opportunities in various industries out there in the market. The fear of jumping into an industry that was unfamiliar or that I’d absolutely hate was top of mind.

Mark Zuckerberg aptly puts this into perspective for me,

“In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”.

Being a target driven, competitive individual – I thought why not sales? I jumped in with two feet and here I am two years later, and still absolutely loving it.

Knowing Your Strengths and Leveraging Them

If I could give a few tips to graduates who are still finding their feet: don’t be afraid of failure, try new things all the time, know your strengths well and leverage them.

I know Asia, I grew up and lived there for the most part of my life. I know four languages, and I made sure the hiring panel knew that and was aware that I was ready when the opportunity arose, to take the leap into a brand new environment. Wherever I was, I was determined to succeed through using my strengths to my absolute advantage.

Salient played a key role in preparing me during my interview process, and made sure I understood what was required of the business development role. Even if it was having a familiar voice at the airport when I arrived in Sydney helped a ton in soothing the pre-interview nerves and reprioritizing how to present myself and my skillsets during the interview.

My first year at NetSuite

Without knowing anyone in Sydney, the sheer enthusiasm of jumping on a plane to an unfamiliar state for a job interview that I might not necessarily get nailed it for me. There was no stopping me, I knew this was what I wanted and I got the job.

In a brand spanking new city, I made sure I continued to create rapport with those around me. Statistics don’t lie, so I made sure I continued to make a name for myself by always ensuring the quality of the work I produce and always hitting my numbers.

The sales skills and connections formed during my time here will prove valuable throughout my career albeit having just started out. Before I knew it, I was constantly reading up on tech news, on a constant lookout for potential companies that would need a new ERP solution, I was researching individuals on LinkedIn before I spoke to them at a networking event. Creating both a strong personal and professional brand gradually became second nature.

Taking the leap again

Over my first 14 months at NetSuite, honing in on the soft and hard skills that was required for the role was perpetual and beneficial. Not limiting myself to networking only within the Australia office, fostering strong connections across borders played a key part in landing myself a role in a different country just over a year later.

When the business was looking for a team leader to head up a new business development team in Singapore, my experience in the BDR organization, the quality of my work produced in the last 14 months and my leadership experience over the years were key considerations.

There’s lots to learn moving away from an individual contributor to now managing my own team in another country – but making young professionals as successful, if not more successful than myself, gives me a sense of achievement that I can’t derive anywhere else.

The best part about NetSuite’s culture is the genuine passion in cultivating growing talents and progressing them through the organization. For the graduates who are hesitant about a new opportunity you’re uncertain about or even uprooting your lives in a different city, you never know what you’re missing out on until you take the leap.

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