To Earn the Most Money, Don’t Focus on Comp Plans

candidate interview experienceWe see it all the time- A valued sales professional left a position for the promise of more money and it didn’t quite work out. “Chasing the dollar” might be the American way, but it might also be one of the most dangerous career strategies one can employ. Thankfully, if you feel that you have followed this path to nowhere, you can take comfort in the fact that you should rebound just fine after some careful reflection and a little planning.

Here are some simple notions to help you rebound after “chasing the dollar” down the wrong career path:

Prioritize what matters to you. Excluding income, consider the items that you feel would effect your daily mood at work. This should be a focus on simple quality of life items such as work culture, schedule flexibility, interesting or challenging work, proximity to home, or whatever other items you feel are important. This is your chance to discard what is important to others and really focus on what YOU want from the place that demands 40+ hours per week out of your busy life.

Determine your natural sales style. Imagine a very simple chart. One axis shows a range that begins with long sales cycles and ends with short sales cycles. The other axis is a range that starts with intense prospecting and ends with strategic account management. You ARE somewhere on this chart; Now find that point and remember it! Because if you match your next position accordingly, you could end up contributing real value to an organization and consequently end up feeling valued in return.

Prioritize the job function over the income. Society and its pressures have no say in this. This question is for you alone. What specific position do you really want? Do you want to lead a small team? Do you want to lead a massive organization? Do you want to lead projects or programs? Or do you want to hit your quota and go home? Every answer is 100% acceptable, and it’s also okay to change your mind. The key here is to make your decision independent of any income considerations and any outside pressure.

Trust in this assurance. The money will come when you love your job. And when you love your job, you’ll be putting yourself in position to be the most successful. You’ll effortlessly surpass quota. You’ll inspire others. You’ll impress your boss. You’ll go home happy. You’ll feel valued. You’ll sleep well at night. The good money will just be an added bonus.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius