There are hundreds of books and blogs on how to stay employed or find a sales job.
I can save you a lot of time and summarize in two sentences what you should do –
Always be learning.
Always be networking.
One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my sales career was not learning or networking enough.
I worked for a tax software and publishing company for more than 10 years. I loved my job. I thought I would be employed at the company forever. But then something happened – our company got sold down the river to a major competitor. Within three (3) years, the competitor screwed up our research software, dropped a good CD-ROM version and replaced it with a crappy one. We also went through a series of billing, shipping and production problems that caused a lot of cancellations. They did more, but I’m giving you the broad strokes.
Frustrated and tired of dealing with angry customers, I quit my job.
At first, I was glad and relieved. Then it dawned on me – where do I work now?
Sure, I had a plan B, but I quickly realized that I didn’t network enough or learned enough about my sales craft to land the job that I wanted. After a series of misfires and missteps, I finally landed a good job. But could I have found something sooner? Sure, if only I had networked and learned more.
We all get into our comfort zone. We all get lured into thinking that we have a great job and nothing can happen to you. We all think we are on the perfect career track. But just when you think you have the perfect job, somehow, someway, someone is going to come along and screw up your life.
Maybe it’s a merger or acquisition.
Maybe it’s a reorg. (Which is another way of saying your company is going to lay off high salaried employees or people who upper management doesn’t like).
Maybe it’s a new manager. (Who decides to give you the boot so he can hire his friends).
Maybe it’s a recession.
Whatever the reason, you have to be prepared.
The best way to be prepared is to always be learning and networking.
What do I mean?
Read books, articles and blog posts.
Watch videos on YouTube and other sites.
Become active on LinkedIn.
Attend networking events like Meet-up.
Join a local chapter of a sales organization like AA-ISP.
The more you learn and network, the better chance you have to stay employed or find a better job.
Below are some links to helpful articles about networking –
“6 Ways to Network More Effectively” by Drew Hendricks
“How to Network Effectively at Events” by Eric Samson
And here are two links to popular sales books –
“The 20 Most Highly-Rated Sales Books of All Time” by Mike Renahan
“The 9 Best Books about Sales and Selling” by Lee Bob Black