The third time around, we are to ‘write about the last time you left your comfort zone‘.
Back in the late autumn of 2017 I had a steady job selling bathrooms that I enjoyed, but it cost me a fair bit of money each month in train fare and I ideally needed something closer to home. The only thing was, the jobs I applied for that I got were in what could be termed ‘high pressure sales environments’. Well, one of those jobs definitely was, the other… the theory was that it wouldn’t be, but I knew in my gut it would be – when there are fourteen different key performance indicators and when the business is geared up to analyse those KPIs in excruciating detail, you know it’s a pressurised environment.
I liked my existing job but I wanted more money. I had to move out of a place where the sales process usually took at least a week if not more (few people will ‘impulse’ buy a bathroom suite), to a place which was all about getting the sale right there. There were suddenly a lot of KPIs to consider, and league tables, and a different attitude to a lot of things (weekends off? Forget it. Time off between Christmas and New Year’s? Hah!). I freely admit to being nervous about the move and I agonised over it for a few weeks – not helped but my would-be new manager trying to get me to jump ship with as short a notice period as possible, which I simply would not do (my boss at the time is a friend, and I owed him a measure of loyalty). In the end I took the job, and it’s fair to say I never felt entirely comfortable with the type of sales approach and the pushing of options. I toughed it out for two years, and then the opportunity came up to get back into the bathroom business, and funnily enough, to work with my boss from the previous bathroom place.
Would it mean less money? Yes. However I am now an eight-minute walk from home to work, and the stress of the previous job is long-gone. I am happier, though I am also glad of the experience I gained in a pressurised sales environment.