Season 2 Episode #28: Exploring Sales as a Career with Mark Rothschild
After serving 10 years as a pilot in the US Navy, Mark Rothschild was ready for something new. Knowing his strong work ethic, his need to connect with people and desire for a career where pay was connected to effort, he decided on a career in tech sales. After completing a training program to gain a base foundation on the tech world and a framework for how to be successful in sales work, he was hired at a vet-friendly company. On this episode, Mark shares his transition story, programs he used to build his skills and insights into why veterans make successful salespeople.
After researching tech training programs, Mark chose Tech Qualled – a program designed for transitioning service members looking to make a career change into sales. Mark experienced challenges and recognized his identity was still tied to his military services during the first few months in his new role. Overcoming his setbacks and reframing his mindset, Mark is now enjoying a lucrative sales career.
The first piece of advice Mark offers to anyone transitioning, regardless of industry, is to ask questions in your new role. In the military, he acknowledged that he often sat in the back and did not ask questions with the goal of blending in. When asking questions realize that people generally want to help but also come prepared when seeking help from a coworker or manager. Do your own research and share your insights. People are more likely to want to build on your own findings than do your work for you. Find a veteran mentor or buddy at your workplace or in your industry that you can bounce ideas and questions. Veterans need to have a safe avenue to ask questions and a productive area to level up on industry knowledge.
The second piece of advice Mark shares is finding a way to build systems in both the transition process and in your new role. Every veteran knows how to mission plan. Why should the transition, job search and first 90 days in a new role be any different?
Mark discusses how to leverage sales programs to gain training. While Mark utilized Tech Qualled when he transitioned, there are many options now including the SkillBridge program. Research all of your options, find a program that partners with the company you want to work for and then start networking.
Often a career in sales gets a bad rap. Most of us instantly go to a place in our mind of a sleazy used car salesman. However, a career in sales offers the opportunity to be compensated for your efforts and help people and companies solve problems. Mark discusses how he views his role in sales as both a guide and an instructor. He shares how his product or service will address a problem and walk the customer through what a partnership would entail. For people who may be nervous about how to make money while they are building their sales skills, Mark encourages looking for positions that offer a base salary.
Veterans have several skills that transfer into a career in sales. Those who have worn the uniform learn and adapt quickly and are able to instruct and teach others. Good salespeople teach their customers about their problem, tailor their message to the people they are interacting with and take control of the situation. Any veteran has encountered this methodology in the military.
Mark is a mentor with Veterati and often talks with mentees about the importance of networking. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22 to hear a bonus clip on Mark’s recommendation for how to network.
You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/markjrothschild/
Explore Tech Qualled by clicking here.
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