Simply Sales Talk: Job hop

Jes 8 Comments

I like to be a know-it-all, where people come to consult me on issues and when I have the capacity to help. Luckily for me, my first job as a distributor background  made me exposed to a wide variety of products so I can learn more.

Normally a distributor will have more than 10 different suppliers and they comprised of different raw materials to a finished product. I get to learn from all of the suppliers and their whole product range. Although I would never have the in depth knowledge, I know enough about each raw material to advise my customer on how to solve their problems. This is crucial as they will consult me each time they encounter an issue and I can promote my products to solve their headaches. They will appreciate your help and buy from you and you can maintain the good relationship with them.
One of the more well known distributor who sells Apple products (Source:
That itself is what I like about the job. It's really fun but learning doesn't stop. There will be new things and luckily, I have the passion to learn about it.

With a good sales record for 3 years, things started to look too easy and boring, I was still Senior Sales Engineer but I had wider job scope and higher pay of course. It's always the same old things happening and same old issues taking place.
Yawns indeed (Source: Scott at flickr)
When you feel that the job does not challenge you anymore, it's time to look around.

I tried to look for a job with my suppliers also known as the manufacturers of the raw materials, as I have heard that the pay is much higher, benefits are good and I will get to travel more often. However, most of them require at least 5 years of experience in the market (I only have 4 years) and that led me to several failed interviews, which I will talk about it next time.

I needed the regional exposure in order to get into a manufacturer's position so through my customers, they recommended me to another distributor which is bigger and has presence in the whole SEA region. That is the key thing to take away from all these: That getting worthy connections are more important than working hard. Networking should be the priority in sales jobs as employers hire you for these connections.

Just like one of my colleagues who after which moved on to insurance industry, the connections still ensure that he could sell his products easily.

Jump hops are bound to happen in sales lines after 2 to 3 years in your first job. You can get higher title and pay in a shorter time compared to staying around waiting for the promotion. Now I get why people like to job hop so much and so frequently. I also encourage everyone to do so since you will lose out by not doing it.
(Source: Wikipedia)
That is also how I got promoted to a managerial position as Assistant Sales Manager. 


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  1. Ya. Portable skills are very important in job hopping.

    1. Hi Uncle CW8888,

      Agreed.... So knowledge and networking are the only few things we can take away from each job but more often than not, people don't spend enough time on those!

  2. Your timing for job hopping is fine.
    What does not work are those who job hop within a year or so each time.
    There is usually too little time to learn and give back to the company fairly and future employers usually will be wary of your CV having such short-term hopping (though I know of employers who somehow don't filter for such things and regret it later).

    1. Hi there,

      I totally concur with you! Those that leave within a year, they have not learnt fully and do not know the job well enough to perform and contribute back. What I don't understand is why some companies still continue to hire these people.... There might be some other reasons that we don't know then.

      Anyway, thanks for reading! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I dig the 'seniors' of the industry and find out what route they took and there is quite a similar path.

    1. Hi Clueless Punter,

      Yep or they could either be in technical team before switching to sales job.... =P

  4. Hi Jes,

    Hmm... I have been frontline for many years. Just want to share my humble opinions.

    I realized that "Integrity" and "Smart Honesty" are most IMPT attributes to start with.

    Then you need to be well versed in your products, be likeable to clients, and be hardworking. Treat people with sincerity, it is sometimes a better tool than just surface networking.

    Exposure in regions and more different people is important to improve EQ in dealing with people. Learn from people and be extremely humble no matter how superb you may think you are!

    As you move up the ladder, eventually managing results is important. Inspired and motivates and with experiences, making decisions is easier. Your team will look up to you. This is when you are a true manager!

    read my previous article why you should resign...

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Thanks for the advice... And excellent article too! The higher up I go, the more detached I am from doing actual sales and more into managing my overseas colleagues and bosses. I think the hardest part is to manage the bosses and some did not realise that it is the most important part! I am still learning and appreciate your sharing of your story =)