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My manager wants me to go into sales

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Question: I work in the office management/HR department. My manager recently told me that the VP of sales wants me to be part of the sales department to make outreach calls (while still being part of the OM/HR department). I appreciate that he sees what I am capable of doing and I would normally be excited about the opportunity, but here is the situation:

A couple of months ago, I was asked to join the sales department as a rep for South America and the Caribbean. I decided to take the move into the sales department and was excited about using my Spanish skills and learning the other side of the company. I tried it and I learned a lot, but realized that it wasn’t for me.

During that time, I was supposed to receive a performance review after three months. Instead, I received a write-up (but not really). The write-up stemmed from an incident with a co-worker. I did not take it any further than that incident itself, and it was obvious that the co-worker discussed it with the manager and the manager took her side without even discussing the situation with me.

I was furious, but being the person that I am, I kept my mouth shut and decided that I should go elsewhere.

Am I wrong in thinking that the move from administrative assistant to sales rep should come with an increase? I know for a fact that if someone were to be hired from the outside, he or she would make a lot more than I would and that I would never receive such a jump in my salary because it's an inside move.

Anyway, I was changed from being a rep for South America and the Caribbean to a rep for the East Coast. Even though the manager knew I was not ready for such a fast-paced region, she decided to throw me into the water because she had to take on another role and would not be in the office for support. It did not work out.

During my job search, an opportunity came up to return to my previous position in the OM/HR department, and here I am.

My current manager understands that I am not comfortable with going back to sales and why. There is an obvious lack in management skills and I didn’t receive the raise that I was offered when I took the position, among other issues. The problem is that she said I should be a team player and that, traditionally, when one is asked to help, one shouldn’t say "No."

My current position already requires me to be a team player all the time and go above and beyond my title to complete the jobs of two co-workers who are not efficient workers. I told my manager that I would not take the position without an increase. I'm trying to stand my ground, but it seems like the VP is making this a mandatory change. What do I do now?

Please help!  -- Anonymous


Just remember, they are not in charge of your future, you are! You do have options! Don't wait for them to make a move for you, be more assertive. Companies are always looking out for themselves - so you look out for you. How much do you like working for this company? What do YOU want to do? Where do you want to be? Whatever YOU want - go for it!

If you were moved due to an alleged conflict with a co-worker that should had been investigated first and discussed with you. Before you received the "note" you should had been spoken with to ascertain your "side of the story".

I would think that "sales rep" is a lesser position than administrative assistant, that someone might hope some day to move UP FROM sales to admin asst, but I don't know your corporate culture. Theoretically, additional duties and responsibilities should entail additional wages, although that certainly is not always the case, especially when moving from within. I don't like the fact that they never talked to you about your side of the co-worker incident, nor ever gave you the review or the raise you were promised. Why would Sales even want you back if that's how they view/treat you? A lot of things don't add up here. Stand your ground on the increase, but keep your options open and get ready to start that job search again.

Thanks for the advice... I do not wish to be part of such a department with serious lack in management skills. I was not asked about the confilct at all. The crazy thing is that I discussed it with the territory rep and it played out exactly how he said it would.
Although I expressed my views to my current manager - she said that the vp thinks im going to help out but the sales manager and my current manager have agreed that i really wont be helping out and thet vp has no idea. This is so strange. I do not feel comfortable with their arrangement. I feel like im stuck in a corner and i have to do what is told and if not, I know for sure that I will be looked down upon. Worst of all, they are currently hiring another rep for sales. I am so insulted by the entire situation. It seems like I dont have a choice in "helping or being a team player" but if they can hire someone, why can i receive an increase? As for our company culture, Sales is seen as the top - they make the money that all of us benefit from. the om dept is treated like the bottom responsible for all of the odd jobs. they fail to realize that all the work we do helps to run the office smoothly and with out us no one would know what to do. This is my first "corporate" experience but I can't imagine every company out there being like this. Thanks again for your comments. I look forward to hearing more of your opinions.

With all of the issues you have had with this company, it seems to me like it might be time for you to start looking at other options/companies. You need to be happy with your job...having a job you dislike every day is not worth it. Make yourself happy. And if you know this sales position will NOT make you happy, I would start looking for something that will, if they are moving you into the position, regardless of your desires. But then again, you might actually want to give the new position a chance before you walk away, just in case you end up liking it. Good luck!

This is not a new position... its an additional role that i would have to play along with my current job... that is what's so frustrating.

In our company the sales/marketing position is a step up, including car, credit car etc. It may depend on the work load. I would say try it out but deffinately update your resume and look for other options just in case.

It would seem to me that you should seriously look at other options. If you can speak two languages plus have good admin skills other companies would take you in a heartbeat. Don't sale yourelf short. You've done sales so sale yourself to a new company that can offer you the respect, and money you deserve.

I would ask your current manager to write you a letter of reccomendation. You could tell her it is for you to bring to ask for a pay increase. In the meantime I would put together a resume and at least you will have a letter of reccomendation. Because if this company will not even let you have a say in you position or listen to you it may be very difficult to get that letter once you've left. I would also document all the projects or ideas you have idea and create a portfolio for yourself. I would strive for your increase and respect but have a solid back up plan for when you might choose to resign. Maybe once you've done that they might take you more serious.

I'm wondering what your demeanor might be like at work. I understand you're frustrated and that you've kept your mouth shut, but what impression are you giving to the management team and employees around you? Is your closed mouth covered by a smile or a constant frown? Do you present yourself as someone who is easy to work with and has a positive, pleasant attitude, or have you had a part in creating some of the ripple-effect difficulty by mentioning to anyone at work the depth of your frustrations and/or your views of the management team? Sometimes it's difficult to realize what role we may have played in our own demise, and that the things we say often filter up to management. You can only control what you do, so just make sure that regardless of the situation that you present yourself in the best way possible so that people will want you on their team, and they will want to give you raises. Even if you decide to leave the company, then at least it will be on a positive note, and your head will already be in the right place to "wow" a prospective employer. Good luck to you!

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