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After eight years at my prior employer, I took a new position that allowed me to travel less and see my family more. It was a reduction in income, but the increase in quality of life seemed worth it.

Been here 2.5 months. It's a sales job with my peers scattered all over the country in their own geographic territory. I have been calling each of them to ask for suggestions and advice about getting ramped up ASAP in this position.

They all have stated, separately and independently, that the company is not putting sufficient resources toward making our product competitive or providing the backoffice support to make the sales process run smoothly. In essence, the phrase "management is giving us a knife to take to a gunfight" is the recurring theme. If it were just one or two people, I might brush it off, but I would say that of the 15 I have talked to, at least 10 of them have one foot out the door.

Being new, I don't know if the company just has hired a bunch of malcontents who do not want to work hard, or if they are all right and I just moved myself into a burning building. I do know that no one came even close to hitting sales goals in 2015, even the tenured people.

Management claims that improvements are coming, which I guess validates the problems my new co-workers have mentioned (although my boss says the problems aren't nearly as bad as my co-workers claim). However, said improvements were promised in mid-2015 but probably won't be fully in place until the end of 2016 at the earliest.

So my post is not a rant and I am not asking "what to do", but rather for those folks who have been in similar situations, "How did it play out for you?" Were you part of a new wave of harder-working, more optimistic hires, and the jaded grumblers slowly phased themselves out? Or did the overwhelmingly negative consensus objectively bear itself out over time, where the company talked a big game but really didn't put their money where their mouth is?

Thanks!

marked as duplicate by paparazzo, Dawny33, Joe Strazzere, gnat, blankip Jan 10 '16 at 8:01

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  • Just a friendly reminder to keep it polite and professional, and in line with the Be Nice policy. – Jane S Jan 10 '16 at 0:12
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    Fwiw, last time I saw this was when a small company was bought by a larger one. Many of the original small-co folks stayed just long enough to do a clean handoff to the buyer's people, then went looking for another small/startup opportunity. Others who were willing to make the cultural adjustment stayed and did pretty well for themselves; good product now with bigger ad budget and a "household name" brand. So it really is specific cases, what assumptions the other employees are making, what they are looking for and what you are looking for. – keshlam Jan 10 '16 at 3:02
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or those folks who have been in similar situations, "How did it play out for you?" Were you part of a new wave of harder-working, more optimistic hires, and the jaded grumblers slowly phased themselves out? Or did the overwhelmingly negative consensus objectively bear itself out over time, where the company talked a big game but really didn't put their money where their mouth is?

While I've never been in sales, I have been in technical positions at companies that were essentially "restarts". I have been hired in roles where many others were either leaving, or were already gone (of their own volition or not). And I know the sales folks in those companies had similar experiences to me.

The only real answer is - sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. How could anyone say anything else?

The best job I ever had was one of the cases where it worked out. When I was hired, the company was in the midst of divesting itself of a bunch of failing product lines, and the people that were connected to them. I heard a lot of grumbling, along with a lot of worry, coming from both the people on their way out and the people that expected to be around for the long haul.

The group that remained were mostly positive (the few remaining grumblers either left soon or were dismissed). It was terrific to work with a group that was so focused on basically one product line. The job remained a great experience, until it was inevitably sold to a very large company and eventually assimilated. At that point, it was basically working for a very large company, and wasn't what I was looking for.

I worked at another company that was a restart. Again, the company was trying to figure out what to do with a group of non-connected product lines. Again, they divested themselves of several products, and essentially were left with two product lines. They invested in both, but eventually became impatient and started reorging pretty much every few months. This time, I became as unhappy as many of the others and got out.

So basically, if you ask long enough you will almost certainly find some cases where it worked out well for some people including the answerer. And you will almost certainly find other cases where it worked out poorly for some people, including the answerer. And you will find cases where folks like myself have experienced both sides of the coin.

Nobody will be able to tell you "it will work out" or "it will not work out". That is something you can only know in hindsight.

My suggestion: follow what your gut tells you. Make your choice, move forward, and don't look back. You have only asked 15 people at your company for their opinion so far. And you have indicated that 2/3 of them are planning to leave (so they aren't actually all unhappy and looking to leave). I don't know how many more there are who you haven't asked, nor why the 1/3 of the folks you did ask aren't planning to leave now. So I suspect you'll have to make up your own mind based on imperfect information, and not rely on a poll to decide for you. What matters is what works for you, not what does or doesn't work for those 10 unhappy souls.

I think you already know what your decision will be.

  • Thank you very much! Yes, I know answers will vary, but if I saw a "common thread" running through all the "good" experiences or all the "bad" experiences, that would be very helpful and much appreciated. – Nunya Jan 9 '16 at 18:37
  • Ah, you see, I was thinking the opposite - it's impossible to find a common thread in a small sample, unless you are predisposed to reach a certain conclusion and are just looking for confirmation bias. My thought was that this forum was my best shot of getting the largest sample possible. Thank you again! – Nunya Jan 9 '16 at 18:47
  • Well, I appreciate your feedback nonetheless. – Nunya Jan 9 '16 at 19:06

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