The Career Pivot

Hey! It’s alright. Change your job, switch industries, do something different… Heck, travel the world for a bit. Who is ANYBODY to tell you what to do with your life or job? After all, it is YOUR life, right?

Why limit yourself to any predisposed assumption that you’re supposed to take a path that has already been created for you, or one you ‘should’ take? Why can’t you do something different?

Who says you can’t work a job, for a few years, or within an industry and then change? Why do you have to ‘know’, what you want to do after high school or college? There is no ‘perfect’ position for anybody.

The Pivot:

Do you remember, growing up, people would always say, ‘Find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life’?

I was passionate about playing Football, but didn’t work out. AND that’s okay!

I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t find that passion until I hit my mid to late 20’s.

So, what did I decide to do? Well, I found a company that would ‘try me out’ and I entrenched myself in that industry. Fortunately, it was the software industry and I grew from there. And.. looking back, it was some form of sales.

Never, in 100 years, would I guess that I’d be in sales. If you would have asked me at the age of 5, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wouldn’t have said sales. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I didn’t know anything about it. Nothing, absolutely nothing. High school, College or my MBA, there is no class designed around sales; in your traditional school system. That’s insane, right?

We’re continuously being sold something… Homes, cars, computers, cell phones, Netflix, airlines, hotels, the amount of ‘things’ we’re being sold, is endless. There is an aspect of sales in ALMOST everything we do. How did I miss that?!

Well, looking back, I’m so glad that company took a chance on me. Here I am today, selling enterprise software and I love it.

I was:
A bag boy at Safeway
A certified fork lift driver and heavy machinery yard worker
A bounce house delivery guy (assembly included)
A college campus councilor and facilities assembler
A store manager at Abercrombie & Fitch
Taught English while playing Football in Germany
Played American Football in Germany & Finland
Account manager in Affiliate Marketing
Built websites and did SEO
Business Development for HCM/LMS company
Outside Sales for payroll/HCM company
CSM for healthcare customers
Enterprise Sales for HCM/LMS company (Now)

What inspired me to write this:
You don’t know what you don’t know… And that’s okay! I think you need to experience different things firsthand before you can decide what you want to do. And then… you can change. There’s no shame in that. Jobs and careers are ever evolving. There is no ‘right’ answer to ‘what I want to do’. What people do at the age of 20 will be wildly different than at the age of 40. Your personal responsibilities change and that could change the trajectory of your career.

Of course, there are some folks that know exactly what they want to do from an early age. Good for them. If you’re not one of those people, that’s alright.

My recommendation:
Find mentors in different roles and industries
Social Engagement on LinkedIn
Talk with friends and family
Read material on industries you find interesting
Begin writing content on said industry

There are so many people willing to help. The hardest part is just asking. Being vulnerable and asking people for help. Why not start today?

Drop me a message and let’s brainstorm some ideas!

(Before anybody jumps to some conclusion, I love my role and company.)

The One Reason Why Happiness at Work Matters More Than You Think

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking… “You’re too young to be burnt out”, “Wait until you’re 40, 50 or 60, kid”. You’re right, and that’s okay. I’ll be the first to admit that I shouldn’t have been feeling that way. There are so many of you out there going through so much more than me. I empathize with you. As you’re reading this, start internalizing your feelings and think back to a time when you were energized by your career.  When you were excited to sit down at your computer, or when you looked forward to going into the office.

It took me a few weeks to realize I had these feelings after joining Sumtotal in September of this year. Obviously, I was over-the-moon excited about joining the organization, but it’s hard to reflect about a job change when you need to go through onboarding right away. “Drinking through a firehose” is the first experience you receive when you join any organization. Introductions, meetings, getting into the software… all keep you feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t until my wife and I were reflecting on the big job and life changes we’ve had over the past year or so to realize that I was in a rut.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the companies and people I worked with over the past two years. I enjoyed them very much. This is something different… something better. The challenge! The tasks to achieve success in enterprise sales. The types of conversations I’m having internally and externally with customers and prospects. The magnitude of knowledge I have access to as an employee and by talking with my colleagues is outstanding. I’m continuously pinching myself, thanking the man upstairs, and counting my blessings.

Here’s the part where I share with you a little information about the leadership I report to. Yes… I’m well aware they could read this. No, this isn’t my attempt to suck up or be a brownnoser. This is where you put yourself in my shoes and think about your immediate leadership. Reflect on what they do, what they don’t do and decide if you’re in the best possible position to achieve your goals. Also, if they read this; good! Everybody needs praise and reminded that they’re doing something that not a lot of people like doing; leading teams and motivating people.

It takes grit to run a team of sales professionals! Not only are they response for individuals, they’re responsible for those individuals’ quotas. You thought ‘carrying a bag’ was difficult, try carrying seven of them… try carrying 60 of them. On top of their daily job, they’ve got to manage these people, make sure they’re doing their jobs, helping them when they can, and report their wins/losses to someone else. And guess what… if something falls through the cracks, who’s ultimately responsible?

These folks I’ve been working with, do it all with grace! Sales management, training, support, legal and services… There’s no issue that can’t be resolved together. It doesn’t matter the job title or seniority of these individuals; they’re all happy to help. I’ve truly been amazed at the conversations I’ve been included throughout my short tenure.

Great Jordan… What’s your point? What does this mean for me… Great question! I’ve been reminded of what it’s like to be on a team. A team that cares. A team that motivates. A team that’s willing to join the battle and fight with you, and a team that’s willing to give its’ all even if we fail. That, right there, is why I’ve been reenergized. I’m challenged everyday and I have the support of a team that will back me up. I don’t spend Sunday nights dreading the next morning.

So… If there is ONE thing you can take away from reading this piece, I would challenge you, to ask yourself, “Are you fulfilled in your career?” That’s a loaded question, obviously. But it’s a good start. That will get the ball rolling. That will challenge you to begin re-working your goals. That will help you take the first step towards finding happiness in your work.

As I re-begin this journey to produce content, you can stay up to speed on the topics I’ll be covering on LinkedIn and my personal website Topics included are; sales, social selling, motivation, goal setting and overall positive attitude. If you took away something from this article, please share that with me in the comments below. And do your network a favor by sharing, liking and commenting on this! You never know what impact you’ll have on someone else’s life!


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The Ever Evolving Mind Set

First off, Thank you! Whomever you are, wherever you’re at, whenever in time you’re reading this… Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. I started this journey in January of 2016 after I read Jim Keenan’s book, “Not Taught“. I remember it like it was yesterday because I had an Ah-Ha Moment; hence the name of my site. My initial mission was to start off by reading and writing about sales books. I was reading books, taking out the sections I thought were worthy of writing about and giving my opinion and sharing some personal insights on. I didn’t have much vision other than that… As I begun to grow as a writer, I began to develop my ‘voice’. I was becoming much more self aware of myself, my surrounds, my thought processes, my opinion, my interaction with other people and really everything.

Self reflecting on it now… I’m blown away at how much I’ve grown. The hockey stick effect is in full force and I’m loving it. The growth I’ve accomplished in the past 12 months is adding fuel to my fire to achieve more. I’m not telling you this to gloat… I’m telling you this because you’re very capable of achieving everything you want in life.

“The only person putting limitation on you… is you!”

That thing in between your ears is the only thing stopping you from going out and getting what you want. We’ve all got excuses and we all want to do things tomorrow… but why? Worried about failure? Worried that you look stupid? Who cares?! Honestly. The digital age that we live in today is evolving so quickly, yesterday’s news feels like last years news. You don’t think you’re good enough? You’re not happy? Changing something then!

There’s a funny meme that’s going around; it’s a picture of a tree with the slogan from Jim Rohn.

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”

Seriously though! Stop reading and ask yourself what’s stopping you from doing/achieving what you want? I can also guarantee you that it’s just some made up thing in your head.

Another really important Ah-Ha Moment I’ve learned over the past year; It’s okay to be patience and take your time with certain things in life. You don’t always need to be flying through tasks/goals in hopes of having that immediate win right away. It’s perfectly okay to play the long game. Have the small goals in place so they ultimately lead to the long one… Quitting one job to go to another because you think that’s going to solve your answers isn’t always the answers. I’ve had many conversations with friends/colleagues over the past year about this. Once the honeymoon stage wears off and you see the company for how it is… are you going to be as happy?

“Opinions are like armpits; everybody has them and they usually stink.”

(I took the high road on this one because I really wanted to use the other slogan for this expression.) This last year of political debate has been a nightmare. People strongly disliking one another because they think they’re right and their neighbor is wrong… Riddle me this; Has any opposing opinion of yours swayed you to think in the other direction? Did a Facebook rant encourage you to change your opinion or feelings? I doubt it… We’ve all got opinions and it’s your choice to voice it or not. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t voice an opinion, but ignoring the ‘noise’ has saved me a lot of energy. I’m sure it can do the same for you. (Article about people being less satisfied with using Facebook because of politics. – March 2nd,2017)

Over the past 18 months, I’ve slowly removed the political talk shows, websites and media from my life. I will admit that I still go to Yahoo and Google News once a day to read the head lines but I never click on the links. There is NEVER anything positive in the news… so why bother reading/listening to it? YA, maybe that makes me ignorant to the worldly news or whatever, but then again… how often down someone ask you about the news? lol… seriously though. When I was listening to 4 hours of talk radio a day… did I gain anything?! Absolutely not. I knew who was running for president and that was it. The rest of it was opinion based.

If you read about negativity, you begin to think about negativity and then you begin to act negatively. Anthony Iannarino makes a great point in his posts/Youtube videos about going on a ‘negativity fast’. Cut all of that crap out of your life! Now, I’ve got 8 podcasts I listen to on my commute to work. Sales, productivity, encouragement, self growth, and one comedian on those long days when I need a laugh.

So, if you’ve gotten this far into the blog post I’m sure you’re beginning to understand the title; the ever evolving mind set. I’m going to open this blog up to more than just sales. Why?! Because there are so many fascinating things out there that can be beneficial to you, the reader. Really… after reading through 400 pages of Tim Ferris’s book, “Tools of Titans”, I’ve decided there are so many other topics I want to touch on that can increase life’s happiness. Entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, people, Mindset, Hacks, self-awareness, money management, social media, psychology and whatever else comes to mind. Ultimately, I want to help you become self aware.

If you’ve hung along this far, thank you. I look forward to connecting with you. Please, and I mean this wholeheartedly, let me know how I can help you. You never know who I’m connected with or who I know that would be willing to help. Life is pretty amazing!

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Let’s connect on Twitter: @Barta