I could use some help settling an argument with my roommate. Earlier this week, we were discussing the different positions that we were applying for after graduation. He’s an accounting major, so he’s trying to become a CPA or financial advisor somewhere on the east coast, ideally New York.
I’m a business major. I’ve been applying for sales and marketing jobs at startups and consulting firms. Most of the positions I’ve been targeting offer salaries almost half as much as what my roommate is being offered. My roommate thinks the salaries are indicative of how important the role is to the company.
He was basically implying that accounting and finance are more important. I obviously disagree, but it’s hard to explain the value when he’s making a comparison based on numbers. How can I make a convincing case?
This sounds like a classic case of financial elitism. While no business leader can deny the value of finance and accounting, the best ones know that those numbers and figures are meaningless unless they represent relationships and experiences. Contributor Eddy Ricci at Entrepreneur recommends that businesses focus intently on building strategic relationships. That’s not easy to accomplish; otherwise, anyone could start a flourishing business.
Experts at Inc. take things a step further by claiming that sales are to business like oxygen is to humans. Your roommate should also consider the fact that salaries for sales positions don’t include commissions or other compensation-based incentives. That can make those roles slightly deceiving from a strict numbers and figures perspective.
The digital age makes marketing an increasingly important activity, too. For those businesses that understand what it takes to create a positive brand experience, marketing has become essential. Fortunately, technology enablement has made it easier than ever for someone to market a product, service, or cause. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap to do well. Things like search engine optimization (SEO) can be costly and time-consuming.
Your roommate might be surprised to learn that in the US alone, researchers estimate that businesses and organizations will spend $120 billion on marketing efforts by 2021. Some companies are spearheading activities internally and others elect to outsource a fraction or all of the work. Either way, it’s impossible to refute how seriously the matter is being taken by professionals regardless of industry.
The career possibilities are seemingly endless because of this reality. Your roommate clearly has New York on his radar, which makes sense as one of the world’s foremost financial hubs. Sales and marketing could take you anywhere and since the best agencies serve a global clientele, it’s quite possible that you could have access to multiple cities throughout your career. Applying for a job at a Brisbane SEO company would give access to the Asia Pacific (APAC) market, which would certainly be different from any number of digital agencies in Los Angeles.
These are all basic examples. The main point is that while your salary might not seem as competitive at face value, that clearly doesn’t relate to the value of the role itself or what it contributes to your employer. It’s also important to share the other appealing aspects that transcend numbers and figures.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston S. Churchill