woman on ladder

Subtle Disappointment

I’ve been with my employer for 5 years (as of 1/9/2011). I’ve been in my current position for 4 years. I’m the only one in my position with a health insurance license (which I did on my own, not because it was asked of me), I’m the one people from other departments come to with questions regarding our policies and procedures. I’ve wanted to change to a sales agent for a couple of years now; in order to be the sales manager you have to have some sales experience under your belt. Having, in effect, been the sales manager in two cases (1: when I hired into this position, there was no sales manager, so I had to run the team until one was hired. 2: one of the managers I’ve had relied on me for everything and said manager’s peers were coming to me instead of the manager for issues), I could totally be a sales manager, except “they” want me to sell first.

Since telling my current manager that I’ve wanted to sell, we’ve had three sales positions open up due to the sales rep being laid off or leaving the company on their own. The first time we lost a rep, he was replaced by another rep in our area. The second time we lost a rep, I didn’t even know the position was open until it was filled; and I’m the supporting admin for the manager who hired the new rep! The third rep that left, well she left us in a bind. She left 2 days before our busiest time of the year started up. I approached my manager with the idea of letting me take the position. I know the products and procedures, I know someone who can fill my current position and I live in the territory. Over the weekend, my manager filled the position with an outside contractor. Someone who’s only loyalty is a high commission; no base salary, no 401(k), no health insurance. Just a few hundred dollars per application that becomes a policy. The understanding was this outside contractor would fill the position during this crazy-busy selling time, and when things slowed down in January, my manager and I would talk.

We talked briefly about my taking the sales position the first week of January. My manager expressed concern that this is the time when upper management looks at sales performance and decides whether or not to make any cuts in our sales force; my manager was concerned that I would be cut because I’m so new.

Today my manager and I were discussing the already-established schedule for the territory that is being “temporarily” filled by the outside contractor. I asked my manager if the schedule should stay under his own name until we hire someone for the territory or if I should re-assign the schedule to the outside contractor. My manager stated, “We’re not hiring anyone for that spot.”

So there it is. I’m upset, disappointed and angry. A part of me chides myself for these feelings; as least I have a job, right? But I am still upset that I can’t seem to move up in my department. I want to stay in this department because my grandparents are insured by my company and I can help with their policy from time to time. If I change departments, I can’t help anymore. And I’m good at this job. I enjoy it, I enjoy knowing that I’m one of the experts in my position, but it’s not enough. And honestly, I need the pay that a sales rep position offers.

This sucks.

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