I do, it’s an absolute must.
I have worked for some truly amazing, industry-leading companies over my 17-year career in IT and I consider myself extremely lucky to have, almost always, worked with a team of people that I can actually have a laugh with. Some people might question the importance of this; I however happen to think it’s extremely important and here’s why…
I have started writing this blog probably 15 times over the last few weeks and each time I have a different idea or subject to write about. This is great, as clearly I have a lot of content but can’t quite decide which subject is best to ‘launch’ my blog as I guess it kind of sets the precedent for those that follow. I want to remain true to myself and what’s important to me. I love to work hard and be successful but at the same time, I need to have a bit of fun to get me through the day! I never take myself too seriously.
I saw an old colleague last week, we haven’t spoken for a while but as soon as I saw him we started to reminisce about old times, the things we used to get up to, the trips to Vegas for sales kickoffs and laughs we had with our colleagues. It got me to thinking… I miss you guys! (We have made plans to start a Whatsapp group and have a good night out, I really hope we do!)
Ultimately my team members have also been my biggest competition, as I have always worked in an individual contributor role, and probably like them I always want to come out on top; No.1 salesperson, Salesperson of the Quarter, President’s Club etc., so how come we all end up having a laugh with each other too?
My theory is this… (for what it’s worth) when you work in enterprise sales you have to take the rough with the smooth. Sometimes you may be up until 11 o’clock at night, 4 nights in a row just trying to manage the sheer volume of work. You might be working on a bid that takes up 90% of your time and you don’t win it. You have forecast calls, you have to write account plans that sometimes people never read. You always put the customer first and go out of your way to ensure they are having a good experience, meaning sometimes, your family has suffered because of this. I know all too well about the latter.
The upside however is you are usually rewarded handsomely for your efforts, you get to go to some amazing places, you mix with like-minded people who are also driven, hungry to succeed and whom you are constantly learning from. The highs and lows of sales for me is something I find really hard to describe to people who don’t do it. Which (eventually) brings me to my point, the people I have worked with over the years just get it, they get the daily struggle, they enjoy the upside and when you have a little moan they can identify with it immediately, which obviously brings you closer and allows you to develop sometimes really special relationships.
We certainly aren’t all the same, but we understand each other (mostly, there are of course some exceptions which I may leave to a later blog), we know that a laugh here or there – sometimes hysterically – gets you through the long day and helps you to get up and do it all again. Here’s to laughing with colleagues, sharing memories and remembering what’s important in life.