There is a sad truth. Thousands of six-figure jobs are available, and no one is there to fill them. Unlike what you may see or read in the news, these jobs don’t require a college degree. They aren’t concentrated in cities with outrageous costs of living. On the contrary, they’re in every town and city on the North American continent. Yet, for some reason, overqualified and underpaid people are far too disgusted to pursue it as a career. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not selling drugs.
It’s being a car salesman
As the great resignation continues, so many people find themselves contemplating their jobs. Employees complain about managers, while managers just keep complaining about employees. Anyone within throwing distance of 65 has, or is considering, saying adios. Everyone wants more dedication, more teamwork, more input, more praise, and more autonomy. But, when you dig deeper, almost everyone says they don’t get paid enough to do what they do. And, when it comes to getting paid more, it means moving up, getting a degree, getting a more advanced degree, or having a decade more seniority. But, being a car salesman? That’s crazy talk.
Many young people are choosing a trade over college, as odd as it sounds to a few generations of Americans. Instead of racking up tens of thousands in debt for jobs that can’t support a car payment, young people choose to become plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. Sure, they’ll be making decent money before their college buddies graduate, but it still takes some time. As with virtually all trades, there is classroom time, apprenticeships, and some sort of licensure or certification. Those few years of schlepping heavy things and doing the homework you swore off has to be better than being a car salesperson.
Sure, there’s always the military option for nearly everyone. All of the branches offer plenty of applicable job skills to be learned on Uncle Sam’s dime. For a good many, there’s an allure of twenty years and out, with a full retirement, benefits, and plenty of youth left to enjoy it. Plus, with almost 30 years of continuous war, there’s a good chance of getting that combat pay. It’s gotta’ be better than selling cars, right?!
Going to college is the answer to all things to anyone unless you won the generational lottery of being a Baby Boomer. Find yourself. Learn and experience things you know nothing about. Make espresso drinks at Starbucks with an English degree. Put in a catheter on Christmas morning while working the third shift. Uproot your family to move to Dallas because of corporate relocation. Become one of the millions owing trillions in college debt. This stuff has to be better than making twice as much selling cars.
In the four years it’ll take to get a bachelor’s, clear enlistment for the GI Bill, or go through trade school and apprenticeship, the same person, could already be clearing a hundred grand a year selling cars. In the same twelve years, as it takes to become a practicing physician, a car salesman could become a sales manager, making double what the doctor makes before they write the first prescription.
Wait. Can a car salesman make six figures? Absolutely.
So why don’t more people sell cars?
Great question. Getting a job as a car salesman is comparatively easy compared to most professions. No college degree is required. No previous experience is necessary. No prison time makes for a stronger application. No face tattoos are preferred. The same things that get you hired at any fast food restaurant or grocery store. Except you’ll make 3-4 times more per year. You can be an average car salesperson if you can punch a time clock and have a driver’s license. Becoming a good car salesman, well, that’s a different story.
The truth is that it takes a very thick skin to sell cars.
The realities of a being a car salesman
- There’s getting over the undeserved stigma of being a car salesman or saleswoman. Despite the fact that you may have no debt, be a youth minister, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and donate thousands of dollars a year to charity, everyone equates you to a gangster.
- Sometimes you’ll be late to birthday parties, Christmas Eve dinners, football games, and dance recitals.
- You may have to take orders from someone you perceive as not as smart as you (that same person, you’ll find, will cover for you, so you’re not as late for the above).
- Someone will make fun of you at some point in time.
- And most importantly, you’ll need to be comfortable with paying yourself a salary, because your income will fluctuate. Otherwise, you’ll (still) be living check-to-check.
It takes mental fortitude to deal with these harsh circumstances.
Still interested in a job in auto sales?
Ask yourself the following questions. As a car salesman, Do I…?
- Work until the job is done?
- Enjoy finding solutions to complex problems?
- Learn new skills on my own just for the satisfaction of being independent?
- Take pride in helping people navigate complicated situations, even if they’re different from me?
- Feel comfortable working with, and around, different personalities, backgrounds, education levels, and the whole socioeconomic spectrum?
- Not get offended easily
- Have a gambler’s mentality, with both a healthy appetite for risk and comfort with a certain level of failure?
If you can answer yes to all these things, you have what it takes to be successful in the car business.
At whatever level, if you feel like you’re in a dead-end job, you’re not stuck. You don’t need to work in retail, without any retirement or benefits, if you can sell cars. You don’t have to work 80 hours a week at a hospital if you can sell cars. You don’t need to work three restaurant jobs just to feed your children if you can sell cars. You don’t have to go to college or go off to war to sell cars.
To quote Rob Halford, “out there is a fortune waiting to be had.” If you let it go, you’re mad.