Hey, guys. You're great for advice when I can't post something on Facebook because I might get in trouble with a certain audience.
Here's a quick back story: from the time I got out of college (I mean when I briefly tried college right after high school) in 2004 up until around 2011, I was getting nothing but factory and manual labor jobs. I hated them and was miserable at every single one, and I could never hold a job because I just always detested the jobs I worked at. But I thought those were the only jobs I could get because I had no other skills, and no formal education.
Then a temp agency helped me land a desk job at Verizon in 2011 as a call screener. They hired a bunch of us on when they released one of the iPhones to handle the increased call volume, then indiscriminately laid most of us off, regardless of skill or value, once the hype was over.
I gained a month's worth of customer service experience. Then I landed a sales job with a guy who had us doing shady job after shady job, closing one failed company and opening up another one. I worked here for three years and made very little money (despite constant promises that were were on the verge of "breaking through") and gained shrewd salesmanship.
When I'd finally had enough, I resigned and got hired by a very reputable home security company, where I worked in Inside Sales for another three years. I was very happy there and made lots of money. It was as if a weight had been lifted.
That feeling of comfort started to change as new upper management took over and made drastic changes to the company. For one thing, they dissolved our sister department, Account Management, laying off more than twenty people one afternoon completely without warning. As our department director pointed out, that easily could have been us, so the feeling of job security diminished drastically. At the same time, they took away half our sales program--existing customer sales, which I was good at--and gave it to another department, leaving us with only new customer sales, which was much more challenging.
All of this had me on edge. I would mute difficult customers and vent into the ether, cursing and banging my desk, to the point where I received so many warnings that I was eventually terminated.
I went on unemployment for a while. In 2018, I briefly landed another job in logistics with another shady individual from Turkey, who for some reason employed an entire room full of nothing but immigrant Russian women, and me. I was verbally abused by my impatient trainer here, learned hardly anything, and was terminated after a month. They challenged my unemployment claim in small claims court, where I easily won the case.
After a few more months, I landed my current job in April of this year. It is a startup environmental company located near the top of the PPG Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, being only about five years old. The atmosphere is very fun and relaxed, and we are not micromanaged. (They don't even mind if you drop some F-bombs as long as you aren't loud about it. I've had no warnings so far.) We do a 3:30 office-wide fist bump every Wednesday (it used to be every day), where the entire office goes around and greets everyone. We had a company-sponsored happy hour, parties, and other fun things.
But there are a few downsides. For one thing, I'm one of the older ones there. 90% of the employees are fresh-out-of-college kids getting into their first sales role. More than that, though, the pay isn't great. The commission is ridiculous and the parameters for attaining it are too numerous. Even the top performers aren't taking home a great paycheck. I think it'll be a great place to work at and make lots of money in about ten years or so, but I think the problem now is that they don't have enough capital to pay great commissions. (That's probably why they hire so many young people: all they remember about jobs is working at McDonalds, so they don't really know what a decent paycheck looks like.)
Now, the fact that I am trying to find a different job shouldn't be any surprise, but the thing is, I don't think I'm happy in sales anymore. Much like where I was in the beginning, I feel like I've worked myself into a corner where I can't move into a field where my worth isn't measured by monthly numbers, and which will pay decently. I could probably easily land any measly customer service job paying $12 an hour, but that won't solve anything. Many people in sales move on to marketing or human resources or other such fields, but I know that those things require an education, which I do not have, and which I can't afford to dedicate years of my life to right this minute. The move needs to be now, but I have no idea where to go or how to get there.
Also, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite, because I constantly encourage my young co-workers who are performing amazingly but are not enthused about sales, to stay in sales, albeit not necessarily with this company, because they'll do amazingly and have have landed a much better opportunity than I had at their ages when I slaved away in manual labor. And now I don't want to be in sales anymore!
Could anyone offer any advice?