Non-Sales Jobs You Can Do with a Sales Background

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn about the skills needed for sales jobs that also transfer to other careers and discover how a sales background can lead to success in non-sales roles.

[Featured Image] A blogger is working on their laptop.

In America, professionals change jobs an average of 12 times throughout their lives , so it’s perfectly normal for people to transition from different career paths [1]. The key to finding a new career that’s rewarding and lucrative is to identify your strengths, talents, and skills that align with other job opportunities. 

If you’ve worked solely in sales throughout your entire career, you may have developed experience that can allow you to explore different professional fields. 

Important transferable sales skills 

Specific skills are crucial for direct sales, but those same strengths are valuable  careers that don’t require it, since it’s a foundation for nearly every business. It isn’t a matter of what you can do, but what kind of career truly excites and interests you.

Take inventory of the skills you have in your sales job, and you may be surprised by what you are uniquely qualified to do. Those with sales backgrounds often benefit from the following talents, skills, and qualities.

Strong relationship-building skills

A good salesperson must know how to develop strong and meaningful relationships with their clients. This includes remembering names and personal details, listening well, and following up to make sure everyone is satisfied. Professionals in many different industries must rely on their networking and relationship skills to get ahead.

Excellent organization habits

A salesperson has to juggle many different accounts—and sometimes different product as part of their jobs. They must be organized to make and keep appointments and meet the deadlines required by their clients. 


As a salesperson, you likely can recite every detail about your product andhow it compares to the competition’s products. Having a detail-oriented personality with a strong memory helps in non-sales roles, too.


Part of any sales job is explaining why one product is superior to another. This takes strong communication skills and the ability to convince others to believe in your ideas. 

Sales jobs that don’t feel like sales

After you determine the transferable skills you possess, think about any hobbies and interests you have. Allow yourself to dream about potential job titles or industries that would excite you. Then, start researching opportunities that may be available locally and nationally. Career transitions can take time, so be patient as you implement new changes.

For inspiration, here are some non-sales roles that may interest professionals with sales backgrounds.

*All salary data is sourced from Glassdoor as of January 2023


Average base annual salary (US): $48,786 [2]

Bloggers are multi-media content creators who write articles and share photos about specific topics. Vloggers are like bloggers, except instead of writing on websites they post videos on platforms like YouTube. These professionals typically produce their work on a schedule to share their niche expertise like finance, travel, or do-it-yourself (DIY). 

If you love what you sell in your sales job, you could produce pieces within the industry using your knowledge and communication skills—while building a relationship with your audience. 

Advertising agent

Average annual base salary (US): $51,147 [3]

Instead of selling products, advertising agents sell broadcast time, space in newspapers or magazines, or digital areas on a website. Creativity, direct sales experience, and excellent organizational skills are all crucial for the role. You’ll also need a refined understanding of marketing tactics. You can learn about the business and strategy of advertising by enrolling in ie Business School’s Marketing Strategy Specialization course on Coursera.

Social media marketing specialist

Average annual  base salary (US): $47,260[4]

If you enjoy social media, you could excel as a social media marketing specialist. These professionals create content and run the social media accounts of their clients with the goal of interacting with the public and building a brand. You’ll need to interact with many different kinds of people, which is likely something you’re doing every day with your sales job. It’s also important to be well-versed in the current social media trends to captivate the targeted audience on social media platforms.

To learn more about social media marketing, sign up for Northwestern University’s online Social Media Marketing Specialization on Coursera. 

Company director

Average annual base salary (US): $63,521[5]

As a salesperson, you may work in a team, but your skills can transfer into a career as a director or manager of a company. Your independent work ethic, detail-oriented memory, and ability to complete tasks are all vital for the success of any company. Look for a role in an industry that excites you, or find a company with a mission that you relate to personally. 

To gain confidence in your ability to lead a team and enhance your resume, enroll in the University of Michigan’s Leading People and Teams Specialization on Coursera. 

Recruitment consultant

Average annual base salary (US): $46,382 [6]

If you have relationship-building skills from your sales role use those skills to connect companies with the best candidates for a role. You’ll be able to use a detailed approach to fill the needs of companies, much like you did in sales. Instead of selling products, you’re screening potential employees.

It’s a good idea to augment your resume with new human resource knowledge. The University of Minnesota offers a specialization called Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Employees on Coursera that can help you see if this position is right for you.

Career advisor

Average annual base salary (US):$48,305 [7]

A career advisor helps people make decisions about what type of career is best for them. The fact that you will have more than one career is an excellent way to start building the kind of relationship that’s required with these clients. You can help them figure out their skills and strengths—just like what you’re doing now . 

Macquarie University offers Adapting: Career Development Specialization on Coursera, which can help you help others find new careers.


Average annual base salary (US): $70,420 [8]

As an entrepreneur, you could oversee a team of sales professionals, or you could go into a completely different industry. If you are truly passionate or especially knowledgeable about a certain sector, you could be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs earn an average of $70,420 per year [8], although the right idea could have a greater potential for significant wealth.

While your expertise and current skills will be invaluable, you’ll want to learn more about what it takes to start your own business. Michigan State University offers the course, How to Start Your Own Business Specialization on Coursera, which can provide the foundation on which to build. 

Get started

There’s a lot to consider about changing careers, but many people do it all the time. Start by revising your resume and LinkedIn profile. To learn more about ways to position yourself for success in your new career, check out Coursera’s blog for further reading.

Article sources


Zippia. “21 Career Change Statistics [2022],” Accessed January 8, 2023..

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