Field representative says flexible role fits perfectly around her studies
Birmingham-based field representative Sophie Kola has returned to university and loves the flexibility of her self-employment, which means she can fit work in around her study commitments.
How long have you been a field representative?
I started as a field representative about three months ago. Recently, I returned to university and it’s great that this role gives me the flexibility to be able to fit it in around my studies.
What attracted me was being able to work as many or as few hours as I wanted. Because I’m self-employed, things are very, very flexible.
What are your long-term plans?
I’m in the middle of getting my degree and going forward with that, but I can see opportunity in what I'm doing now as well, so I absolutely want to stay in it.
Previously, I’ve worked in pretty much everything – food, retail, behind a computer, in call centres – and it was frustrating working to the best of my ability and not being paid well for it.
As a self-employed field representative, when you work hard you get noticed, and you have the chance to progress quickly.
Do you get help from others with more experience in direct sales?
All the time. Everyone is really open about helping you get the best out of yourself.
We’re always bouncing ideas and advice off each other. When you go into the field with a buddy, for example, you’re both getting a chance to learn from each other and see where you can improve.
Can you explain a bit more about how the buddy system has helped you?
I’ve had a couple of times when I’ve wanted a bit of extra help, and someone has offered to shadow me, watched and listened to me and given me ideas about how to improve the experience for me and, most importantly, the people I speak with.
It makes a real difference knowing there’s always someone who’s been through it before to guide you. In this business, it’s not a one-man/woman show – everyone’s there to help.