26 Apr 2018
The opinions on commission only jobs greatly depending who you ask - some really love this type of employment, but many potential employees will leave the job interview the moment they hear “commission only”. It’s an ongoing debate and rightly so since commission based jobs do have their pros and cons. To be fair, whether you’re going to like doing 100 percent commission jobs probably depends mostly on your personality. In case you’re unsure if this earning model is the right fit for you, we hope this article will help clear up any confusion you might have.
Commission is an amount of money paid to an employee after they have completed a task, usually reaching a sales goal. Job providers sometimes use sales commissions as incentives to increase productivity among employees. Commission could be the only way employees are paid, and those are commission only jobs.
Other times, employees get commission as an addition to their base salary. You’re thinking - give me the other option, please! Well, commission only jobs usually pay much bigger commissions, say, 10 percent of a huge sale. The ones that have a salary as base do provide more certainty to your budget, but the base salary is usually small and the commission isn’t amazing either.
Still unsure whether you could handle a commission-only job?
1. MORE MONEY
For some, this might sound counterintuitive, but that’s usually the case. Professionals working on 100% commission jobs usually earn more than those doing jobs that are paid a base salary. In case of an increase in sales, then the commission agent sells more and therefore gets a higher income on a monthly basis - that can a lot more in comparison with a person that has a wage.
2. SHOW OF YOUR SKILLS AND GET THE PRAISE
When you’re paid in a salary, if there is a rise in sales thanks to you, most won't notice or care, since you are doing your job. You won’t care that much either since you’re getting paid anyway. But, when you work on commission and you make a sale, everybody will give you the praise, at least in money. When employees are paid in commission, employers usually show more respect when you achieve some bigger sales targets.
For those who work as commission agents, this will most often be regarded as the greatest perk of commission based jobs. You think you need more time? Work longer hours. Did you make a huge sale? Go swim in the pool or do whatever you want - your employer won’t care about your hours, only about what you achieved. So, If you’re the type of person who is good at organizing your time and you have great sales skills, commission will probably work out great for you.
Being a commission agent usually makes employers give you more freedom - they won’t care too much about the time you came to the office if you made a huge sale that day. Some people prefer some sort of authority and need a boss to constantly tell them what to do, but that type of environment slows down others. If you don’t like to be constantly checked on, this is the job for you.
Some people lose incentive to work hard when they are paid with a salary. Sometimes they feel like the raise never comes even though they are working harder every month, and so they stop trying altogether. This won’t happen to a good commission agent, because their hard work is recognized and appreciated and most of all cashed in.
There are some commission jobs that allow you to freelance and work in the comfort of your home. This is a great perk for those who hate the office environment and despise having to buy suits and ties and god knows many people do.
7. SAVING MONEY
If your commission job is the kind that allows you to freelance from the comfort of your own home, you’ll be saving money along with possibly making more. House-made lunch costs more than one made at home, you won’t have to commute... In average, the house-to-work commute costs the employee 1,120 dollars per year and coffee and lunches that employees buy at work cost 832 dollars yearly!
8. MORE TIME SPENT WITH YOUR FAMILY
If you’re raising children, commission based jobs will help you not miss their school play and allow you to take them to the zoo if it’s a really sunny day. As long as you’re making your company money, no one cares if you are selling when the weather is nice or you prefer to work on a rainy day. Sometimes the traditional 9-5 jobs cost us not being able to raise our kids!
9. LESS AUTHORITY
If you’re not great with authority and hate someone putting you on the clock and constantly criticizing you, and you’re good at what you do, being a commission agent might really work out for you since you will be monitored way less.
10. LESS MONOTONY
It gets boring doing the same thing from the same place every single day. Often, being a commission agent allows you to meet different people, go to different places and generally see less of the same thing over and over again.
People who start working on commission rarely go back and it’s probably because of the high they get when they feel their hard work is recognized and properly paid for.
For those who are constantly late or prefer to take long weekends, the 9-5 arrangement rarely works out. When you work as a commission agent, you are free to organize your time and take those Fridays off more often, as long as you are meeting your sales target.
13. TIME MANAGEMENT
You own your clock as a commission agent and you’ll finally stop feeling like you’re on a stopwatch. If you prefer working after midnight instead of traditional working hours, there is probably a commission job for you, too. No one owns your time but you!
14. STEP OUTSIDE WAGE SLAVERY
Maybe you noticed that having a wage makes at least eight hours of your every day belong to a company and that you live the same life planned around that salary. Being a commission is a positive step in a different direction, where you earn the money you want to earn, you work accordingly, you set your goals and plan your life around your achievements.
15. A LEARNING CURVE
Do you want to learn self-discipline? Work as a commission agent. You will learn to organize your time more efficiently. You will become more productive as you learn that it’s often difficult to be your own boss. Do you want to become an entrepreneur someday? Working on commission will help you get the necessary knowledge to do so!
IT’S A MORE INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
The types of commission jobs that allow you to work from home are often a lot more inclusive for people with disabilities or mothers with young children.
1. LESS CERTAINTY
Many people much prefer the safety net a salary provides in comparison to a commission oriented job because even if you make more money in total, having a steady income allows you to feel a level of certainty a commision job won’t give you.
2. THE POWER OF HABIT
Maybe you are used to going to your office every day and seeing familiar faces and you like that. There is nothing wrong with preferring that setup!
Many people like the feeling of structure that a 9-5 salary oriented job gives them. Someone to tell them what to do, knowing when they need to come in for work, knowing when to plan a summer vacation and knowing who is the boss.
4. MORE RESPONSIBILITY
Got a little lazy in march? Your boss didn’t notice, you’re getting your salary and it doesn’t matter. Well, forget that attitude when you transfer to a commission based position. Your boss might care less, but you are getting less money. Knowing that you will get way more responsible and you’ll stop slacking, otherwise, you’re going to be broke.
5. BECOMING TO COCKY
Reaching those sales targets, er? We hope they’re not all you talk about nowadays since that’s usually what happens to the best salespeople when they start making big bucks on commission.
6. FEWER FRIENDS
If you become a great salesperson that is making a lot of money on commission, your colleagues might become jealous of you, resulting in a little more of what we’ll call “alone time”
7. ANGRY AT YOURSELF?
Being able to blame your boss when you don’t get a raise is actually fun and provides relief. But if you don’t make the money you were planning on making it will be only your fault. That can be stressful for some.
8. BECOMING A LITTLE TOO AGGRESSIVE
Maybe you will like the commission a little too much and you might get addicted to the high of receiving a lot of money for your hard work, resulting in an overly aggressive approach when trying to make a sale.
9. SWAMPED WITH WORK?
Often times, but not always, commission jobs will have spikes in workload. A banal example, but just imagine: a commission agent that sells winter tires will probably have a lot more work in December, than in April. What’s worse, not everyone can guess when that spike will be, since not every product is so clearly seasonal. Some days you’ll get a lot of free time, others, you might work very difficult, long hours.
10. BEING ALONE A LOT
Some commission jobs will require you to do most of the work alone, or maybe even stay at home. For some, that can seem a little lonely since you don’t get to spend lunch with colleagues or chit-chat by the water cooler. It’s important to make up for the lost social experience by seeing your friends after hours.
Commission is usually based on percentages. Before you say yes to a job, you need to figure out if the percentage you get is fair, and that can sometimes be hard to do. If you get a very small percentage of something that is hard to sell, you probably won’t be making a great living.
12. BECOMING A LITTLE TOO COMPETITIVE
When people are paid based on what they earn for the company, people will try harder to sell and become a little too competitive. That can translate into other fields of life and result in an annoying trait.
13. BEING FORCED TO MANAGE YOUR OWN TIME
Some people work better with structure that an office provides and might have a hard time being their own boss and working when no one is making them. If you think you might have this problem, you are probably not the person for this kind of work.
When you get a salary, you may earn less, but you won’t worry if you’ll get money next month. It won’t be a surprisingly large sum of money, but you’ll make the money for sure. If you work just for commission, you may become too preoccupied with money.
15. MORE PRONE TO CHANGE JOBS
This is more of a con for the employer than it is for the employee. If sales hit a stall, those who give salaries are more likely to retain their employee than those who pay in commission. For the employee, getting a new job may become a hassle.
Are commission based jobs worth it?
It depends really on your personal preference. If you are a sales professional who is certain of their skills then the answer is a YES. If you are hardworking, driven and are good at organizing your own time without someone telling you what to do, working based on commission will probably earn you a lot more money just working based on commission.
On the other hand, if you are just looking for a steady income and you’re still unsure of your skills, maybe this is not the lifestyle for you and there is nothing wrong about that. Some like the comfort of an office, the commute and having someone manage their time, otherwise they become unorganized.
But if you know you are a great professional capable of making a hard sell, then you are definitely going to profit from transferring to a commission based job. That will allow you the freedom, flexibility, creativity, and autonomy you craved.
Weigh in the pro’s and con’s we listed and decide if a 100% percent commission jobs are for you or not!
A great opportunity for those who think they can work with a more entrepreneurial, commission approach is THE GO TO MARKET COMPANY.
If you want to take on a new career journey, now is the time to start! You are a goal oriented person that enjoys managing their own time, being paid based on your achievements, having more autonomy and flexibility? Join us and use your traits to your best advantage!
The Go To Market Company is a platform that connects seasoned sales professionals with small and medium-sized companies and startups, giving senior sales professional a new, more entrepreneurial strength.
Together we can fight the ageism senior professionals unfortunately encounter in the job hunt and achieve great things. We know that the local network of someone that has years of experience can’t be built in a short period of time and we respect the experience and perseverance it took you to acquire this indispensable asset.
We want to help you use this advantage to your greatest benefit.
At The Go To Market Company we believe youth is a state of mind and everybody deserves to be treated fairly and given the opportunity to shine. Forget about the traditional job search! Join us and find out how to make money on the hard earned skills you acquired, by taking a more entrepreneurial approach.