I’m a big believer in retirement jobs.
Sounds oxymoronic, I know. If you were ready to retire, why would you keep… working? Three reasons. First, working a few hours a week is a nice way to supplement your post-career income. Second, it’s a great way to meet people. Third, learning new things is a proven way to keep our brains healthy as we age.
Among your part-time work options is selling for a multi-level marketing organization, like Avon, Amway or Pampered Chef. Based on their marketing and what you might hear from current reps, multi-level selling may seem like a great opportunity. And it might be. But think carefully before you get involved. Here are some things to consider.
Do you like to sell? Bottom line, these are hard-sell jobs. If you didn’t work in sales during your career, or at least feel very comfortable selling, multi-level marketing probably isn’t for you.
Are you comfortable asking friends for money? The most successful multi-level marketing reps have large social circles and aren’t afraid to pitch their friends via product demonstration parties, phone calls or home visits. While this can lead to higher earnings, it can also alienate friends and acquaintances.
How much do you want to make? Multi-level marketing is like most things in life; the more you put in the more you get out. That said, the median annual income for a part-time seller is $2,400. What’s more, you may be required to pay membership dues, training fees and seminar costs. Sellers are sometimes required to buy product samples. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a multi-level sales rep to actually lose money.
Do you want to be a recruiter? The highest earners in multi-level marketing are those who have brought others into the system. Sales reps receive a commission on everything their recruits sell. So, it’s in your financial interest to bring as many people as possible into the fold. But that may come at a cost. Do you want to be known as the person who always brings to lunchtime conversation around to, “I’d like to talk to you about Amway…”?
Depending on how you answered these questions, multi-level marketing might be a nice fit for you. It certainly offers flexibility and (theoretically) unlimited earnings. If you decide to pursue such an opportunity, pick a product you believe in, and do your homework – lots and lots of homework. If any of the above makes you skittish, you’re probably better off picking up a few hours a week doing a part-time job you enjoy, like working at your local golf course or garden center. The pay might be modest, but so is the stress.