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Is a direct-sales career for you?

Motivation and hard work can pay off for a flexible and mobile career

Translate your love for makeup into a successful career with Mary Kay. Photo credit: Pexels

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The dream of working from home, making your own hours and pulling in a salary that you can actually live off of feels more like an illusion than a reality. Yet many direct-sales companies, such as Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, and Chloe and Isabel, to name a few, claim just that. This type of flexibility is a potential dream job for military spouses that constantly move and have to accommodate their servicemembers ever-changing schedule. While it may not be suited for everyone, the potential is there to make money and have fun doing it.

The first step is to really be passionate about what you're selling. If you absolutely love makeup and beauty, and spend a lot of your personal time researching and using it, then you already have a great resumé to sell it. Even better if you already use the products and love them. Mary Kay is so sure of the quality and performance of their products, they offer a full refund or exchange if any customer isn't satisfied. Using some of the products, and then being able to speak of your personal experience, makes for a very organic sales pitch. This approach can be used for any product, whether you are passionate about cooking and love the unique products Pampered Chef sells, or find that the jewelry selection that Chloe and Isabel offer is versatile to every style. There are many companies that work in direct-sales that can easily translate into what makes you happy every day, and your enthusiasm is contagious. 

Many people avoid direct-sales because they feel they aren't extroverted, and therefore can't approach strangers and initiate conversations. This may be true, but having the skills to speak publicly and confidently is gained with practice and experience. Also important is the availability to network, meet new people and "recruit". For many direct-sales companies the compensation is higher when you build your own team. If you are naturally social and enjoy being around other people with similar interest to yours, this would definitely be an advantage. As a military spouse, the constant opportunity to meet new friends would benefit you personally as well as professionally.

Military spouse and former Mary Kay consultant Kirsten Abott said, "The potential to earn decent money is there if you're a motivated sales person who's also good at recruiting team members. Being a Mary Kay consultant provides the opportunity to make your own schedule, be your own boss, work from home and get your own products for half the retail cost. As a military spouse, having a flexible career that can PCS with you is ideal." Abott does admit it's not for everyone, and there are still many challenges such as having to rebuild your clientele every time you move.

Look around your home: are there products or hobbies you love and would enjoy talking to people about it? Imagine connecting with new people that share these common interests. If you're willing to put yourself out there, sometimes outside your comfort zone, then a career in direct-sales could be your next step. The skills and experiences you obtain while pursuing this type of career can transition easily into other positions and fields and will always be of value to you. To learn more and speak to successful consultants, visit the Military Dream Big Fair Feb. 16 at Capital Christian Center in Lacey. For more information and to RSVP, visit:

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