SPILLING THE TEA: Why I Quit my Job after Three Weeks

Hello, there.

As of this past Friday, I have officially quit my job after three weeks of being hired.

Why’s that?

Long story short: I was involved in a MLM company.

If you don’t know what a “MLM” is, it stands for “multi-level marketing.” In essence, you recruit people to sell particular products (e.g. cosmetics, diet pills, office supplies) to family, close friends, and small businesses. Whatever profit they make from each sale becomes commission, and a fraction of it is paid to the seller while the majority of the rest goes to those who hired them and the company. Then they have to recruit more people to make sales while continuing with theirs. Over time, it becomes a vicious cycle of recruitment and commissions.

Image result for mlm failure stories
Source: Talented Ladies Club.

While not quite the same as pyramid schemes, MLMs aren’t necessarily innocuous. In order to make profit, MLMs rely mostly on recruiting, rather than selling the product. Those at the top will earn the most, while those at the bottom earn little to nothing, sometimes even losing money. It’s considered illegal in many aspects, but plenty of companies have found loopholes to ensure that they don’t get caught by the FTC, thus making them elusive and impossible to call out.

What’s even crazier is that many people are unaware that they’re involved in a MLM. It’s unbelievable that so many bright and ambitious individuals are sucked into this trap every day, led to believe that they, too, will earn six-figure income if they just work hard, stay positive, and keep pushing in spite of failed sales.

Many individuals who get involved in MLMs are young, fresh out of college, stay-at-home moms, religious, vulnerable, and overall want to feel belonged. MLMs are carefully-designed to make the newly-hired a part of their “team,” whether through fun activities, interpersonal exercises, and other “positive” activities to boost their confidence despite the crappiness of the job itself. Work hard, and you’ll be loved.

I’m not a recent college grad, but I admit that I was naive when I accepted the “job” offer earlier last month. I’d just left France after a four-year stint, and I was in a not-so-happy head-space: I felt that I’d left without a proper closure, and I had no job, nor transferable hard skills to make a career change from education. I applied to any job that I felt I qualified in, and I was thrilled when said-MLM company offered me a job to work with them in sales and marketing– no experience necessary. I invested 110% of my energy and time over the two-week probation period, only to soon discover that I, along with the rest of my co-workers, were being duped by the CEO into believing this pipeline dream of “getting rich within a year.” Immediately, my perspective changed, and I knew that I had to get out ASAP before I buried myself deeper into the lies and deceit of this company.

Thankfully, I escaped sooner than later (all the while getting *some* money that I deserved from the sales I made). While I ultimately earned about $100 after breaking even in profit from my three weeks in the company, it’s scary to think that, should I had stayed longer in the job, I would’ve racked myself into debt. It’s heartbreaking to see my former co-workers, some who are still employed there and have been for several months now, sacrifice their personal lives and free time just to make enough money to 1) stay with the company, and 2) earn a profit. Many of them are young and unfortunately have been brainwashed by “company culture” to keep pushing despite the rejections.

Since quitting this job, I have been fascinated by MLMs and the types of people who either join or recruit others to join. The psychology behind it is insane, and now I know that it’s something to be careful about as I continue my job search in the future. This is a cautionary story to be told, and even though I was only in the company for three weeks, I’ve seen and experienced so many strange happenings (which should’ve been red flags early on) that I plan to write more posts on them. This is merely an introduction to what had happened while I was “working” there, so expect more details of my experiences in a MLM to come later.

Thanks for reading this, and I wish you a fun (and safe) Labor Day weekend!


— The Finicky Cynic

Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic

6 thoughts on “SPILLING THE TEA: Why I Quit my Job after Three Weeks

  1. When I toyed with changing jobs 5 years ago, an insurance company reached out to me to consider becoming a salesperson. I took the bait, but the “interview” I thought I would have with them was actually a seminar with several other people they reached out to. Turns out it was indeed an MLM setup, where the more effort you put in results in nice commissions that actually don’t come your way for several months. Oh, and you have to pay out of your own pocket for sales training.

    Definitely do your due diligence if a company you’ve never heard of or know very little about entices you with the chance to make “big bucks.” Even if it’s a legitimate company, there’s always something slimy that they’re not upfront with you about. The outfit that reached out to me actually is legit… though they do have quite a bit of bad marks against them.

    1. rebbit7

      Exactly. Your situation sounds like a “true” MLM; mine was a bit harder to spot, but now I know that any job that pays only commission and isn’t clear in their contract on the job description definitely scream “red flags.” It’s been a humbling learning experience, and I’ll be choosier when applying to jobs in the future. Thanks for sharing your experience, Allison!

    1. rebbit7

      You’re absolutely right. But also, even if you invest a lot of your time and money into it, you’re most likely not going to be successful. I’m told that 95-99% of those who join fail to make livable wages, even getting themselves into debt. Honestly, it’s not worth anyone’s time.

  2. Pingback: Story Time: I was in a MLM (Part 1) – The Finicky Cynic

  3. Pingback: Life Update: I Have a Job! – The Finicky Cynic

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