For anyone looking for a job, it shouldn't be too hard to find work if you're willing to work for commission in sales. If you've posted your resume on a few job boards, then chances are you've received at least a few e-mails from insurance companies telling you that you're the perfect candidate for a sales position they have open.
In this video by the NBC affiliate in San Diego, a mortgage company complains that it can't get the California Employment Development Department to list its jobs on the EDD Web site because the state requires employers on its site to pay at least minimum wage and not pay commission only. Here's the video:
It's obvious that the business owner convinced the reporter, or someone at the TV station, to do a story on how unfair it is that his business can't list open jobs on a state Web site that is designed to get unemployed people hired and get them off unemployment benefits.
Depending on how you look at it, I can see his point. After all, he has jobs to fill and with California's unemployment rate at 10.5% in February, compared to the national rate of 8.1%, the state unemployment office has plenty of people it knows who could use a job.
As someone who has been out of work since being laid off in June 2008, and has seen a fair share of job opportunities that pay commission only, I can admit that a commission-only job is enticing when you don't have a job, but it's not the end-all. I'm looking for full-time work, and with a family to support, I want something reliable. Even if sales job paid minimum wage to start, on top of commission, I wouldn't want to take the risk.
It's a problem that all unemployed people face, and the degree of it depends on how long they've been out of work and what their financial situation is. Taking a commission-only job is great if you can sell ice to Eskimos, but if you can't,or can only sell a few icecubes a month, then you might be better off looking for full-time work that pays a salary.
Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net