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Working on Commission: Things to Consider

Updated on November 29, 2010

Commission/ on commission

4. A fee or percentage allowed to a sales representative or an agent for services rendered.

With a sales commission serving as full or partial recompense for the work done

(source: the free dictionary)


Fixed salary

Working on commission can be very attractive and when you are good at what you are doing when you are working on commission, you can get a very good income. You might even make more money than when you had a regular job with a fixed salary.

A fixed salary means that each month, you know what you are going to get. There might be some benefits and your monthly income won't fluctuate considerably.

Working on a fixed salary, will allow you to plan the whole year. You can balance your living costs and there might be some left each month for going on a holiday, presents and so on. Nothing out of the ordinary will occur as long as keep your finances in check. It's a life of certainty and it is what most people do.

Working on commission

When you start a job that is commission based, it means a life of uncertainty. I have worked for a while on commission and I found out that it wasn't for me.

What lured me into commission based work was the foresight of bringing home a big sack of money. Having the 'chance' to get paid very well, like some of my colleagues. However, I quickly realized that commission are based around two thing; drive and luck.

You need to be very motivated day in, day out to perform. You will be more motivated because your performance is what will get you paid. You only get paid when you get result. In order to get result, you need to sell.That's the drive part.This can be very motivating for people, because you are forced to keep your own performance in check. Making a mistakes can mean no income.

Everyday, no matter what the prospect looks like, you need to give it all. When you worked in sales, you will be able to make an 'estimation' of your chances, however, you need to have a very positive attitude and be ready to make that deal and sell, regardless the 'estimation'. You will find out soon enough when you do this type of work; 'do not judge a book by it's cover'.

When you work with a negative attitude, you already cut your chances by 50% of making a deal.


The other part is luck. As with anything, and especially in sales, luck plays a part here. You talked the talk, sizzled, performed at your best and did everything to make that deal. However, come 'closing time' (the moment when signatures are set and money is transferred), you faill.

That, is very demotivating. When a customer gives you all the signs, he or she wants to buy and at the end of the process for some reason they go 'cold turkey'. No matter how good you did, in the endit can still fall apart and you go home empty handed.

When you do have a great month, meaning you sold a lot or did a very good job at a specific duty, you might rack in the money. You might make more money than when you would have if you had a fixed salary. You suddenly don't have to wait anymore to make that fantastic holiday to Bali and save for months on end. You can go from 'zero to hero' when you work on commission.

Surely there are more factors involved to selling a product and working on commission.

For me however, these two things stood out when I had my little fling with commission based work.


That what lured me into working on commission also kicked me out again after a few months. It's the chance of NOT making any money.


- You can earn a lot save

- Meet a lot of people

- Working hours are shorter (?)

- No employer hassles, individual work

- Easy to take holidays (it's like not you are getting paid)


- Insecurity of not getting any income

- Stressful

- Individual meaning that it might not be a very social place, you are there to 'score'

- Demotivation and overall depression (very extreme cases)

- Not many/ no benefits

You have what it takes to sell?!?


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    • georgiecarlos profile image

      georgiecarlos 6 years ago from Philippines

      I think what is best is to know oneself because I think it depends on the person if he or she will thrive in a fixed salary or commission based income. Some people like stability, while others need excitement in their lives and are motivated through that situation.

      Nevertheless, great hub! I enjoy reading your works!