6 Pros & Cons of Commission-Only Roles

woman walking down the stairs
If the words “uncapped potential” and “total flexibility” excite you, join the club.

Indeed, there are rewarding aspects about commission-based roles and we want to shout them from the rooftops, seeing as how our Area Director opportunity fits the bill. Commission-based jobs typically focus on sales and offer (or at least claim to offer) higher flexibility than your typical 9-5.

And then there are also details that may deter some people and we want to be upfront about those, too. Here’s a list of pros and cons in case you’re on the fence about whether a commission-only role is for you. 




Work from Home Anywhere

Many commission-based sales positions offer a work-from-home option, especially these days. This is the case for N2 Area Directors as well. Not only does it offer a lot of flexibility, but you can’t beat the overhead cost nada. So go ahead, make calls from the couch (um, we mean home office). And you can pick up at a moment’s notice to meet a client at a location that’s convenient for them.


Be Your Own Boss

If you’re even considering a commission-based role, you most likely have an entrepreneurial drive. After all, this is not a job for someone who needs to be told what to do or when to do it. Many N2 Area Directors fit this description, and while answering to themselves and deciding their own work schedule is a big motivator, many are just as relieved to know there’s a 250+ person team and ongoing sales training to serve as a support system along the way. At the end of the day, we answer to ourselves for a job well done. Exciting? Then this may be a great fit.


Earn What You Deserve

There’s no doubt you’ll know exactly how well you are doing in a role like this. In comparison to salaried positions, your commission checks directly reflect performance and hard work. While companies may differ in their compensation programs, we’d recommend looking for one that doesn’t cap commission (did we mention there’s no commission cap at N2?) that way, there’s no limit to what great results your hard work can achieve.






Your Income May Not Be Consistent

Commission-only is probably the fairest way to measure success in a role. You had an amazing month? Congratulations! You’re going to reap the benefits. But you might not make as much next month and this means you’ll definitely have to put your time in to make more calls and work hard to keep your numbers up.

Some people are okay with this con. It keeps it interesting, right? And we don’t think it’s necessarily a downside for everyone. For us, our Area Directors enjoy a more stable commission base due to longer-term client agreements (our 12/24/36-month advertising structure). This creates residual income and provides a little more peace of mind when it comes to income.


Non-Traditional Benefits

Most things about a commission-only role are nontraditional it certainly doesn’t share much in common with the classic salaried job. That may also mean the role doesn’t come with the security of a health care plan or employer-funded retirement account. And, if you’re working from home, trendy perks like beer Friday at the office or on-site doggy daycare is pretty far off the table (though we tend to think having our beer and our dogs at home are more practical anyway).

There are other benefits of course flexibility, high income potential, pride in entrepreneurship, and community involvement but those may come at the cost of some of those benefits your in-laws are always asking about.


Typical Corporate Sales Structure

Working your way up seems worth it in the beginning. Sure, you may need to miss a family vacation here or postpone dating there, but once you make it to the top, you’ll be treated differently, right? Well, many have found that’s not quite the case once they’ve sacrificed so much to get to the top. Not to mention having your territories switched up on you, cut in half, or upper leadership springing the ol’ commission switch-up on you at the last minute.


All in all, commission-only roles can be very rewarding to those who are the right fit for the challenge. Some people may read this list and weep. That’s okay. (In fact, check out our open home office positions if that’s more your speed.) But if you’re in the other group the group of people energized by the pros, check out our current AD opportunities here.