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PUBLISHED ARTICLE: Gen Y Can Benefit from Network Marketing Career
3-May-12 [ by Larry Chao ] 154933 Read and 24 Comment

If you are between the ages of about 20-35 years old‚ then you fall into the category of so-called Generation-Y ("Gen Y").  Yes‚ you are part of that irrepressible young segment of workers‚ who demands so much‚ and who sends human resources executives scrambling for solutions.

But wait‚ hold on.  Why join the corporate world and wait for it to figure out how to motivate and retain you‚ when you can pursue an alternative career track tailor-made for your lifestyle and aspirations? 

Welcome to the world of network marketing‚ formally known as direct sales.  

Ridiculous you say?  Not suitable?  Below your standards?  Before you pass judgment and write off this option‚ bear with me while I explain why network marketing makes a lot of sense for Gen Yers‚ if not for a career‚ for an important learning experience.   Consider for a moment what it has to offer beyond the illusion of snake oil salesmen trying to sell people things they do not need.

First‚ to be a successful network marketer‚ you have to have entrepreneurial spirit and be highly achievement-oriented.  Moreover‚ in addition to craving success and financial independence‚ network marketers have this strong belief in themselves.  They want their lives to have impact and make a difference.  Sound familiar?  These are the same attributes that define Generation Y. 

Second‚ for both Gen Y and network marketers‚ you want to be in control and responsible for creating your own life.  You decide the right level of work-life balance to accommodate your preferred lifestyle.  You fast track up the career path based on performance and what you achieve‚ not on who you know somewhere up the corporate chain of command. 

Third‚ success for network marketers is highly dependent on building and maintaining broad social relationships.  One of the best ways to do this is through the use of technologies - Blackberry‚ iPhone‚ laptops that link people to social websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Gen Y are tech savvy and love creating relationships on line.  They are plugged into technology 24 hours a day‚ seven days a week.  Suddenly‚ having 1‚000 friends on Facebook matters.

Finally‚ being a successful network marketer gives you freedom of expression.  It allows you to leapfrog beyond casual Friday dress codes and other corporate rules governing acceptable behavior.  Your opinions matter and people listen to you to be inspired by your success stories‚ not because of your job title.  This self expression is also important for Gen Yers‚ who are not afraid to speak their mind.

So what's the catch?  If network marketing is so attractive‚ why don't Gen Yers flock to it in droves?

One reason is the negative stigma associated with network marketing.  For example‚ the image of unscrupulous network marketers badgering people into making buying decisions.

Another reason might be the fear of rejection.  To become a great network marketer‚ you need to develop outstanding selling skills.  As part of this process‚ you will face a lot of rejection.  People do not like to feel the pain of failure.  They want instant success.

Whatever the reasons‚ they can't be worse than the challenge of force-fitting yourself into some corporate bureaucracies that aim to standardize workers and pace their career development within an inflexible human resources framework.

But even if you do not make a career in network marketing‚ the experience can still teach you a lot about what it takes to succeed.  For example‚ when I was in college‚ I had a summer job selling vacuum cleaners as a door-to-door salesman.  There was no base salary‚ there were no benefits‚ only commission.  Survival and success were based on being a self-starter‚ selling effectively and never giving up.

It was a tough job.  Most people quit after a few weeks.  But for those who learned how to sell‚ listen and never give up‚ it was an invaluable lesson in what it takes to be successful‚ regardless of the ultimate career you decide to pursue.

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