Unemployed and Recruited Into Mary kay

This former consultant tells how she was recruited when she couldn’t find a job. How many women out of work (thanks to the pandemic) are falling for this now?

I joined Mary Kay because I had been one of the millions of people who had been looking for a job for two years and after many job applications and only a few interviews, I decided to join Mary Kay because I was at the end of my rope.

Well, no one actually talked me into it and I did not hear the “opportunity” story. I just went to the Mary Kay site and put my zip code in. Within a few hours a girl called me and invited me to a “Success Meeting” the next evening. Considering I was very vulnerable at this point (and they knew it) I probably would have signed up for anything.

I sat there and watched this unbelievable meeting with a lot of kissing and hugging and dancing. I sat though a facial and makeover and a lot of fussing. After all this was over I was shown pink shiny rings and told that if I signed the agreement that night a ring would be mine. So…. I signed the agreement.

The sales director made an immediate appointment with me to meet for an orientation at her house the next day. Little did I know that I would be told that I “could order inventory only if I wanted to” but it would be wise if I did considering I would be having lots of parties and taking lots of orders. I told her that I did not have the money and did not want to use my credit card. No problem… I can get you a MK credit card.

So began my MK career.

I was given a challenge of having 5 skin care classes in my first few weeks. What is a skin care class? I stayed up two nights in a row reading every piece of literature I could find and watching videos that my director recommended to me. Every single success meeting consisted of learning how to encourage women to book classes and recruit. I never learned about the products and had no idea what some of the products actually did. I finally decided that I was tired of driving the 55 miles round trip to these stupid meetings.

Five months later it occurred to me that some of my friends were avoiding me because all I ever talked about was MK. No one wanted to have another party or sign up to sell MK. I sent everything back within a few weeks of that realization and chalked it up to a scary experience.

I know that everyone in the MK sisterhood talks about the new friends you make and the wonderful women you meet. I met a lot of women in the same boat as myself: scared, intimated and thinking that they could make millions just by selling MK. I also met some very snobby and annoying sales directors and NSDs.

I got my life back and my hope is that someday I can forget the whole experience.


  1. Your story mirrors my journey years ago in the 90s! I moved to a new area and was looking for something to do. I didn’t go to the website to find someone, I found my SD (and eventually an NSD) in the phone book. She too invited me to a meeting and showed me shiny pink rings that I could pick from if I signed up.

    Like you, I read all of the material and started out strong. Unlike you, I was frontloaded. Like you, I was not taught what the products actually did. Again, like you, I eventually stopped going to meetings and just serviced customers until I sold off my initial inventory and ordered only occasionally.

    Here’s what’s interesting to me. Our experiences are nearly 25 years apart, however the methods are STILL the same. This is why those of us who were in MK years ago say over and over that mlms are all the same and the tactics are the same. The products may change but not the ways SDs manipulate new recruits. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Just happy you learned quickly this was a scam. So sad you had to go through this when you were already struggling. It’s one reason I still post to PT.

  3. “…chalked it up to a scary experience.”

    That phrase jumped out at me. The writer is glad she got out before it got even worse. Did I hear someone mumble the word “cult” under their breath? Oh, that was me.


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