Don’t Burn Your Bridges For Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

Tracy’s Note: This is one of my favorite topics in Mary Kay. Your upline is notorious for telling you to “burn your bridges” so you can be fully committed to Mary Kay. Nowhere in the real professional world would anyone else tell you that. Got a CPA license? No one in their right mind will tell you to let it lapse because of a new career “opportunity.” They’ll tell you to keep it current because you never know when you might need it in the future. But not in May Kay. Common sense and business acumen are thrown out the window in an attempt to make sure you never leave the big pink cult!

As some of you know, I was a non-top director and was in MK for 10 years… had a wildly successful quarter and the rest of my career sort of sucked. I moved up fast because I loved the attention and the trinkets (and my credit score was perfect). Ended up with 4 MK cars (the last one was towed away in a mildly dramatic manner), 35 some stars (mostly emeralds), and queen’s court of sales (got the ring that a jeweler bought for $50 for the gold, the stones weren’t worth anything.) With Pink Truth’s help I returned my huge inventory and didn’t tell my senior director (apparently she was hit with a huge chargeback in June of that year, oops, soooooorrrrryyyyy).

Anyway, I was the one who was told to “burn my (professional) bridges” so that I would be successful in MK, and in English that meant nursing and therapist credentials had to go– I had a bunch of initials after my name. I hadn’t kept up with continuing education credits for 2 reasons:

  1. No access to professional trainings/work
  2. No money for internet courses/conference attendance/time for clinical practice..

So my new mantra at my unit meetings became “I lost 12 initials after my name and gained freedom because of my Mary Kay career.” And I actually said that with a convincing smile.

Fast forward a few humbling years. I found Pink Truth (it was called MK Sucks at the time). I got out of MK as a result of what I learned, and then found it hard to get a job without my professional credentials, so I was working alongside young college students (I am old) who were thrilled to be making $9.35/hr. I was not thrilled, but I WAS lucky to have a job.

I can’t begin to tell you how many applications I submitted for any job that might pay my bills. I can’t tell you how many times I cried on the phone talking to Raisinberry and Tracy. How did this happen? I thought I was smart? What am I supposed to do? I didn’t get hired because I had too much experience, there was the age thing, people assumed I would move up too quickly, one organization told me I was too smart. It was devastating and frightening. Fast forward again.

Happy ending… I landed the job of my dreams and Tracy sent me a gift card to get some new clothes for the new job, when does that ever happen in real life??? Sigh, what a blessing she was for me! Anyway, the job was perfect for me. AND through the grace of God and some state legislative changes, hard work, refresher courses, doctoral level classes, and some money, I got all of my licenses, registrations and certifications back within 3 months. My new job even paid for another level of credentialing.

That is all wonderful and all, happy ending to a typical horrible MK story BUT… I want you all to learn from my experience. The MK career myth is a LIE. That’s all there is to it. There is no good reason to “burn your bridges.” I was lucky, many aren’t. I had support and resources to get through this maze, many don’t. For those of you with professional credentials/licenses/registrations– do whatever it takes to keep them… you know how hard they were to get in the first place.

For those who have decent day jobs, keep them. There is no reason to stop working in the “corporate” world– remember you were told how you could replace your income with MK? It’s not true, because it is not going to be consistent. Trust me on this one. If Mary Kay was capable of producing a consistent executive level income, why would there be a need for quarterly infusions of pink foggery? Why wouldn’t you actually own your business? If having a JOB was so bad, why would people on PT continually write about all expense paid training opportunities that their JOB provides for them? Remember the myth of free training? Just sayin’.

I was paying over $600/month for health insurance when I was in MK 15+ years ago. (And I can’t even imagine how much it would be today.) I have a pre-exisitng condition. The $600/month included a $10K deductible. (Ten thousand dollars, OMG.) I pay much less now with a low deductible. I have moved onto other jobs since that first great one after Mary Kay, but all have given me a stable income, regular raises, working with positive people, and buying my Olay age-defying make-up at WalMart, based on Raisinberry’s expert advice.

I want you all to pay attention because I am old and wise. For those of you getting out of MK, please know that it will be okay. There is a grief process as you say goodbye to that dream. Your success is not related to your activity level. MK is MLM and MLMs exist to reward those in first. You were not first, you will not prosper.

For those of you thinking about MK. Bad idea. Really. There is no way that the baloney they sell you isn’t past it’s expire date. Read on. Check out the archives on this site. Good stuff there, and remember, those of us who write on this site have nothing to gain. You are able to benefit from our experiences… pass it on.


  1. Mary Kay “baits” new recruits with the promise of a plan B, an extra stream of income, financial choices, flexibility, and freedom. Then the “switch” falls with this lovely gem. Burn your bridges if you’re really serious! Forget everything we told you at the beginning about how women really need multiple streams of income to ensure financial security. Go all in! If you give yourself an out, you’ll never fully commit. Thanks for the great article, SuzyQ! I’m glad you found your way back to your career path.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to all my US folks!

  2. My former senior director is an attorney. She NEVER quit her day job once she became an SD. In fact, corporate and our NSD lauded her over her attorney-SD job combo!

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