If It Looks Too Good To Be True…


It sometimes is?

Gold Coasters appear to be a pretty trusting lot. Perhaps it’s the casual, relaxed lifestyle we’re fortunate to lead?  Whatever the reason, the Gold Coast seems to be a haven for ‘colourful’ employment opportunities, which often look much better than they really are.  Now we’re not talking about scams, so if you’re concerned about those, check out our article Swindle Or Sweet Deal or go to ScamWatch for more details.  No we’re talking about completely legitimate job advertisements that often end up being referred to as “family friendly”.  Initially they can look really appealing, but upon closer inspection they can result in you simply wasting your time.

A. MLM or Multi Level Marketing

It’s worth noting that these listings are valid and will suit some people, but they aren’t for everyone. MLM or Multi Level Marketing in it’s current form is a legitimate business model and I personally know people that have been incredibly successful using the tools provided by these companies, however I’d be comfortable saying this wouldn’t be the norm.  It’s hard work that often employs invasive tactics to get people involved and I think for every success story there would be hundreds, if not thousands that weren’t successful.

$85000 on target earnings – These ads are nearly ALWAYS pyramid marketing companies.

Recently, my daughter applied for one of these and unknowingly said yes when they asked her to come for an information session.  As she was leaving she asked if I wanted to go with her, so I started asking a few questions?  Her answers set off alarm bells.  It definitely sounded like either AMWAY or SWIPE or similar.  They wouldn’t tell her what the job actually was and insisted she just came in for the information session which coincidently was an evening. Hmmm. She still went but I told her some things to look out for:

  1. Upwards to 100 people in attendance, Chairs all in a row placed very close together (to avoid anyone getting up and leaving half way through because everyone would have to stand up)
  2. Tea and Coffee set up at the back of the room (strange this one, but for me it’s a dead giveaway)
  3. Projector at the front of the room. All of these things normally mean they are setting you up to sell their products (which won’t be on display until they close the doors when the meeting starts, try and get out then).

Jeni Bow, Brisbane

B. Commission Only

As for commision only roles, it’s true that they often offer unlimited earnings, but that comes with a price.  If there is no retainer or base wage, then your wage is simply a percentage of what you sell, so if you sell nothing, you make nothing.  Also you’d need to be prepared for a gap between making a sale and receiving the commission on it.  Like MLM, some people do incredibly well in these roles, but again it’s not the norm. You have to be brave/confident in your ability to secure sales and be thick-skinned too because it’s a numbers game and you’re likely to hear more no’s than yes’s.

Unlimited Earnings – Great variety – Meet different people – or the best one (breakfast provided daily). These are usually the ticket sellers. Surf Lifesaving and others. The earnings from these are only $1 per ticket sold, so if you only sell 1 ticket that day then you only earn $1.

Jeni Bow, Brisbane

C. Temp Agencies

Finally temp agencies again offer a legimate employment route for people looking for work and often the advertise that they have something, but when you get there that position is gone. I’d like to think this is legitimate and not a baiting scheme because their position turnover would be high. Unlike the others, I can’t recall hearing of someone making their fortune out of temping, unless you owned the actual agency that is, but if you’re out of work and need money, they can offer an almost instant opportunity to work and be paid. Just be aware they are called temp agencies for a reason and while today you’ll have a job and an income, tomorrow you may not and that is the nature of the game.

One other thing that I have found that if you apply for a job with a “temp agency” you might get a phone call with promises of a WONDERFUL job. Once you get there though, you are usually told that the job you have applied for has already been taken. Most of the time they say that business is slow and they will contact you if anything comes up. Unless you chase them daily from there forward you are more than likely never to hear from them again. It’s more about them getting people on their books. Whilst this isn’t a bad way to do business (for them as most of it is commission I guess) it really does waste a lot of your time when you could be apply for “real” jobs.

Jeni Bow, Brisbane

I hope you’ve found this informative and understand that while these are legitimate family friendly employment ads, they might not be for you.  Special thanks to Jeni Bow for her contribution and foresight to suggest this article to us.  If you are interested in contributing ideas, experiences or even full articles on any topic you think will interest, but particularly on topics Gold Coasters like yourself would be interested in, please email or message us, as we’re always on the look out for more content.

Good luck with your job search and please contact us or leave a comment if you’d like more information on the topic.


Leigh is a co-founder of www.schoolhours.com.au, Australia’s only dedicated family friendly employment website. ‘School Hours’ helps parents find and negotiate family friendly employment, employers to understand the benefits of it and how to implement it and showcase businesses already offering it.  Connect with ‘School Hours’ to keep up to date on all that is ‘family friendly’ in the world of employment.

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2 Responses

  1. unemployment

    This may be a little out of field yet I am thinking if
    there are any other ladies that have trained and received
    security job offers?. I am quite fascinated but the physicality of the jobs is a bit overwhelming to me.

  2. RWJ?

    How can I tell if an alleged “Business Opportunity” is actually a ponzi or pyramid scheme? I just started a $2 weely subscription with a company called RWJ Marketing, But now… I’m starting to worry that the claims they are making are too good to be true And I’ve possibly fallen for a scam! 🙁


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