DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I’ve worked at a few different companies since I started in sales fulltime. Every other place I’ve been at has paid for business cards and at least some promotional items, like posters and flyers for public events I’m assigned to run.
Where I work now is different. They don’t pick up the cost for any of those things. Instead, sales staff gets a set salary, based on seniority, with a fairly small commission, dependent on companywide quarterly earnings, which wouldn’t be that bad if they also didn’t expect us to pay for items that help their bottom line.
I know I’m not the only one upset by this practice, and I can’t afford to leave the job this soon after starting it. Do you think this is any way to run a company? --- DON’T HAVE DEEP POCKETS
DEAR DON’T HAVE DEEP POCKETS: It may be that your new company is still operating in a business-not-as-usual mode if their bottom line has been compromised over the past year or so.
I would have guessed this non-reimbursable out-of-pocket expectation would have come up during your interview, but if it’s part of the job, it’s something you either have to live with or walk away from. As it sounds like you’re locked into the current job for a while, you could check into what, if any, of your layouts may be tax deductible to help take some of the bite out of the situation. And learn from this experience by remembering to include the “who provides what” conversation before taking any future jobs.