There is so much “stuff” out there on how to make money from home, or owning your own business etc., but I haven’t found too much on "working for a good company and be successful."
I get it, the entrepreneur world is more sexy, but I make a great living after working my way up the “corporate ladder” of a growing company and I believe anyone can do it (without being a scumbag).
I’ve been writing on building a life working for another company, but I’m not sure on what everyone wants to know more about.
So my question is, for those of us that are doing the daily grind and working for someone else, what do you want to know more about? What would be helpful?
Raises, promotions, efficiency, productivity etc.
Are books more helpful than a class? or simple bite size pdf downloads more helpful?
I called bullshit on this many years ago, figuring if I was going to “grind”, for the same effort I would rather be making money for me rather than somebody else. Went freelance, started a business, hired some folks…
That said, if my staff were reading your stuff as a counterargument to the “entrepreneur world is more sexy” then more power to you.
If it were me reading your stuff (a million years ago, when I was an employee) I would want to hear:
“Show me the numbers” justifying free/cheap work experience placement/internships actually yield significant financial outcomes, rather than just being the form of indentured servitude that they appear to be.
Biding your time, paying your dues, waiting your turn, delegating the timing of your advancement to your employer/bosses is actually sensible and financially worthwhile. Again quantify this.
That earning and waiting around for bonuses in any industry outside investment banking/hedge fund management are actually worth the lifestyle cost
That being patient and climbing the career ladder within a large corporate is both financially and time wise advantageous… in other words why shouldn’t I job hop up the greasy pole?
that the perceived golden handcuff benefits (employee share purchase schemes, stock options, etc) are actually worth the time served, as opposed to job hopping and buying at market prices… again show me the numbers.
If the data doesn’t support the assertions then I made the right choice. If the data does support the assertions then show me the percentages, the odds, the financial end state that reflects staying the course rather than jumping ship.
Back in the olden days of great benefit packages, defined benefits/final salary pensions, and the like there was definitely some merit to a life as a career permie. However there is definitely a perception that under the current model, where pretyt much everyone is an interchangeable cog in some anonymous corporate machine, readily tradable for somebody else willing to do the same role for less money, this may no longer be the case.
Examine the ultimate outcomes of your approach, achieved only by the select few. Case studies of folks who successfully achieved the big leagues Law/Accounting firm partnerships, Managing Director (or above) levels in a large bank/brokerage, and so on.
You’ve picked a very narrow niche, as so much of the potential upside is outside the reader’s control.
Thanks for the feedback - honestly. It’s good to hear that I have an uphill battle to change people’s mindset on being a good employee.
My goal is not to show someone how to work their way up the ladder and retire (if that’s theirs, sure go for it), my goal is to give people tools and resources to get the raise, promotion and increased income they should be grabbing now. I believe a lot of it is in our control, contrary to most people’s beliefs. If they want to be an entrepreneur, GREAT, I am doing that too, but why not make more money NOW, while working for someone else? In the end you’ll reach your goal quicker.
I believe we are focused so much on the “freedom” of being our own boss that we forget about the ability to get there quicker by bringing real value to our work now to make the raise or promotion.
If you pay one of your employees $30k a year, but they bring your business $150k worth of revenue every year, and they came and asked for a 10% raise. . .would you do it?
They make you 5 times what you are paying…
I would guess, being a good employer (and a smart one) that knows it would be difficult to replace such an amazing employee, you would do it because you know if you didn’t, someone else will.
I want to teach people how to be worth 5 times what they are being paid quickly…I’ve done it 7 times.
I think we have lost site of making money while working for someone else because there is so much opportunities to make money from home. Great! Do it, but don’t quit your day job until you can.
Do you think these topics are too much of an uphill battle to climb?
I think you’d need to focus on the needs of your audience, I’m probably not representative of the world at large.
Thing is changing employers is the most likely way to achieve this.
You highlight the challenge facing many employees. Bonuses, pay rises, etc tend to be anchored to your initial salary number. Negotiate badly on the way in and chances are pretty good you’ll pay for that each time a bonus or rise is considered, as they tend to be percentages of base salary.
Changing employers mitigates that for an employee, also adds to their cumulative wisdom, providing more than one perspective on what is possible, what is the right way to do something, etc. Less risk of becoming institutionalised in the Shawshank Redemption sense.
Only if the market salary for that position justified the number. I’ve got great staff who are good at their jobs, but everyone is replaceable. There is a churn cost that must be factored in, but ultimately staff retention is a numbers based decision, just as hiring is initially.
I want my staff to develop, grow, and move on to bigger/better/brighter futures. In fact I get disappointed in the ones that stick around longer than they should… once they have learned all they can from a role and employer it is time to move on if there are not viable advancement opportunities where they currently are.
The best way for employees to “make more money NOW” is to invest in themselves, pursue and embrace opportunities, and maximise the premium they place upon their time. Work smarter, not harder. Accumulate skills that both are in demand (not just at their current employer) and command a premium.
No, but I do think there is a risk you may run out of ways to express that fairly quickly, as it is a somewhat finite subject area. Once you’ve covered the 5 or 6 key topics you might run out of steam coming up with new/interesting content… unless perhaps you offered an “agony aunt” style reader question/advice service or similar.
I agree completely with everything that you have said. My blog for the past two years has been more about improving yourself in any work/career capacity.
I was mainly looking for thoughts around what exactly an audience would want on the topic of increasing their income at work - it could be jumping positions/employers too. I should’ve left it more vague than give examples like I did.
Work smarter, not harder. Accumulate skills that both are in demand (not just at their current employer) and command a premium
Funny you mention this, because this is exactly what I wrote about a couple weeks ago!
Thanks again @Slow_Dad
You’ve given me a good perspective.
Resources for brushing up on skills / learning new skills.
How to look for career changes/ladders that may be not completely intuitive. Example: I was software QA (some circles consider it a stepping stone for developers, others a career in itself). What I didn’t know until a few weeks ago was that one woman at another company that leads the UI/UX group often brings aboard former QA people. Didn’t know that path was a not-uncommon option.
How to listen/pick management’s brain so you know what they are looking for. That enabled me to volunteer for a project nobody else wanted (and they thought was a dead end). Ended up team lead and that small project is now a large part of the company.
I don’t know much entrepreneurs or freelancers that can work 35h a week and come home completely off-duty. I finish my day and it’s done, no phone calls, no reports, no extras… oh and I get 4 weeks paid vacation and I know my paid check will always come no matter what.
That’s why I am an employee.
I like the idea of entrepreneurship and that’s why I always have little side projects going on but the risks seem high to completely leave my job.
I think ESI does a good job of explaining how to go up the corp ladder. He has a good background to support why you should listen to him. So, overall, I think it may be worthwhile to talk about your historical successes.
For me, I’ve chosen the business route and climbed up the corporate ladder. I found out there is no one single path, but there are ones that will allow you to go up faster, such as going to a tier 1 business school.
That said, how many permies do you know who slavishly check work emails at all hours of the day and night?
The control of your time aspect is down to individual choice and prioritisation, not employment status.
There are very few jobs where somebody will die if the worker doesn’t send an email or take a conference call at stupid o’clock. Anything short of that will definitely keep until the next work day. Next week nobody will remember what the panic of today was about.
So more industry specific examples of how other people have.
I like your idea on how to pick your management’s brain on what they are looking for. I made the mistake of leaving a job without doing this and before I left they offered me double my salary…I learned a very valuable lesson to speak up when I know I’m more valuable than what I’m being paid.