Written by Catherine Adenle
It is easy, in this over-commercialized world for us to think that money is everything. In actual fact, this is not necessarily true. To get into high paying jobs you will have to study and develop your skills for years. Unless you are extremely lucky, your first job after graduation is not going to earn you a lot of money. You will continue to earn a low salary for some years until you build a reputation in your team or company. If you are a good worker who has a passion for what you do with a good attitude, this will translate to a better pay.
If you have had a career for years and you spend your career years focusing on salary, there is every probability that you will miss out on a lot of self value added opportunities in the long run. The point I am making here is that for us to achieve financial success, we have to enjoy what we do, the process, and feel good about the result we achieve at the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that a big pay packet is good; don’t we all want more pay? Not only that, I also know that times are hard and fatter salaries pay bills. However, if your primary job criterion is just getting a job with a fatter salary, you might never get ahead of the career game and you’ll always be looking around for more money. Then, later you will wonder why many other people are doing better than you and what you did wrong.
What I am saying is that, when it comes to your career, you need to look at the big picture. If you lack the foresight needed now, in the long run, you won’t achieve big things. For instance, a fatter salary doesn’t beat working at a company with greater career opportunity that will advance you to the next level. Am I making any sense here or not?
These are 5 things more important than a fatter salary:
Do you love what you do? If you don’t love what you do, it can be a kind of new-age professional hell. It means we can be wasting our lives waiting for a break that never comes. Life is too short. It’s not worth the wait. In the new world, we don’t have to love everything that we do, but we need to find happiness and meaning in most of our professional work. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs.
2. Network like there’s no tomorrow. Believe it or not, everything revolves around who you know. Having positive mentors and people around you positively affects everything you can do.
If you’re locked away behind your office desk all day long, your opportunities are limited. Seek the opportunity to get out into the industry, meet Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and network. In terms of future opportunities, it’s worth far more than a fat paycheck to know key people. It is like gold to any young up-and-coming professional and an icing on the cake for an experienced worker.
Perception is everything. The more people with the perception of how good they think you are, the more will lend you skills, tips, share resources, contacts and promote your abilities.
3. Turn a wall into windows of opportunity. Be adept at spotting opportunities from afar so that you can create a winning opportunity for yourself. Don’t wait around for crumbs to drop on your lap when can get to the bread right in front of you. All you have to do is stretch out your arm, reach and grab the bread. That’s the gift that keeps on giving for your entire career. See what others are too slow to see, do what can add value and produce result. Come up with great ideas, be a people person and be enthusiastic. What will set you apart is how you make a real impact on the business, the more valuable you are to the company, the more opportunities for growth and advancement you’ll have, and the more money you’ll make in the process.
4. Work in the right company. The companies are the best for you to work for depends on what you’re looking for in a potential employer and how you measure success. This is one secret to career success that is undisputable. If you don’t see a company as a possible launch pad for your career there is no reason to remain there. Think about it, what’s the point? It’s advisable to work for a winning company where you’ll have room to advance and where you can be allowed to wear lots of hats. A company may have a business plan that is so compelling that they can succeed despite the overall economic slump or the company may be operating in a rapidly growing niche which is prospering despite a general recession.
How do you find out more about these companies? See About.com on How to Conduct Company Research. It explains how you can find information on most public companies and some private companies. Financial data, annual reports, news articles, information on products and services, and industry trends are all available online. It is advised that when reviewing the listings, be sure to consider what policies these companies have implemented to make them rated the “best.” Keep in mind that many skills are transferable from company to company and between industries as well – you may be qualified for more opportunities than you expect!
5. Have the right attitude and do your work. If you are challenged, engaged, like your job, your colleagues, boss, flexible and with a ‘can do attitude’, you’ll be happier, do good work and be better for it in the long run.
Do great work and don’t run away from challenges. If it’s your belief that you’re entitled to what you didn’t work for, you may get it, but that’s all you’ll get, and it won’t be much in the long run. If, on the other hand, you earn everything you get, are willing to work your back side off to get that promotion, and have the right attitude, the pay will stack up in the long run, guaranteed – provided you work in the right company where hard work is rewarded.
To start with, if you focus on these 5 things instead of a fatter salary, you’ll do far better financially in the long run. What else are the other things worth focusing on than a fatter pay packet? Feel free to share with us.
Thanks, I had my interview last week and I got the job. Your blog gave me such a confidence boost and really helped me to succeed. I have been asked to start work next week. Keep Blogging!