What the….? Really. Surely money is the reason we go to work isn’t it? But there is sense in the statement of Why Money should not be your driving motivator and I’ll explain why.
Before I begin, this post is aimed at and concerning permanent job seekers and not contractors. If you’ve gone contracting you’re clearly good at what you do, but the exact kind of thinking discussed in this post may well explain how you got to be so good at what you do and so if you are a contractor this is still an interesting read.
I want to start with a question to you; do you work to live or live to work? As defined by if you don’t work you can’t live the life you want or that you feel as you spend most of your daily life in work anyway then by default you are living to work.
From my perspective if asked this question I would say that I work to live. This is not because I define working to live as the more positive ideology, but because it enables the lifestyle that I want. By working I gain money from both my time and from the results that I produce. The more time I put in and the better the results I generate, the more I earn. Although my industry is effectively commission and bonus based, many other occupations offer overtime giving those willing to put the time and effort in the chance to be able to gain financially.
But of course, the base salary or hourly rate that you are earning dictates how much extra you could be making from that bonus, commission or overtime and therefore it seems obvious to increase that base figure. From a cause and effect standpoint this makes perfect sense, but if you really want to improve your financial earning potential you need to think more dynamically.
For example, I will interview many people daily for a broad variety of different job roles and without fail at least one or two from each interview session will give their number one aspiration from their next career move as to earn more money. Yet there is an interesting pattern that I find when comparing the people earning more money to those who want to earn more money.
All of the people who earn more money in permanent roles do not give their core aspirations for their next career as to earn more money. Sure, they’ll want more, but that’s not why they are looking.
Typical aspirations from the people who really are earning well tend to concern ambition, career progression, training and development, taking on more responsibility, testing themselves and yearning to get stuck into doing something on a day to day basis that they love executing. And this isn’t because they can now command those salaries, so money isn’t a priority anymore, it was never their priority in the first place. They just wanted to be the best that they can be. They desired to be more, do more and better themselves. The thinking throughout their career is and has been a stark contrast from those whose first priority is earning more money.
There is no such thing as a quick win in the slow game of a career.
This, in my mind, highlights the difference between people who really do earn well and are destined to earn well and those who don’t. You need to think and play the long game. If you make short term decisions about trying to get an extra 50p per hour you’re going about it all wrong.
Nobody likes to be told that their career aspirations are incorrect and considering myself a consummate professional I tend to be very diplomatic and respectful if asked about this in a one on one conversation with a candidate. Yet I am dumbfounded at some candidates’ groundless expectations that their employer should give them a regular pay rise and when they change employer that they should by default get a higher basic salary or hourly rate. Those same candidates fail to examine this situation from the perspective of the employer and can be seemingly ignorant of any counter argument that the employer gives them.
To explain the employer’s perspective, let’s consider why an employee may be eligible for a pay rise in the first place. An employee is paid to do a job and if following training that they can do a better or more difficult job then a pay rise can be understood and justified. However, the type of training that would increase an individual’s skillset enough to warrant a pay rise does not come cheap to the employer. If that employer feels that a particular individual once trained would simply expect more money or move to whoever pays them more money what sense would it make to put them through the training in the first place? The same people that I find who want more money as their first priority tend to be quite vocal and obvious to their employer and still wonder why they are not getting trained and invested in. If you want training so that you can get more money at least use your loaf in your manner of obtaining it.
Staying on the theme of the employer’s perspective, they have a business to run and costs to consider. If an employee’s skillset is rare and valuable to the business, then you’ll need to pay them more money than someone who has a lower skillset and who can therefore be replaced relatively easily. If you find yourself being that employee that has an easily replaced skillset the wisest thing to do is to seek training to better your skillset and not just expect a regular pay rise. Everyone at some point in their career, predictably at the beginning, has had a low skillset. Whether they train in employment, college or university, there is a wealth of routes to gain a skillset.
To conclude and to answer Why Money should not be your driving motivator, you will be paid more the better the skillset, expertise and experience that you possess. Therefore, if you want to earn more money play the long game and understand that your career moves should always be to increase your skillset in the things that will justify an employer paying you more money. I mentioned in the second paragraph about contractors; they gained a skillset early in their career that has given them the expertise to earn well. It is the pursuit of skillset, experience and expertise that you should seek in your career moves and not money itself if you actually want to earn more.
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External Links: https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/rated-britains-best-and-happiest-11901238
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