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Getting Ahead

Getting Ahead



Thoughts on getting ahead, specifically in your career and earnings. This is the blunt, direct advice I give employees one-on-one, and what I'm sharing with my kids as they head off to college.

Thoughts on getting ahead, specifically in your career and earnings. This is the blunt, direct advice I give employees one-on-one, and what I'm sharing with my kids as they head off to college.



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  • http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2010/09/study-says-$75,000-can-buy-happiness.html
  • http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/School-Janitors-Can-Earn-More-Teachers-120023614.html

Getting Ahead Getting Ahead Presentation Transcript

  • GETTINGAHEADBOB PRITCHETT http://bobpritchett.com
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT?Money? Fame? Power? Purpose? Happiness?It is easier to get ahead when you know what you want
  • MONEY CAN BUYHAPPINESS!But only to $75,000 / yearSome more money helps with life’s problemsLots more money creates new problems • “When prosperity increases, those who consume it increase. So its owner gains nothing, except to see his wealth before it is spent.” – Ecclesiates 5:11 (LEB)
  • DEFINE YOURSUCCESSTips: • Who you are and what you do aren‟t the same thing • Your character matters more than your job function • Outward orientation beats inward orientation • Do for others, not yourself • Doing beats being • Write, don‟t „be a writer‟ • Giving beats having • Aim to contribute, not accumulate • Money, fame, and power are corrupting goals • But they often accumulate as side-effects of better goals
  • REMEMBERSuccess is getting what you want.Happiness is wanting what you get.-- Dale Carnegie (and many others)
  • ALWAYS TURN TOGOAL• Every move you make should be a turn towards your goal• When possible, move directly• If you can‟t move directly to your goal, take the move closest to the goal
  • KEEP MOVINGThe space between here and your goal is not filled with time • People have gotten ahead faster than you • Very little happens on its ownThe space between here and your goal is filled with changes • Between here and your goal things must change • Increase the rate of change to arrive at your goal sooner
  • DESPISE COMFORTGet comfortable with being uncomfortable • Ignorance and incompetence are descriptive terms for a temporary state, not character failings • People who are learning and growing are by definition ignorant and incompetent • When you acquire knowledge and competence, seek another level of ignorance and incompetence • If you are comfortable now you aren‟t moving ahead
  • DISTINGUISHYOURSELFServing time and paying dues aren’t worth much • The value of a diploma is roughly equivalent to that of a “limited warranty” on a refrigerator • 20,000 high school valedictorians each year • 323,000 living alumni of Harvard University • 53% of all college graduates under/unemployed • Job titles are interesting in inverse proportion to the number of holders • If you sit in a room full of people with the same job title, you had might as well replace your name plate with a bar code
  • DOINGDISTINGUISHESLabels (diplomas, certifications, titles, etc.) are commodities • It wouldn‟t be a recognizable label if it weren‟t common • Limited usefulness; a form of warranty for basic competence or experience • Most are awarded for little more than attendanceDistinct and useful activity isn’t easily labeled • Do stuff that you couldn‟t represent by checking a box on a form
  • EVERYTHING ISRELATIVEYou don’t have to do something different from everyone inthe world, just different from everyone in your currentposition
  • ASK QUESTIONSAsk anyone who can help you achieve your goalAsk anyone who has already achieved your goals
  • WHAT TO ASKDirect questions • What do I have to do to make more money? • What do I have to do to be promoted to this position? • Is there anything I am doing that is holding me back?Rapport-building questions • How did you get to this position? • What do you like best about your job? • What‟s the most important lesson you‟ve learned along the way? • What is the hardest thing about your job?
  • INCREASE YOURVISIBILITYFamiliarity bias advances people • People prefer people they are familiar with • Even simple exposure increases familiarityDoing things increases visibility • “The one who did that thing” is promoted before “the one in the fourth cubicle from the back”Asking questions increases visibility • People remember people they have a conversation with • People are flattered to be asked questions • People like people who flatter themSimple availability increases opportunity
  • CONFRONT FEARFear is the fence that bounds our success • You must decide if your fence is big enough • You can choose to expand your fenceEveryone is afraid • Fear causes us to consider risks • It is healthy to consider risksGetting ahead involves risk and setbacks • Don‟t risk what you can‟t afford to lose • Do risk everything that isn‟t part of your goalEvery decision is a risk • Inaction is a decision, and as risky as any action
  • GET ON THE RIGHTBUSOnly ride a bus that takes you closer to your goal • Join organizations with opportunities aligned with your goal • Get out of an organization where you don‟t see the next step forwardRide safe buses • You should feel safe asking how to advance • You should feel safe asking for feedback • You should feel safe making a mistake • You should feel that your boss wants to see you succeed • If not, get off the bus – you are wasting time
  • MAKING MOREMONEYYou -- not your mom, boss, professor, or the president of theUnited States -- are the only person involved in determininghow much money you make • In a market economy wages are set by supply and demand • You have monopoly control over the supply of your laborOwn the responsibility for your wages
  • PAY IS INFORMATIONWhat a job pays is information about the supply of peoplewho can do the job and the demand for the job to be done • Air Traffic Controllers: $108,000 / year • Not everyone has the training, or can handle the complexity • The job is stressful and difficult • Hand Laborers and Material Movers: $22,000 / year • Almost anyone can do it, many people will • Hazardous Materials Removal: $37,000 / year • Almost anyone can do it, fewer people want to • Fine Art Landscape Painter: $0 / year • Requires training, unique skills, can be done by few people • Approximately zero positions need to be filled
  • CUSTODIANS ANDTEACHERSFirst-year New York City school teachers without graduatedegrees make about $45,000 a year. The minimum pay for afirst-year custodial engineer is almost $80,000 a year.“On what theory do custodians get paid more than seniorteachers? It’s outrageous,” said former New York CitySchools Chancellor Harold Levy. • It‟s supply and demand
  • MONEY IS ONLY PARTOF PAYCompensation includes intangible benefits • Location • Safety • Job security • Autonomy • Purpose • CommunityDetermine what you value and what it is worth in money
  • FACE THE FACTSThe default annual raise for any position is zero • Your employer was willing to pay x to have this job done • Unless something changes in the overall market, there‟s no reason to expect the job will be worth more than x next year • Employers want to make more money, too, and reducing, not increasing, the cost of labor is one way to do thatEveryone is paid for the value they add • You are always in competition with everyone in the world who can add the same value for the same, or less, cost • Time in a seat adds very little value to the performance of most jobs
  • CAN YOU AFFORDTHIS JOB?Learn the range of pay for the position you haveWould you be happy to make the top of this range? • If so, ask about what‟s required to move to the top • If the answer is “only time”, change jobs • Otherwise, start doing what‟s required to move up • If not, change jobs
  • PLAN FOR THEFUTUREWould you be happy to never make more than the top payavailable for the job you have now? • If so, congratulations! You have arrived • If not, identify the next job you want to pursue • Most likely involves knowledge or skills you do not yet have • Most likely involves doing something you don‟t presently do • Jobs others don‟t, won‟t, or can‟t do pay more • You are more likely to succeed if you enjoy it
  • STEP ONETurn off your television • You can‟t think when it is on • It fills the time you need to get ahead
  • START SAVINGSave something – anything – starting now • Savings give you time • Savings create opportunities • Savings prevent a job from holding you hostage
  • KEEP LEARNINGThe sum of human knowledge is available to you at no cost • For the first time ever in history • An unprecedented opportunityGet online and research your next success • Use free online classes and training videos • Don‟t just read blogs, email the bloggers • Every online writer wants to know someone read their stuff • Find a community of people doing what you want to do
  • DON’T ENROLL YETDon’t pay to learn what you can learn for free • Paying for more education is not the first step to a better job • The cost (or debt) of education can even set you back • If a job requires a diploma or certification, seek that after exhausting all the free education you can on the subject • Your diploma will take less time, effort, inconvenience, and likely less cost if you have studied ahead • You will get more from formal education if you have prepared with informal education
  • START DOING YOURNEXT JOB NOWYou don’t need anyone’s permission • Do it as a volunteer • Do it for a blog • Do it to build a portfolio • Do it as practice • Do it for your resumeYou are more likely to be hired to do something you havealready done than to do something you might be able to do • Prove you have done the job to get the job
  • STEP UP OR SHUT UPThe employer’s point of view • We agreed that I‟d pay you x if you did y • Not much has changed since yesterday • There may be small increases over time • Experience makes you incrementally more valuable • There are transaction costs in replacing you • Only a significant change in the market, or your contribution, warrants a significant change in payThe market point of view • If you aren‟t doing something different than the people around you, don‟t expect to be paid differently
  • IT IS OKAY TO BEHAPPYAmbition is a treadmillThere isn’t a right or wrong job or pay rate in and of itselfOwn your responsibility for yourself • To make money • To provide for your family • To honor God in your work • To be happyYou can choose to make more moneyYou can choose to be content with the money you make
  • EMBRACE FREEDOMWe have more actual freedom and opportunity than anygeneration in the history of the world • There is no excuse for feeling trapped by circumstances • Choose to live the freedom you are blessed to have
  • WANT MORE?Follow me on Twitter @BobPritchettRead my blogJoin my mailing list at http://firesomeonetoday.com • I‟ll mail you if I turn this into something longerRead my book • 5 stars at Amazon.com • Free chapter and summaries onlinehttp://about.me/bobpritchett