Do you remember showing up for the first day of your first “real” job?
This job was the job you felt proud of including on your resume. Recognize that it took someone, or a group of someones, deciding to take a risk on hiring you. Most likely you had little or no applicable experience. No one, you included, truly knew whether or not you were going to be successful and help the organization grow and improve. For some period of time, you got paid for the work that you were GOING to do, not the work you did.
Reflecting on your resume, this first job led to your NBJ (next better job). Either by being promoted or by taking an external opportunity with a new organization, you could now bring some tangible value to your job but you were still in pursuit of mastery. Again, to a great degree, you got paid for work you were GOING to do.
Fast forwarding brings us to a fork in your career.
One path continues with opportunities that push you beyond your comfort zone, where you get paid for what you're going to do, and the other path introduces you to opportunities to get paid for what you have done. The “getting paid for what you have done” positions look and feel similar to jobs that you had in the past. Perhaps the only major difference would be the name on your pay stub.
Both opportunities carry their own sets of risk. For roles that push you beyond your comfort zone, you're taking a chance that you'll be able to get up to speed and deliver value before your lack of efficiency becomes a risk. Additionally, there's the very real Peter Principle to consider, by which you'll eventually be promoted to a position of incompetence. Maybe these risks make choosing the other path look more attractive. Before you make this decision though, consider the following...
Why would you consider taking a job to get paid for what you have done?
On the surface it makes sense, especially if it means better benefits or compensation. You have developed a level of mastery that you can apply to a new role with a high degree of efficiency. Apparent risk is low, while potential return on investment is high. The reality is that if you continue to execute in the new role at the same level as you did when you first got promoted to this level, this is a great strategy. However, for many people this is not the case.
Many people begin to develop a sense of entitlement as it pertains to their employment. They start to expect that they should be paid “X” because of who they are and what they have done….not for what they will do. When this starts to become their mentality, it's the beginning of the end with respect to the development of their career. Execution, efficiency and impact all suffer and everyone notices….except for the person in the position.
As you consider your next great opportunity, perhaps take minute to evaluate if you feel it would make sense to continue to push beyond your comfort zone and take a position that will pay you for what you will do or if makes sense to continue to deliver mastery in a position similar to the one you are in now.
Keep in mind, it's your work that shows up at work and not you.
You are owed nothing, no matter what you did or who you are. Good luck and remember to smile once in awhile!
Written by: Austin Meyermann, Founder and President of Hunter Crown, LLC
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