Monday, March 7, 2011

What matters depends on your viewpoint

Previous post had a number of comments. Some asked for more discussion to flesh out the snippets I tossed around.

So salaries do not matter. Money does. Yet, probably more than 95% of the world makes their money via salaries. And this is great if you are getting paid your value and you provide your worth to the company.

But what about the dead wood of your company? Why does that man or woman in sales exist still when all they do is keep messing up? They get a raise? And you don't? Why?

The reality is, if you take care of yourself, you will not get a benefit from your employer every time. Think like a small business and treat your job like one and you should do fine is just not quite the way of reality.

Companies don't care. In fact, one can argue, the reverse happens. Management does not like smarter people under them. The exact reverse of how they should view it. Instead of fearing these people, management should be happier because the smarter people will in turn help the manager get promoted and everyone becomes happier. What happens in reality is the management fears intelligent people, discourages them and their ideas, will trade them to anyone else in the company or just let them go..if they don't leave on their own first.

What happens when the person leaves? The manager gets more money in their budget, not for everyone's bonus, but for their own. Yes, Dilbert's boss lives on everywhere. Companies do not care about you as an employee. How do I know? Because you are not making any more salary than someone did 20 years ago.

In some cases jobs disappeared over time or business morphed into new technologies or merged but in other ways salaries really have not changed a whole lot. Were it not for the minimum wage levels, most people's jobs would be way below what they are paid now. Because they do not provide enough effort or value to the company and the company in turn may not view the role as important.

Call it PR, awareness or just plain bragging, if someone has no idea about what you do every day or why what you do is important, you may find yourself at the end of a "can we have your badge please" discussion.

If a manufacturer or vendor drops a product from their catalog, that isn't your fault. Staying on top of the news or direction coming from that vendor is your fault if you have not been letting your management know your findings. Sometimes this is against our own personal bias, for instance if you supported Symbian, you are now 100% dead. Could you have seen the writing on the wall for the last year or two? Yes, did you? Maybe. Did you tell your boss? Maybe. Did they listen? Doesn't matter, not your fault, but now what?

Do you get up Monday morning and change your ways? No, it's not that simple. Start with a little step, spend 5 or 10 minutes just writing/typing your thoughts and what you want or need. The power of goal setting, in text, writing, visibility or however it helps you has been proven time and time again. Your targets and goals at work mean nothing to you usually and so if you hit them or not makes no difference to you, aside from the job you have which may become precarious.

To think this job is the one you will be doing down the road is just not likely. Be open to change, recognize an opportunity, define yourself better and in turn get better recognition, and hopefully salary, at work or however you earn your money.