Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I wish I had known :: Lesson 7 :: It's NOT ALL About The Money, Honey

In all careers there will be times when we are asked to take on additional tasks, projects, assignments, or maybe even move to a location to start an office. If your reaction to a request to do something more is, "How much more will I earn?" or " How much more will you pay me?" then, let me tell you here and now, the chances are that, these opportunities will die as fast as a fish out of water.

It's The Opportunity !!

Opportunities to do something different at work, don't all come your way by chance or because you are lucky (take what you read in the weekly horoscope and throw it out of the window).  Opportunities come your way because someone, somewhere, in your organization, thinks you have the capability to take on more, or they believe that it is worth taking a risk with you.  That is an honour.  Asking "How much more will I earn?" is quite an insult to the person who wants to give you this opportunity to learn, grow,  and add value. 

If you prove yourself, you will not only get the rewards that are due to you, but will also establish yourself as someone who is worth taking a risk with. 

Do Your Best, The Money Will Follow

I'll be honest with you, I never really asked for a specific raise or compensation amount.  This was because I trusted my company to pay me what they thought was just, and that they would, in all fairness, pay me based on the value I brought to the table.  I was more worried about the ratings I got (increment %s are a by product).  I was known as someone who was always ready to do something new, out of the way, experimental. And I got these opportunities by the ton.

Image from
And I stayed with the company for 17 years.  Was my compensation at market median?  No, of course not.  I knew this for a long time before I decided to move.  But I got so much more value from the roles than just the money.  And, I was a little scared to move.

When I finally did move, I needed help to negotiate my salary.  I just did not know how to do it. Even then, after I joined the new company I realised that I was well below the median pay.  I worked hard.  I got promoted.  I got great ratings and increments.  But, lo and behold! I was earning less than some of my subordinates.  So one year, I courageously went up to my supervisor and shared with him my concern, along with my thoughts on how I added far more value to the company than my subordinates. My supervisor agreed and I did get a nice bump in salary.

Its Hard To Put a Number To People and Learning

 Image from TOI 
I have even made a move for a lower salary.  WHAT????? I hear you all say in your minds.  And I say, Yes. I have.  "Pray why?".  Well, I got the opportunity to work with people I liked, in a role that leveraged my business acumen and expertise in training and talent development. I was going to look at businesses from another angle, work with entrepreneurs, and a whole host of things. 

There was a plan for a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.  But I slipped between the cup and the lip.  And recovered from that slip.  Not because I negotiated hard.  But because someone believed that I would add much more value than what I cost to the company.  And I did; add more value, much more.

There is a Bottom-Line

I'm not saying, don't negotiate to get paid more.  I'm saying that there is much more to working than the money we are paid.  We need to see, feel, live the much more.

For, Everything Can Not Be Converted To Rupees & Paise; Dollars and Cents

No comments:

Post a Comment