I have a friend who likes to push the boundaries with everything he does, especially in the work force. If this guy wants to do something – or better yet CHANGE something – he’s no stranger to standing up and going for it :) And usually he wins.
Why? Because he thinks BIG PICTURE and formulates a killer game plan before every mode of attack. There’s nothing he doesn’t think through, and it ALWAYS works towards the better interest of the company. Which is the point of why we work where we do (and how much we get paid!) because at the end of the day it all goes back to improving your employer. Or else you wouldn’t be there, right?
So instead of mastering only HIS itsy bitsy role at these companies, my friend – let’s call him Jake – takes it a step farther and tries to implement changes/ideas that greatly affect the company overall. Sometimes they nix them, but they *always* listen to what he has to say first. And why wouldn’t they? He’s always trying to help the company as a whole!
So that’s point #1 for today: Think bigger picture and always try and improve the workplace around you. Not all companies have such an open door policy, and all our brains work totally different from each other, but if you’re tired of being in a rut or always wondering why you can’t advance/get that raise/bonus/etc, take a minute and think of a few ways you may be able to grow the company – even if it’s outside your department. Most times the worker bees know a helluva lot more than upper management (have you ever watched Undercover Boss?), so if something’s broken or you see a way to improve the system, voice it! Along with ideas on how to fix things… That part being the most important – no one likes people who bitch and moan without ever giving giving alternatives. That would do you more damage than good.
Point #2 is something else my friend likes to do: Ask for what he wants. Even if it’s crazy/weird/laughable. And he’s got way more balls than me in this department, haha… but again, why shouldn’t you? If you’re gonna spend 40+ hours a week of your life helping out a company, plus or minus 10 hours of commuting on top of it, why NOT at least try and go for the gold? If they say no, they say no. But at least they know you’re a person of action and can keep it all into consideration for the future.
A perfect example of this is when Jake went out to land a brand new job after working for himself after a few years. He had been itching to get into something a bit more stable and un-manager-like (when you work for yourself you’re the CEO/Accountant/Gopher and everything in between!), but he also wanted to keep at least a little freedom so he could still work on some of his passion projects at the same time. And preferably with the new company’s help ;)
So what did he pitch this new company he had his eyes locked on to? A “choose your own adventure” type partnership based on salary and time scales! Haha… This is what it looked like:
- $100,000 Salary –> 100% of time spent on company stuff
- $75,000 Salary –> 75% of time spent on company stuff, 25% time spent on co-owned projects
- $50,000 Salary –> 50% of time spent on company stuff, 50% time spent on co-owned projects
With the hopes they’d choose either #2 or #3 so he could still semi-live his entrepreneur lifestyle without giving up all future profits as well :) And $50,000 was all he needed to really maintain his current lifestyle anyways. Unfortunately they ended up passing on him altogether when all was said and done, haha, but only because they had to hit pause on all hiring for the moment (he thinks they’ll come back in 4-6 months, but we’ll see). They did make a point to let him know that he was one of the most creative, and exciting, candidates for the job though, and apparently they had a blast deciphering between the different options they were presented with ;) So it kinda-sorta worked? (And for the record they were indeed deciding between options #2 and #3!)
The point again, though, is to ASK for what you want. And then go all out to achieve it! Sometimes you get lucky, and other times you don’t, but there’s no way for the other party to KNOW what it is that makes you tick if you don’t bring it up to them in the first place. No matter what it is. So put it all out there when given the opportunity, or better yet go MAKE the opportunity yourself!
At the end of the day the only person looking out for number 1 is number 1 him/herself. If you don’t shoot for the moon, no one’s gonna do it for you. Both in career AND in finances. You’re the only person who knows your situation, so stay on top of it and reach out when you need help! You’ll always go farther when you’re motivated! :)
Anyone else have any interesting or creative stories from the workforce? What was the last thing YOU did to improve the company you work for?
(Photo by jayneandd – who makes me now wanna go out and grow a mustache!)