Expecting your employer to give you more money for doing the same quantity and quality of work is a bit like sitting in front of a cold fireplace and demanding, “Give me heat!” Obviously, you must first put fuel in the fireplace before you can expect to get any warmth. Yet too often, many of us take the same type of dysfunctional attitude toward our jobs.
Contribution versus compensation
Increased contribution must come first; increased compensation will then come as a result of and in proportion to the service you’re rendering to your employer, the quality you put into your work and the extent to which you help you team workers to succeed. In other words, increasing your value is the cause, and increased compensation is the effect.
While you may not go into your boss’ office, pound on the desk and demand more dinero, make sure you don’t fall into this trap: Some people, because they’re not getting paid any more, don’t do any more. They don’t ask for more responsibility, they stop growing and learning and do just enough to get by. They rationalize that the company and its leadership don’t care about them, so why should they care about the company? They tend drift into cynicism or apathy, punching the clock, maintaining the status quo and simply following orders. Is it any wonder they’re still “cold?”
So how can you add fuel to the fireplace of your career?
- Brainstorm new ideas to help grow the business, solve problems, improve processes or save the company money.
- Offer to manage new projects within your department or business unit.
- Take classes or attend seminars or webinars in topical areas that are of strategic value to your organization.
- Make sure that your boss knows what other skills and capabilities you have, in addition to those the company is already using.
- Monitor key industry trends and share important findings with your boss, using tools like Google Alerts.
My new book, Up Your Impact, contains 52 ways you can “bring on the heat” – adding value to your work and setting in motion forces that will help you to increase your compensation.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t just sit there shivering in the cold of a moribund career. It’s time to add some fuel to the fire!