If you are really focused on expanding your capabilities, your salary is probably a secondary motivation when it comes to employment. Your major motivation is going to be your learning and growth opportunities. The graph below shows how learning opportunities change over time. At the beginning of any job, you will have many opportunities to learn because everything is new. This section is marked by the green zone. Every day will involve new experiences and learning new things. As time goes on, this tends to level out, as shown by the yellow zone. Sometimes the yellow zone is only temporary and you will be given new responsibilities that will have new learning opportunities--you'll … [Read more...] about What Is Your Current Work Zone?
A while back Jason Calacanis made a list of things to save money in a startup. One of his points was to fire people who aren't workaholics. David from 37 Signals responded with a post saying that you should fire the people who are workaholics. Since then Jason has changed his position, but the idea of how much time you should expect employees to dedicate to their work is thought provoking. Both of these posts are worth reading--even if you have no intention of starting a business yourself. Behind the work you do is a problem that needs solved. Your work solves this problem. Your paycheck reflects that somewhere in the value chain, someone is willing to pay for your ability to solve … [Read more...] about Fire (or keep) the Workaholics
I see many people working a normal job with the idea that if they work hard they will be rewarded for their good service. That isn't the way it works. Your employer owes you nothing. It doesn't matter how long you've worked at the job or how loyal you've been. In the end, your years of service aren't going to turn into some valuable investment that you can cash in. Just the other day, a friend of mine was let go (along with all the other employees) at a business where he had been working for the past several years. The sad part is that, he had several offers over the past few months for jobs that he really wanted to take, but he decided to stay out of loyalty to his current … [Read more...] about Your Employer Owes You Nothing
On April Fools day, I made a post about working all 40 hours of your work week at once and then having the rest of the week off. In the post where we discussed working from home, I mentioned that one way to reduce your commute is to work a shorter work week. Before I go any further, let me address all the people who are poised to send me vicious hate mail saying things like "What type of world do you live in?!" or "My boss would never let me do this!" Please recognize that this won't work for everyone--I know that. However, it is a good thing to keep in mind throughout your career because there may be a point where it would work for you. Okay. Now that that is out of the way … [Read more...] about 4 Day Workweek 3 Day Weekend
I see a lot of people who become overly dependent upon their job. This isn't surprising and it's very easy to do--particularly with highly motivated performance oriented individuals. However, if your entire identity, self-worth and financial resources are tied up in your job, you are setting yourself up for catastrophe. I'm not saying you shouldn't be proud of your work or enjoy your job, but I am saying that you shouldn't let yourself get blinded to all these economic realities. No matter how good you think you are, you can be replaced. This is true now more than ever. In fact, if you are an extremely high performer and are being paid commensurate with your capabilities, your salary … [Read more...] about Don’t Depend on Your Job
The best time to look for a job is when you don't need one. That probably sounds counter intuitive, but let me explain. When you need a job, you are in the worst bargaining position possible. Anytime you put yourself in a position where you can't walk away from a deal--or where it is hard to walk away--you lose your advantage in negotiating. I found out about a job opportunity that would have been the perfect fit for a friend of mine. I told him about it, but he didn't want to apply because he was happy with his current job. This is they way most people think. If I like my job, why should I go to the trouble of getting my resume ready and talking to someone else? What most people … [Read more...] about Best Time to Look for a Job
Right now the US is trying to figure out how to jump start the economy. Most of the proposals involve sending people money from the government or temporarily lowering taxes. The idea on sending everyone a "rebate" goes like this: When people have extra money they spend more, when people spend more businesses have to hire more workers. When more people have jobs, the earn money and in turn have more money to spend. So the idea is to "prime the pump" and get the cycle started. The idea of lowering taxes follows the same thinking, but there has been some talk of lowering corporate taxes. The idea here is that if businesses are charged a lower tax rate, investors will be more willing to … [Read more...] about How to Jump Start an Economy?
Congratulations to Legal Andrew on completing the bar exam. In this post he asks about advice for a new professional. Below are my thoughts. If you have any further suggestions for Andrew, please add them to the comments here or on his original post. 1. Live Beneath Your Means Your first year as a wage earner will really set the tone for how you spend money. Making a conscious decision to live below your means establishes a habit that will give you flexibility in the future. If you can afford a $1200 apartment, look for ones in the $800 range. When I started out after college, I tried to live on 20% of my income. Later on this gave me a great deal of flexibility that allowed me to … [Read more...] about Advice for a New Professional