What happens when you put in extra hours and extra effort? Does it eventually lead to a raise? No. Does it eventually lead to a promotion? No. According to a report by USA Today, the average annual raise an employee can expect to receive is 3% at best, and that’s not really a raise when you consider inflation. A report by Forbes also indicates that employees who stay at the same job for more than two years are likely to earn 50% less over their lifetime. Long long ago, employers convinced us to be loyal to them. They told us that if we worked hard and put in extra effort they would make it up to us by providing us with benefits, raises, and promotions, but history and data analysis show that that hasn’t come to fruition. This is why when at work, you should only do just enough to get by. Don’t misinterpret this to mean that you should become careless or lazy. You should always put your best foot forward, but you should never scurry to put both feet in front of each other. That’s the mentality of those who choose to work harder with zero benefit. Why? Because your hard work will not be rewarded, and lets face it, we go to work for one reason and one reason only: to pay our bills. You can not continue to allow employers to manipulate you into thinking that giving them extras and freebies is somehow going to benefit you, because it’s not. There used to be a time when an employer would ask you to work a few extra hours on occasion, but now it’s become mandatory. As a result, the Millennials were turned into a generation of latchkey kids who were raised on MTV and babysat by television and video games, while mom and dad slaved away for “the man” putting in extra hours and missing out on the precious moments of their children’s young lives. Do we really want to continue this social norm? Is this really the new normal? One thing that’s important to understand about “doing just enough to get by,” is that it’s not about being spiteful. It’s not about being anti-team player. It’s about gaining self-respect, and beyond self-respect it’s about playing the game the way the game is meant to be played. In this day and age, you don’t achieve success in your career by being the last guy/girl standing. You succeed by being the first one to the finish line, and the finish line is the front door you will be walking through on your way out as you leave one job for another. Your goal as an employee should be to gain new experiences as quickly as possible at each job you have. Those experiences should build upon your previous experiences. Once your experiences at your job become one and the same, it’s time to move on. This timeframe is generally 2-5 years, depending on your circumstances. In addition, you should be building your career the way an entrepreneur builds their business. You should be keeping a public account of your experiences (website portfolio) and you should be a relentless marketer and self-promoter. These are the new rules of the workforce. Either get with the program or get left behind to do somebody’s busy work.
December 06, 2014