Managing Your Career - Here's the scoop.
Whenever I speak at a business function, the number one question is, 'How do I make the big bucks?' Why not? Everyone wants to make big money. Life is much easier when you are making lots of money. However, how many people are willing to do what it takes to make this amount of money? Actually, very few. There are a variety of reasons for this. Mostly, they missed their opportunities when they were young. Although it is never too late to upgrade your level of education, the time to do this is when you are young. You have more time when you do not have the responsibilities of a family or other expenses.
However, society has evolved to the point that time on your hands is a luxury, not a way of life. The cost of living, education, and other factors have sucked up your time. Online degrees take time and dedication. Anything you do from home is much different than in an established environment. At home, it is easy to become sidetracked and not focus on the task at hand. In this post, I will discuss what managing your career means.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE?:
Like everything else in life, managing your career is a step-by-step process. Meaning you must have a plan along with some time frame. Your time frame cannot be written in stone because advancement in your career relies on other factors. Factors such as timing and opportunity. However, working for a company that DOES NOT follow the 'good ole' boy' mentality is the most challenging task to overcome. I've worked for corporate companies where if you are not in the 'good ole' boy club,' advancement will be difficult.
The good ole boy club is not only made up of men who discriminate against women. It also means men against men. Oh yes, the good ole boys club is real and exists. Check out this article from 2022 in Forbes Magazine. (1) Always remember, when you go for an interview, you are also interviewing the company. Don't be afraid to ask questions during your interview. Ask about advancement, benefits, and anything else you are concerned about. Remember that you are there because you had a good resume' that got you there.
Making the big bucks is more than just being liked. So let's see what your plan is. Here are some things you must consider to make the big bucks.
CHOOSING YOUR CAREER - do you know what you want to do?
EDUCATION - did you take the time to get a higher level of education in your field of interest?
DUES - are you willing to pay your dues. Meaning starting at entry level and working your way up.
ATTITUDE - do you have the right mindset for your chosen career path?
EXPERIENCE - have you achieved some level of experience in the field of your choice?
NETWORKING - are you willing to network with others? This takes a great deal of time.
RESEARCH - Have you researched the companies that can offer you what you want?
Although each bullet point is crucial to your success, ATTITUDE holds the most weight. Rember the A.C.T. accroynum. A - Attitude, C -Changes, T- Things. Does attitude apply in business? (2) It certainly does. Making the big bucks is more than just doing a good job. It is also about having the right attitude. So many things look good and should work when you write them down. In a perfect world, they will. However, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world of reality. In the real world, other factors come into play. Factors that will greatly depend on your attitude.
THE REAL WORLD:
Let's take the gloves off now. You may think that because you were top in your class, you do the best job at work and are better than others you work with, you should get the promotions. However, do not. Why is that? In the business world, I had to learn this the HARD WAY. It was a discouraging and painful process, yet, it holds true in most cases.
Think about any party or gathering you went to. Isn't there always one or two people that receive the attention of others? The life of the party? Yes. Each and every time. In most cases, they are not the brightest bulbs on the tree at your company, yet, they make the big bucks. Why? They have the right attitude. This applies especially in sales.
In the real world, like it or not, the fact is, the higher you climb on the management scale, the less work you have to do. So although the responsibilities are more significant, you have to do less work. Why is that? Because your boss, and their boss, made sure the people under them made them LOOK GOOD. That's right. Your attitude should be one where you look good to your boss, and by doing the best you can and having the proper mindset, you make your boss look good.
Everyone wants to look good. Entry-level management people work harder and have to make far more sacrifices than those above them. Think about that and apply it to your possible situation. You will find it's true. If this bothers you, then you do not have the right attitude. You will never advance. People like, and are drawn to, friendly and outgoing people, at work and socially. That is the real world.
Be that person that has a positive attitude. Takes on tasks that others do not want. If you see where you can make things better or more efficient, devise a plan and present it. Not every idea you come up with will be embraced or implemented. Still, it shows your willingness, desire, and interest in your work. Trust me when I say as you climb that ladder of success, these are the types of people you will want under you. People that will make you look good.
No one likes a crybaby or complainer. It drags everyone down. You must constantly adjust, improve, reform, grow, evolve, adapt, and embrace change. All in a positive manner.
Coming from the business world and the field of public service, I can't tell you how often I would have to sleep in my office or be on call during a storm or other critical situation. Things in my life were second to work. Your attitude will set the pace when you have people who also have to make those sacrifices. Set the example for others to follow.
Every industry is different and some may require extra commitment. However, the basic concept never changes. You make these sacrifices, so those above you do not have to. If you want to get ahead, these are your choices.
It is often not whether you are more intelligent than the next person or do your job better than the other person. Instead, how you present your attitude towards your job may matter.
LEADER OR FOLLOWER:
In any jog, your attitude matters. It will set you apart from being a leader or a follower. You can be the person who says, this stinks. Why are we doing this? I don't want to do it. They drag everyone down. Trust, at work, people talk. That message will get to your boss. Or, you can be the one who says, I know this may not be the easiest task, but let's do it together and get it done. Which message is more powerful and positive?
Social interactions are as important as what happens at work. There may be times you have to attend a company event, seminar, or another type of event. BE POSITIVE. They usually stink and you'd rather be home or doing anything else. HOWEVER, BE THERE AND HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. This is your opportunity to mingle, network with the right people, and get to know others. This is where you get to shine. It's an opportunity you do not want to miss. As I stated earlier, our plan looks good on paper, but then comes the real world.
Only deserving people do not always reap the rewards. Your career path is similar to being a politician. You need to know which wheels need to be greased. If anyone ever tells you differently, they are not being honest. With that said, yes, some companies promote based on merit. However, they are few and far between and even rare regarding the top paying positions. Isn't that what you want, to make the big bucks?
All of this depends on what your aspirations are. Many individuals are content with making a fair wage and enjoying their time off. However, to get from that point, let's call it Point A to Point C, you must make the sacrifices required in Point B. That, my friends, is your personal decision. Let me give you a real-life example. I have a friend that did very well in his career. However, unlike most, he saved it as he made more money. He didn't spend every raise on new car or a bigger house. His plan was simple. Why spend so much more on a bigger house. When the kids grow up, he would only downsize anyway.
Of course, he bought vehicles when needed but never spent all his wage increases. He invested them. Now that is a rare individual because, for most, the more we make, the more we spend. As this true story goes, he retired at 55 with over a million dollars in net worth. His house, which was the first house he bought, had been paid off for years, which during that time, he purchased a vacation home which was also paid off.
That is a fairy tale. The American Dream. One that very few ever obtain. He did. It was all about his attitude and his goal. He did well in business, was always positive, knew his goals, and reached them. There is a success story. While working, he never reached what you might call 'the big bucks.' However, in the end, he turned it into big bucks.
Whether you work for others or own your own business. You want to be a leader, not a follower. The leader sets the pace, the followers follow along.
The choice of what you choose to be is yours. However, making the big bucks requires the proper attitude, being a leader, making sacrifices, and, most important, NEVER FORGETTING WHERE YOU CAME FROM. Where you were is what made you who and what you are today. Forgetting those values and experiences will not make you a good leader who chooses the right people who work with them.
This is why so many great businesses handed down to the children failed and eventually went out of business. Either the children forgot where they came from or never had to sacrifice to make it what it was. Those that did usually go on to be successful.
So now you have a plan. A career goal and most of the tools you need to be successful. The rest is up to you. No one can do this for you. Only you can do this for yourself. If you are married, it also takes support from your significant other. Remember, every time you sacrifice something, your family is sacrificing as well. Never forget that. When you are a single person, you can make choices much easier because you are the only one affected by your choice. When you have a partner, your choices affect both of you. Discuss them. Be sure you both can handle them. Make that part of your career path. Success in your personal life is equally as important as success in your business life. Winning at one and losing at the other is not a successful picture.
Another thing to keep in mind is this. When looking at the larger picture, your significant other may also have career goals. Those goals are just as important to them as yours are to you. Therefore, you each must be supportive of the other.
This all may sound complicated, but it really isn't. With anything in life, to be successful requires commitment, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to sacrifice and work hard for what you want to achieve. You will succeed if you do those things and follow the right plan.
However, there is one factor that comes into play. That factor is LUCK. Some of the things we achieve in life are a matter of luck. The right timing. Being in the right place at the right time. You have little control over that aspect. The best you can do is to be ready for it. I hope you found this post helpful.
Please feel free to subscribe to my blog and tell your friends about my blog. We NEVER share your email address and NEVER sell our email list. I will NEVER do anything that comprises your email address, and your email address is all you need to subscribe. Never miss a post. Subscribe to my blog. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or Vimeo. Thank you.
(1) Forbes Magazine
(2) Leader's Cut
Remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
Check out my new private investigator series coming soon.
VIDEO PRODUCTION WORK:
We produce video book trailers, business ads, and speaker introductions.
You can subscribe to receive an email notification when a blog is posted, and never
miss a post by clicking this link. SUBSCRIBE. We do not share or sell your email.