Get rich working for the man! Before you think I am crazy, think about it. You work 40-60 hours a week, why not make it pay! You went to a good college and you received your MBA from a top 25 school. You should be able to be successful, shouldn’t you? Are you on your way to millions? Why not?
Should you work more hours? What does it take to be successful? It certainly is not more hours. When I worked in industry, I came in early and worked late. Not all the time, but a sixty (60) hour week was normal. If all it took was to put in hours, one of the people who worked for me should be president by now. It is much more than hours, it is accomplishments. It is teamwork, solutions, problem solving and effectiveness. It doesn’t hurt if they like you either.
Let’s start at the beginning. You graduated college and worked for a couple years as a staff person. You perform reasonably and received good reviews, but you want more. You either take two (2) years to get your MBA or do it part time. You receive your degree and find a new position appropriate for the new degree. Where do you see yourself in ten (10) years? Are you a vice president with stock options and a fat bonus? If not, why not?
I am not suggesting that you stay in a corporate job, if you are not successful. I am suggesting that you find a role that you are successful and reap the rewards. I know of several people, young and old who had less and are very successful. The key to success is finding something you love as your career. If you love what you are doing, you will be good at it. Either you have the skills or you will learn the skills to be good at it. Crazy, I know, but if you don’t like what you are doing, you should quit!
So you love your job and you are good at, now what? The people in charge need to recognize your accomplishments in order to get promoted. It starts with social skills! Social skills are the skills we have to get along with other people. Little things like smiling, positive attitude, confidence, manners, teamwork, empathy, enthusiasm, good work ethic and conflict resolution to name just a few. A good team player can be a leader!
Having passion for your career is a good start, but you need to have the skills and knowledge to do the work. Formal or informal training is very important. What do you need college and an MBA degree? In some industries, it is a requirement and yet others it may not matter. If your ideal role is an electrical engineer, you definitely need a college degree versus a movie director which requires a different skill set. Certain managerial roles with an educated workforce may need an MBA as well.
You have all your education completed, acquired the skills and knowledge, what is next? You need to start accumulating the experience to make that next step. In other words you are proving to your bosses that you can do that next job well. When an opportunity opens, you will be considered. How do you show your boss that you are ready? You do all your assigned tasks well and look for opportunities to show you can do the next job well too. Are you the one your boss thinks of to take over when someone is on vacation?
How do you figure out what to do? Ask questions of the people who are there. They will tell you what they did to get there or find a mentor. A mentor is an influential sponsor or supporter to help you move to the next job or level. A mentor acts as a counselor or adviser that provides you valuable information. It is still up to you, but it helps. You have to look for opportunities to prove yourself, it is not enough to just have the right degree, graduate from the right school or have the skills to do the job. Your boss wants you to prove you can do the job.
You can make millions of dollars working for someone else! There are executives of public companies that are doing it and you don’t have to be CEO. You can be there in your thirties and you don’t even have to sell your soul. Sure you can start your own business, but that requires an investment and mostly likely more work. Look for opportunities to show your skills and you should be rewarded. If you are not appreciated at your current company for your skills, you can always quit! Get rich at your day job!
Photo by: Enokson