I hear a lot of people really promoting raising the National minimum wage. While I do think that helping people create a better standard of living is crucial, a blanket approach to solving the issue of poverty might not be the best route to take. I’m not saying that I have society’s answer to the problem. However, I DO have the answer to the problem of not making enough money, on an individual level. In other words, there is one thing in particular that YOU can do to make more than minimum wage, other than demanding a raise from your boss.
Consider this question for a minute. “How much would you pay a company to do something that ANY company could do?” Not very much, right? This is why a job like lawn mowing isn’t very lucrative. Anyone can mow a lawn. All they need is a lawnmower, two legs, and arms. That’s about it. Furthermore, you COULD technically mow your own lawn. You don’t necessarily need to be trained to do that task. Even if you had never mowed a lawn before, you could figure it out pretty easily.
Now consider this question. Think of it from an employer’s standpoint. “How much would you pay a person to do something that ANYONE could do?”
The answer is roughly the same. Employers are not willing to pay you more than you are worth. If a company can hire someone to do the exact same work as you, then why would they give you a raise? For being there a while? Tenure? Seniority? These words have less and less meaning these days. People get laid off all of the time and replaced with people who will work for less. Not less than the job is worth, but less than a ‘tenured’ person expects to be earning.
Here’s what you can do to get money flowing in without asking for a raise.
1. Know your job better than anyone in your company.
2. Know your supervisor’s job.
3. Know your direct reports’ jobs.
4. Know your customers better than anyone else.
5. Know your company’s positioning better than the marketing manager.
6. Be the best sales person in your company.
7. Have the best customer retention in your company.
8. Know how all of the systems and processes work together in your company.
9. Know how to interview people for every position.
10. Know how to train people for every position.
So, there you have it. You are now irreplaceable. The company will value so much that they will be afraid to lose you. If you DO in fact get laid off, you can go start your own company since you know how everything works anyway. Best case scenario, you’ll be paid what you’re worth. Worst case scenario, you can start your own company and make way more than just working for someone else (if you do it right).
At Fire Inc (Atlanta, GA) we not only train our employees in all aspects of their job, but their supervisor’s job, and eventually the manager’s job. We actually WANT our people to develop into management and bite off as much of our business as they can chew. To see what that’s like, click here.