You don’t get to decide the hike, dummy!

If you’re employed somewhere, you need to pick up tangible skills that are valuable for both your existing and the next employer. Emphasis on “tangible” because that’s the part almost everyone misses but still would like to have a 30% hike. Which is annoying because:

  1. They’ve no freaking clue how the market and employer’s demands have changed over the past years — it’s not just about meeting the job specifications. In my opinion, meeting the job specs qualifies you to apply for the job. What else can you bring to the table? That’s the question. And just so you know, “your experience”, “explosure“, “communication skills”, “people skills” don’t matter as much as you think. In fact, they’re all passe. Everyone’s got it and they aren’t great points anymore.
  2. Everyone wants a 30% hike but they don’t have a clue why they deserve it. And if you dare to ask this question they would rattle off a list of cliches you’ve heard a hundred thousand times over! What makes it so hard to understand that being “valuable” doesn’t mean a list of skills or keywords but something beyond the superficial? Beats me!
  3. Most folks that apply for a position have rarely invested a penny from their own pockets to upgrade their skills. I’m big on this. Why? Because employers across the world are turning to e-learning, as if it’s the magic solution, to save on costs and encourage “just-in-time-learning.” That leaves employees to look for their own solutions to upskill themselves. And here’s the pathetic part — they may have worked for their current employer for like 5-8 years but have never cared to enroll into one course they would upgrade their skills or addon more that’s beneficial for them to escalate their careers. Not even one!

Yet everyone is so sure about the hike they would like to receive! I know sounds like a pet peeve right now, it might as well be one because the expectations don’t match up with the reality.

And this is as much the employer’s fault as it is the employee’s. Companies have made it super-difficult for employees to opt for external courses as it requires them to have criteria or worse — prepare a business case that first needs to be approved by their immediate supervisor. Beats the purpose since if the supervisors were bright enough they would recommend the team members themselves!

E-learning solutions aren’t the be-all and end-all of self-paced learning. Sometimes classroom-style learning and/or coaching interventions are needed to supercharge the level of performance.

On way to future proof, yourself is by preparing for it. Which doesn’t just mean knowing what is going on but doing what’s going on. Being a world-class employee requires you to play at a higher level than the others. It means you will spend an inordinate amount of time learning and developing yourself at your own cost and time. It also means you won’t live by the clock but by your professional imperatives, which includes learning about the aspects that will keep you ahead of the curve as well.

If you are that person, I would love to give a hike because I clearly see the value (visionary thinking, leadership, creativity, and expertise) you’re bringing to the table. On the other hand, if all you’ve been doing for the past 5-8 years is sit at your workstation and cleared off your tasks list while maintaining a perfect work-life balance… I’m not sure if there’s an organization that would reward complacency.

Unless they’re desperate. And as a world-class employee, you want to be a deliberate choice. That only happens when you’ve been deliberate about developing yourself.

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