If your name is John Smith, guess who your real employer is? You work for John Smith. Even as an employee of another company, you’re actually in business for yourself and your family. And the power this perspective provides you is limitless!
Considering yourself as “self-employed” allows you to examine your career in a new and effective light. While you work for someone else, you’re essentially also the boss of your own business. Your main responsibility is selling your time or work for profit and benefits.
Embracing this mindset frees you from giving away your power.
Ultimately, you’re responsible for your career progression and salary. Most people believe that these items are largely out of their hands and subject to the whims of others. Let’s look at some of the ways this destructive myth works.
Take your boss, for example. The person that you may think of as your boss is really just one of your customers. He’s hired you for a certain amount of work or time each week in exchange for your services.
When you quit a position, you’re really just telling that boss that you’re not keeping him as a client and they need to find another supplier.
When looking at your career like a business, ask yourself these questions:
• How is your return on your investment? Is the rate of return increasing at an acceptable rate?
• Are you making suitable investments for training?
• How is morale?
• How does the competition look? Are you providing better service?
• Are you charging a fair price for what you’re providing? Are you overcharging?
• How does the market look? Is the future bright?
Likewise, you can break down your examination of your “business” into the following categories:
1. Marketing / Sales. Are the right people seeing what you have to offer? Are others besides your employer aware of you? Do you have any other job offers to consider? Do you have contacts outside of your current employer who might be interested in your services?
2. Finance. Are you satisfied with your salary? What about your benefits package? Is your salary growing at an acceptable rate? How are your retirement prospects?
3. Training. Are you getting the training you need to maintain your position? Are you getting the education or instruction you need to advance? What training do you need?
4. Safety. How’s your health? Are you getting enough sleep? Is your weight at a healthy level? What kinds of stress are part of or produced by your work life? Do you deal with a lot of jetlag?
5. Human Resources. How well do you get along with your boss? How do you feel about your job and company? Are you content? Are you excited? Is the amount of vacation time sufficient for your needs?
Assessing your career like a business brings all the power back to you. If you believe you’re at the mercy of your employer, you’re not! If you work for someone else, you are a “company” of one employee with one customer. Be sure that single customer is meeting your needs in a satisfactory fashion.