What You Really Get Paid For
If you're in sales, you may think that you get paid for getting those contracts signed. The truth is, that's the fun part, like the closing for a real-estate agent. The fun of handing over the pen to sign the big deal is what you do for free. What you really get paid for is something else.
I am rereading this book called Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life. Highly recommended! Author Patty Azzarello shares the scoop on what it takes to make it to the top of the corporate food chain. Not that I want to do that, personally speaking, but I am terribly curious. Haven't you wondered how Mr. X or Ms. Big made it to the executive suite? Especially when you see they're not any brighter than you are? (You do learn the answer to this in her book.) Of course I also want learn how to meet those people and I want them to work with Mixonian Institute! In this book, Patty shares the idea of what you really get paid for.
If you're thinking what you get paid for is hard work, you get partial credit. However, farm workers who harvest tobacco probably work harder than you do (try working outside in eastern NC in August). They work extremely hard under challenging conditions. They do not make very much money.
The example Ms. Azzarello gives relates to the pilot of an executive jet. When the executive and pilot are flying over some amazing scenery the executive makes a comment like this: "So, Mr. Pilot, this is what I pay you for? To enjoy beautiful scenery from 5000 feet up in the air?" And Mr. Pilot responds, "Actually, Mr. Executive, what you pay me for is to maintain the plane, fix it when necessary, make and cancel hotel reservations, carry your luggage and vacuum off the dog hair. That's what you pay me for. Watching the scenery I do for free." Touche'.
The teacher doesn't get paid to help the slow-but-motivated student catch up with the rest of his class. That she does for free. What she gets paid for is to deal with the dozens of students who are not taught to listen or cannot sit still, who need more time outside but there isn't time, to talk to parents who think their kid's an Einstein and to work through massive paperwork. That's what they get paid for.
A physician doesn't get the big bucks because she delivers a healthy baby from a healthy mother. It's not for a successful surgery. It's the delivery of the bad news to the patient, the surgery that didn't work, the patient who didn't get well no matter what, searching for remedies to mysterious symptoms and helping patients who take no personal responsibility for their own health, the tedious hours spent in continuing education, that's what brings in the top dollars.
Work done is not the same thing as value added. What do you really get paid for?