Who on earth would ever want a ‘job’?
At Scaral we would define a ‘job’ as the completion of a set number of tasks during a set period of time and usually our presence is required in a set location, so we can be supervised. These strict terms are agreed in exchange for a set amount of money. It’s no accident that our pay is called ‘compensation’. A ‘job’ is what we do because someone else tells us it has to be done. Whether you are a factory worker or a banker, put like that it doesn’t sound enjoyable.
We inherited our education system from the Victorians who understandably built it in order to efficiently feed industrial growth. Even today, a centralised educational body chooses arbitrary study topics and bookends our children's learning with standardised, time restricted tests. We then reward those kids who are able to regurgitate information within the framework of a set number of tasks, during a set time period in a set location, so they can be supervised. Sound familiar? Written like that I’m not sure whose benefit the school system is for…
As young adults we’re then let loose onto the job market, armed with our exam results to demonstrate our usefulness. We quickly realise that strong exam results don’t necessarily translate into practical ability. Something else we learn is that the problem with a ‘job’ is there is always someone else can do it as well as you, or possibly better and usually for less money. That’s why we have so little influence over what we get paid, the employer has all the power.
If we want to take back some of that power we need to rise above the idea of a ‘job’ and focus instead on our ‘role’, but to do that we need to have the confidence to do two things:
1) Recognise that the reason we add value to our ‘job’ is because we bring ourselves to work. It is here that the ‘job’ evolves into our ‘role’.
2) Find the courage to use that recognition as leverage to increase our compensation. Our ‘job’ remains a set of tasks. Our ‘role’ is our value.
There are practical ways to achieve the first part: regular comparisons against accurate job descriptions (JDs) and evidential records of what we achieve. This is basic stuff but important.
The second part is much harder because it requires a difficult conversation. Confrontation is not something we naturally feel comfortable with, but it’s a key part of asking for a pay rise. Master the art of the difficult conversation in 2020 and you can open up the opportunities you have already created for yourself.