What are you worth?

Dec. 1, 2019

Columnist Lenny Saucier speaks to the techs in your shop. Strive for greatness!

For months I have had my attention on the big bad business owner. I have focused on the way you should train, love, and share to make your employees better so they can make your life that much better. I hope you have done so; I hope you have turned to the end of the magazine where they parked me and thought about what you want out of your shop. I hope you have had meetings and personally touched someone in your ranks and made a difference. After all, it’s not about changing oil, its about changing people.

Allow me to turn my attention to the biggest liability on the books and the biggest asset in your life. Let me talk to your employees. Go ahead, share the magazine with them. I promise that I’ll be good. Because you have stepped up, now it’s time for them to as well.

Let’s level

Are they gone yet? Your boss… Did he give you the article and walk away? I have been working on him for the past few months trying to get him to treat you right. I think it’s working. But now it’s our turn to talk. Your manager, owner, boss—they want you to do great. No one wants to hire someone and watch them be stagnant over their career. 

So, we must start with one mindset. Play to your worth!

Let’s talk about some phrases commonly used before someone walks. “I am not going to do (insert career skill) if he doesn’t pay me more to do it.”

This is like a waitress saying, “I will give good customer service when my customers start tipping well.”

It doesn’t add up. You get paid for the job you were hired for, we know this. But you will either get paid more for doing a job outside of your box, or you will take in a more important benefit. Learning something and doing something you did not do before.

During a recent interview, I was asked about my job duties. When I explained that I took on the task of video editing because of an issue with a client, I was told that, “I shouldn’t have taken on that job and they should have paid the money to get someone else to do it,” or that it’s not my job to do this. Sound familiar? The truth is that this client paid me to learn a skill I had not had before (and paid for the software to do it).

If I leave the client, I keep this skill. My worth to this client and all other clients has now increased because I refused to limit myself to the paycheck written at the end of the week. And when the time comes, we will settle that debt with multiples. 

Leveling Up

Take the job, learn the skill on their dime. The life experiences you get when an employer has you do jobs above your pay grade are going to be compensated time and time again throughout your future. You can’t pay a college professor to give you on hands understanding of management, inventory and customer service.

Consider this, you take a task and you excel at it. You may get a pat on the back at first. You keep on accepting jobs and learning how to do new skills and you may get a bonus or a raise. One day your boss is going to look at you and realize that they can’t afford for you to walk out. Not that you are good at changing oil, but you have created a worth beyond a ticket average. This is when things start to pick up for you. And if you decide they have not compensated you enough, you can walk and take all those skills with you to another team that will. You will never lose those skills paid for by your employer.

Be honest with yourself as well. If you keep leaving companies because they don’t pay you what you are worth, consider the common denominator. Swallow your pride and look at your brand from other’s view. If your friends are telling you you’re great and everyone else is wrong, get new friends. If you are looking to grow, surround yourself with those who you wish to reach, not who are keeping you in place.

Let’s talk over the next few months. I want to see you in management and ownership soon. There is no such thing as a lucky promotion. Look at yourself in a realistic manner, understand that your limits are not set by anyone else but you. Let’s work on this and move to new heights in your personal and professional development. Until then… Be Great!

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