Yesterday, I read a post at my social networking site by a person who hopes to one day own her own business. Her post shared her anger and disappointment at receiving a raise at her job of twenty-six cents, covering her past 24 months of service. I related to her situation since similar things happened to me from time to time when I was working for someone else.
My first thoughts were purely emotional. How dare someone treat her that way?! Who do they think they are? Then I remembered that a lousy raise does not lessen her value as a person, nor does it mean that she doesn't deserve more. What it does point out is that she has options. Here is some of the advice I shared with her.
A Job Is A Job
It is good to have a job, but at the end of the day, a job is a job. It is temporary, lasting only as long as the employer has a need for you — a human being — to perform the tasks you were hired to perform, and as long as s/he is able to pay you. If you miss work, you don't get paid. If your pay check bounces, you don't go to work until you get paid (I hope!!). The employer/employee relationship is completely dependent on things you do not control.
I am not knocking jobs. Receiving a payment for an honest day of work is an honorable thing. But not all employers behave honorably. When that happens, there is an unacceptable imbalance of power.
I don't know your situation. Maybe you got a small raise because you were already over-paid. Maybe 100% of your medical benefits are covered (a very big deal these days). Maybe you also get a commission. Maybe not. Maybe you are doing the work of 3 people for the salary of one person. Only you know the details.
You Have Options.
No matter what you are paid at your job, the bottom line is that you have options. You can keep working where you are and do nothing else, or you can keep working where you are and figure out new ways to supplement your income so you can transition to business ownership, and then to entrepreneurship.
I know these options may seem unfair, but it is what it is.
You have options. I don't know the details of your particular options because I don't know the details of your particular circumstances. Whatever they are, they may make your options more attractive or less attractive. But you do have options, and your future boils down to whether or not you will exercise them.
Your Value Has Nothing To Do With Your Salary
Don't let your boss cause you to think that your salary has anything to do with your worth. It does not. Your salary is simply the dollar value your employer places on the job s/he has hired you to do. It has nothing to do with you personally.
Your personal value is far beyond gold. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were created in the image of the Creator. Your worth has nothing to do with a pay check and everything to do with who you were created to be and the talents and gifts you alone were given. How will you use them to serve others as you provide for yourself?
When I confronted myself with these questions years ago, I decided not to surrender control of my future to someone else. I decided I was in the best position to determine how to use my talents and gifts to change my little corner of the world. I began to create a business of my own on the side. Seven years later, after much back and forth, I quit my full-time job for the last time. Today, I own and manage a profitable business that serves people all over the world.
Whatever situation you find yourself in today, remember that you have options. The only question is whether or not you will exercise them.
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Question: What are your options? How will you exercise them?