Do You need A Pay Raise?
I've spent much of my business life self-employed. I was thinking about why I made the switch long ago and while there are several reasons, one in particular came to the front.
Pay in general and pay raises in particular.
When I got out of the service I was married and felt a responsibility to have a job and be a good provider. Both my parents had been civil servants and it was my duty to have a stable secure income. I worked in the tech industry and it was anything but stable. Layoffs were commonplace.
I'll never forget my first pay raise. The boss called me in and after heaping effusive praise on my work and extra effort, he told me he was giving me the maximum pay raise possible.
My smile soon turned upside down when I found out the maximum was 2.5%. Well below inflation at the time, so I was losing ground. When I questioned it he said that I was worth more but that was the max, sorry.
Did I mention the company had just had a record year revenue and profit wise. There went the extra time I was putting in. I wasn't the only one, quite a few good people left soon after getting the maximum pay raise.
I soon found another job, better pay at first but not much different at pay raise time.
Not long after I got divorced and no longer felt an obligation suck it up for the sake of family..
A few years later, I was was hired by a national company to help launch a new interactive product. By now I'd figured out that sales was my ticket to higher income. My first year I set record, they had to bring in people from other offices just to install the new business.
At the end of the year I got my base salary reduced, my territory reduced and lost commissions on any add on business I sold. The reason, they had no idea that someone would sell that much and that I made too much money. Even though I was a huge profit generator, I made too much money. That was a negative pay raise, punishment for excelling. I quit on the spot.
Next, example. I was coaching for an organization helping their clients to succeed and saving disgruntled accounts. I get a call from the guy newly in charge of sales. Mind you he didn't answer my calls and I had to schedule an appointment to speak with him, no matter how briefly. He felt free to just call me though. I knew what was up, sales had been slow (his responsibility). He starts out by saying and I quote "you don't really need the money do you?"
I was out of the country at the time so I took a 70% pay cut until I got back and then gave notice that I was terminating my contract. First, slow sales was his responsibility, 2nd he wasn't taking a pay cut, 3rd I would have gladly taken a temporary cut to help out, however the part about me not needing the money chapped my hide.
Fortunately I still had my own coaching and consulting business and wasn't dependent on the money from them.
While I didn't "need" the money, neither did the owner for that matter, that was none of his business and one of the core tenets the company espoused was to get paid for creating value, not because you needed the money. Big disconnect.
I have other examples and too many to count that I've heard from others. The point of this is that when have your own business you can get paid what you're worth, not what someone thinks they can get away with.
Even if you sometimes do coaching on a contract basis for someone else, if you aren't treated right you can say goodbye if you have your own income coming in.
The news is full of Google employees and other techies making $300k to $500k per year writing code, with 7 figure stock options and such, but are you one?
If you are, maybe this isn't for you but I doubt that you, the person reading this right now is making that type of income. Even if you are, can you work from anywhere on the planet? Do you have the stress of deadlines, quarterly revenue projections, etc.
I seriously encourage you to think about an online based business. The freedom is rejuvenating and you can start while still employed doing a little leg work on products, websites and other things. An hour a day is plenty at first, at least until you start bringing in money.
It has changed my life and the lives of many of my clients forever, it can change yours too.