Reality #3: Guiding and advising you during new tasks and projects takes time, and time is money.
This series arose after an experience I had with a fellow YP – or young professional - that I think we all could benefit from discussing: the quintessential young professional value of being paid for output and not input has replaced the value of “pay your dues,” which was embraced by prior generations. Check out Part 1 for the back story. A few years ago, I was a YP expressing my desire to be paid for output and not input, and my boss's response is the best I have ever heard regarding this topic.
She said, “You are a high performer, but it takes a lot of input for you to create your output! As a young professional, you want and need much more time, feedback, direction, and encouragement than a more experienced worker because you’re still learning so much.” She got me. I love feedback (like most Young Professionals do). I needed my one-on-ones and closer guidance because so many of my projects were new to me. Yeah, they turned out well, but was it 100% because of my hard work, or did her guidance and support along the way help me to succeed? If I stepped back and took an honest, humble look at my work, my work was valuable just as much because of her input as mine.
Think about how much time has been spent discussing your work and your growth with your manager. If people in your organization translated the hours they have spent on your development and training to dollars, you, like me, would have a pretty large invoice to pay! Additionally, the time she spent working on my projects with me was time she wasn’t spending on her own deliverables. The reality is that my boss hired me to take care of those projects so that she wouldn’t have to spend her time and energy on them.
This principle can be understood globally like this: The more supervision, monitoring, and input that a particular job requires, the lower the salary range is going to be, because the investment of time for that person and task is going to be greater. In fact, this is a lesson that feedback-starved young professionals need to know: the higher up you go in an organization, the less feedback and direction you will receive (especially positive feedback). That’s because as you get promoted, leaders count on you to work without close supervision, monitoring, and input. Hence, the higher salary for that position. Make sense?
So there you go! While it can be a tough pill to swallow, accepting these 3 Workplace Compensation Realities will help you to better understand and navigate the world of work (for more tough realities, read 3 Reasons Why Millennials Are Getting Fired). I know for me, since accepting these principles, I’ve been able to grow, achieve greater success, and even get a few promotions along the way.
We want to hear from you! Share your IRL workplace questions in the comments.