Unconventional Workshop 17
Eventually, Find Achievement
1) Foster curiosity
2) Initiate activity
3) Gain relevant information
4) Discover possibilities
6) Commit to a project
7) Create ideas
8) Realize ideas
9) Test ideas, find success or failure
10) Use failure as a platform for new and better ideas
11) Repeat part or all of the process
12) Eventually, find achievement
Bonus – Ultimately, gain some level of mastery
As human beings, we have the potential to become experts. As experts, we have the potential to greatly benefit the human kind.
Within the Unconventional Experts individual work-process, moving in a positive direction does not necessarily define achievement. Even though failing can be positive, when used as a platform for new and better ideas, it is not in itself an achievement. Within a work environment, finding achievement means to create results that are financially tangible. These results, in one way or another, allow an organization to save money or make money. Achievement is a return on investment and the investment is a paid worker.
Understanding the value of one’s achievements as seen by their employer is very important. It’s okay to have an emotional connection to one’s careers, however, within the employment market, the bottom line is purely financial. Some positions have a more obvious connection to company financials than others. An assembler who builds an industrial grinder from scratch will provide a company with an easy calculation for a very general and limited cost analysis. The cost of materials plus the cost of labor will equal the cost of the grinder. If the company sells the grinder for five times its cost, the assembler might feel that he or she is being taken advantage of. Surely, a 50% increase in compensation wouldn’t put a dent in that profit margin. To the company, the assembler is hired at a compensation range that will fall within the prevailing wages for that occupation. It might be higher than average, it might be lower than average, but will most probably be within a generally accepted range. This compensation range is not artificially derived, it is connected to candidate availability within the candidate market and existing wages within the employment market. Before someone is even hired for the position, the base pay, estimated overtime, employee related taxes, employee related insurances, training, travel, supplies, space, and all benefits will be added together, to determine approximate labor costs for the assembly. If part or all of healthcare coverage is included within the benefits package, this will add a significant cost. To a company, employee related costs are only one category of many costs, all required to conducting business. These may include costs related to the facility, equipment, supplies, product parts, service, sales channel, logistics, packaging, shipping, research and development, customer acquisition, taxes, interest on loans, insurance, safety and more. For a more accurate cost of each Industrial Grinder, the company would need to calculate all of these costs into the cost of everything the sell. At the end of the fiscal year, their tax statements will show how much money they made or, in some cases, lost.
For goods and services to be sustainable within a market, pricing needs to be higher than total costs. It is not uncommon for goods and services to sell below cost. Losing money, however, is rarely a good long term business strategy. In most cases, successful goods and services carry prices that fit well into the market. The price is high enough to show a profit and low enough to compete with similar goods and services. In rare cases, where there is little or no competition, pricing can be set to whatever people will pay. In the world of shrewd business strategy, there is no cap on profitability and companies who seek the highest profits possible will live to fight another day. If a company becomes extremely profitable, they will usually reinvest those profits internally for future growth and precious tax deductions. Kicking back profits to additionally compensate employees is an excellent reward for combined achievements that were successful in gaining market share. Most companies do this in the form of bonuses rather than sizeable increases in compensation. With a less profitable year, employees will accept a downsizing of bonuses more easily than a decrease in hourly compensation or salary.
Whether a company is losing money or making a large profit, prevailing wages are fairly stable and employee compensation for each and every occupation stays roughly the same. of course, compensation is expected to increase over time, as inflation increases over time, but there is a surprising amount of stability considering the many fluctuations an economy can experience. Here, we see the risks associated with conducting business versus the risks associated with employment. Companies take the risks, they benefits from the up-sides and they eat all losses. Although, employees can lose their job, their financial burdens do not extend beyond their own household budget. If our assembler is laid off, money is not owed to the parts supplier for the industrial grinders that did not sell.
The relationships between employers and a company and its employees goes both ways. Many employees believe that it is up to their employer to initiate all aspects of the relationship in the give and take that has the employer giving and the employee taking. Unconventional Experts will have two responsibilities within their employment. The first, will be to meet all of the requirements of their position. They agree to the position requirements, they agree to the compensation that follows, they fulfill this agreement. Unconventional experts have a secondary commitment that selfishly benefits themselves; and happens to benefit employers, as a by-product. To be an Unconventional Expert, one must overcome the temptation to to look at work as an hourly, weekly or even yearly event. To get to some level of mastery, there is a commitment to oneself that transcends the politics of employer/employee relationships and even corporate culture.
Having expert-level skills is a primary ingredient in being an expert, however, it is purely internal. Skills mean nothing if they do not lend to accomplishments. Experts are not potential energy and expertise is more than an accumulation of unused skills. Experts have skills that are constantly proven through accomplishments.
If an expert feels that their employer doesn’t deserve the benefits of their expert-level work, they are not on the path to mastery.
Risks in achievement
Within Unconventional Expert work, there can be risks. There can be risks in ideas, as they are tested, with possibility to fail. There are costs to time, when on-the-clock time is committed to work above and beyond the requirements of the position. Whenever doing work above and beyond a position, it is strongly recommended to review the work with company management, to gain approval. Since financial risks fall on the employer, employees needs to make sure there is full disclosure and acceptance. Not necessarily to showcase efforts, but to forward a relationship where there is an opportunity to pursue one’s expert-trek and ultimately, gain some level of mastery.
UnconventionalEXPERTS is a free career resource created by Martin Haslinger.
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