What are you worth to an employer?
A young unemployed person approached me to enquire if I would offer them a job. I asked them how much they expected to be paid. $50,000 per year was the response.
I paused for a moment to picture $50,000 sitting in my bank account. I noticed my 10-year-old car through the office window and reflected on the car I could buy with $50,000. I then pictured myself taking a $50,000 holiday with my family. I imagined the ‘home improvement’ I could build with $50,000 and enhanced lifestyle I could live if I do not employ this person.
Of course, if I didn’t employ this person, I could spend that $50,000 every year on myself; not just for one single year.
In my early days in business, I made the mistake of too readily employing people. I am paying for it now as I often didn’t get much of a ‘return on my investment’. I should have saved some of those wages and invested them in my own future.
This post will focus on how employer’s see your request for a job. My next blog will focus on the job searcher and look at how to find that elusive employment role and convince an employer to ‘buy’ you.
There are a few ‘rules’ to apply to understand employment from the employer’s perspective. You must learn these so you can ‘sell’ yourself to your future boss; who you should view as your career partner!
1. WII FM – I noticed this acronym in a book on selling way back in the 1980s and use it as my Golden Thread through every aspect of business and life. Most people are self-focused and so view everything that confronts them with the question, “What’s In It For Me” (hence WII FM). Therefore, everything you present to others should be structured in terms of what’s in it for them. So in your sales pitch to an employer, don’t structure it around what you will get from it, but instead structure your proposal around what it is in it for them. You can secretly fantasise about the benefits for you, but keep it to yourself.
2. Leading on from point 1 is the need to clearly outline what it is that the employer will gain from employing you. Be careful to not make it a ‘hard sell’. Don’t develop your approach from watching television programmes in which desperate people try to convince wealthy egotistical business people to accept their ideas or themselves. That is not the ‘real world’. Use a ‘soft’ approach. If you confront an aggressive employer who embraces the hard sell concept, avoid them as they will ‘use you and spit you out’; and probably make your employment experience miserable. Always do your homework on employers and only work for compassionate, honest and credible employers.
3. The key things that employers want is a good return on the money they spend on employing you; i.e. will your efforts make them about 3 or more times the amount they spend on you? So, subtly inform them how you will make money for them.
4. The second most common thing employers need is ‘time’. If they could do everything themselves, they would. However, as the business grows, they need others to help them. Show them how you can free up time for them to focus on the more important things.
5. Very few business people are experts in everything, so they need to employ people who can fill the gaps in their own expertise. Discover if the business is lacking any expertise and see if you can fill that gap.
My next post will focus on how to find that elusive job and how to make ‘you’ an attractive ‘package’ to employ.