Having been a payer and a payee, I can claim without hesitation that a significant portion of our compensation is “unearned”. Here is why.
There are 260 days in a work year. Deducting two weeks for vacation and excluding overtime, we need to account for 2,000 hours of “work”. Most employees are hired because the hiring manage is filling a box with someone who needs to fulfill the duties outlined in the job description associated with that box. Unfortunately, most of that time is unproductive or non-essential.
Regardless of which box on the organizational chart we peak into, every job has that moment of impact when the individual’s pay is earned. For example, commercial airline pilots are viewed by some with distain, over how much they get paid and how little they work. By law, pilots can’t fly for more than 1,000 hours a year (about half the hours of an average wage earner) and on average they made ~$125,000 in 2009, or about $125 per hour. If you have been on a plane, you know when that pilot earns every penny of that compensation……the split second those tires hit the runway.
All those other hours involved with safety checks, paperwork, inspections are important, but frankly administrative in nature or dependent on others.
- What is your point of impact? Are you and the person writing the check clear on when you earn your keep? For most of us there should be more than one point of impact, given 2,000 hours of opportunity. Make sure your boss knows your point of impact.
- Increase your flash points. Advancement and job longevity comes to those who deliver their earning moments repeatedly. Sift through the work clutter and eliminate non-value added activity, delegate non-critical tasks, and focus on where you make a difference. Keep adding high impact tasks to your portfolio of deliverables.
- Embrace DIRTFT. For everything you do and most importantly the point of impact tasks, make sure you Do It Right The First Time. You can only land a plane safely one way.