In the midst of today’s rapid career changes, the work environment has changed drastically – especially within the last year.
How to Prepare for a Career Transition
When I initially joined The Complex Sale in 1998, it was the first job I’d ever had that didn’t pay me a salary. I’ve learned that with this arrangement I can work as hard as I choose to in order to meet the personal and professional goals I’ve established. If my goal is to make a high income — and with the college and wedding-related expenses of three daughters, I’ve been pretty motivated — then I’ll put in the time and effort to achieve these goals. On the other hand, when I reach the point where I want to spend more time on my other projects (with Crossroads Career Network, writing my book or something else), I have the flexibility to make these personal choices, and I’ll be satisfied to earn less money. That’s the liberating part of this type of arrangement.
It was hard to make this career transition at first because I had, for so many years, become accustomed to a steady, predictable paycheck that was directly deposited into my checking account every two weeks, no matter what. What I’ve learned about myself in the last few years is that this “highly leveraged” role (i.e, no salary) suits me extraordinarily well because I don’t feel the sense of duty of a salaried position driving me to workaholic tendencies. I’ve said to Devonie on more than one occasion, “If my employer is going to pay me well to do this job, I want them to get their money’s worth.” It’s the way God built me, for better or for worse. A no-salary career position takes that dynamic out of the equation.
Applying a ‘Me, Inc. Approach
How can you take more control with a “Me, Inc.” approach? It doesn’t mean you have to leave the employer you’re currently with. You may want to continue full-time with one employer. It does mean, however, that you take more ownership for the valuable asset you represent to your current employer or others. Your gifts and talents are not an accident, and your career shouldn’t be accidental either.
This “Me, Inc” model won’t suit everyone. It requires a person to sell him/herself more than some are comfortable with doing. And it requires a shift in your mindset.