This weekend a good friend said “I wish there was a little more Melo in me” during the course of a wide ranging discussion of the NBA off season. And you know what? I think he’s on to something.
A few months back the same friend sent me a link to an article on what it means to be a “serial under-earner”. The two are connected I think, because while it’s safe to say many of us want a great purpose in our lives and in the work we do, we ALSO want to be rewarded for it.
The default setting it seems for the “serial under-earner” is to seek out purpose. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that, it just tends to crowd out the potential to be rewarded in accordance with that person’s contributions. (There, I said it)
That’s why it’s time to “put a little more Melo” in your life!
Carmelo Anthony (Melo), an NBA superstar, has never been one to shy away from asking/demanding (and getting) max contracts. From some points of view it could be argued that he’s overpaid given the results his teams have produced, but you can’t argue with what he’s accomplished as an individual.
This off season his free agency courtship was second only to that of Lebron James! He wasn’t afraid to shop himself around to bring about the best possible scenario for him and his family. Even when compared to the mega salaries of his NBA peers, he isn’t a “serial under-earner” by any stretch of the imagination.
My point is that if you’re a “serial under-earner”, odds are pretty good you’ve got little to no “Melo” in you. Adding a little bit won’t make you greedy, keep you from being a team player, or take you away from your purpose driven career.
Besides, being a “serial under-earner” is unsustainable in the long term. Wouldn’t you be able to do more of what you love if you could make a long career out of doing it??? Here are 3 ways you can start to make that happen:
1. Don’t over commit
You may see yourself in your organization for the long term, but odds are very good that your organization will not reciprocate. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Layoffs, budget cuts, reorganizations are all par for the course. The only way to prepare is to assess your career prospects on a consistent basis. Is your organization in a good financial position? Is there potential for you to grow with the company? Are you ready to take advantage of a great opportunity?
2. Keep your finger on the “job search” button
Don’t be a job hopper – just don’t, but whatever you do, don’t shut yourself off from opportunities outside your organization! Keep an eye on the job market for positions similar to yours. Pay attention to the skills required, the experience sought, and the salaries being offered to those in your field. Even if you’re not “technically looking” for a new job, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable when/if the time comes to have a conversation about your career prospects!
3. Be a pro’s pro in your field
Carmelo Anthony puts the basketball in the basket like nobody’s business. Metaphorically speaking, can you say the same for yourself at work? If not, how can you command the “highest market value”, or even be considered for it? If you know what the very best in your field are doing then you can strive to attain the same level of education and experience. Why not go for it?!!! You may be thinking, “nah, I’m not that lucky”.
You may even be thinking “no way, I’m about as happy as I can be” and that’s fine. Is it really a bad thing, however, to be prepared when an opportunity arises? Do you want to be scrambling to find out what you’re worth at the last minute, leaving your next great career move to chance?
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
Do yourself a favor. Be ready.
Photo credit: By Keith Allison (Flickr: Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons