school dropouts are 63 times more likely to be
incarcerated than college graduates.
Source: A 2009 Northeastern University study
You’re unemployed and
applying for a job you really want.
Because it’s a new
position with a new company, the compensation package isn’t
etched in stone.
The company owner is a self-made
billionaire, and can afford to pay whatever he needs to pay to
fill the position.
How much would you ask for if you
could write your own ticket?
Most people answer “As much
as I can get!” While that’s not always a bad thing, it could be
a fatal mistake.
There are three problems with asking
for more money when you’re in a position like this:
1. Ask for too much, and they may find someone
else who’s equally, or better qualified than you, but willing to
work for less.
2. Even if they agree to
pay you more, you may make yourself so expensive that you limit
yourself on future promotions and opportunities.
3. When times get tough, employees who make the
most are the first ones top management looks at cutting.
(Regardless of whether you think that’s "fair", it’s an economic
The secret to coming out on top in a
situation like this is to ask yourself one crucial question –
“What’s my long term game plan?”
Decide if it’s just a
stepping stone to tide you over until you find another job, or
if it’s a company you can see yourself staying with for years.
It’s short-term vs. long-term thinking.
If it’s a
company you plan on staying with, the amount of opportunity you
have to get promoted and grow is as important as starting
When I graduated college with a degree in
management at age 21, my first job was as a management trainee
with Cintas, the uniform company.
The starting pay wasn’t
as high as with other companies, but they had a fast-track
management training program that guaranteed an 8% raise every
six months for the first two years, and the chance to climb the
ladder as far as your ambition and work ethic would take you
Of course at 21, all I was concerned about
was starting pay. As the old Loverboy song went, I was “Working
for the Weekend”. I wasn’t concerned about what I’d be doing two
years later when I’d be an old guy at 23.
had a roommate from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, who was wiser and
more mature than I was.
He was an Aerospace Engineering
major who took a job with much higher pay, but that plateaued
almost immediately. He pointed out that the training program and
compensation package with Cintas was designed to groom people
who wanted to climb the corporate ladder fast, and how much he
wished there was a company that offered a program like that in
I took the job, and it turned out to be the
best experience of my professional life.
looking for a new job, memorize the following and tell it to the
Name), I will be the most dependable, hardest working, most
ambitious employee you’ve ever hired. I’ll never stop learning
and improving, so that I can be the best I can be. I don’t just
solve problems, I prevent them. I take initiative to do what
needs doing without being told to do it. I understand how
to serve my customers, serve my company, and get along with my
team members. I’m low-maintenance and high-energy. If I give
110% every day, where would you see me in 5 years?”
You’ll get more job offers and have more doors opened for
you than you can count.
To Your Success,
YES, the text in the red paragraph is
copyrighted material. You have permission to use it on two
1. You Pay It Forward by making a donation to
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in my name when you
get your new job or promotion.
2. You share your success
story with us and allow it to be used in a future book, article,
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