By Shannon Bradford,
What makes for a rich career? It is
more than just the salary and benefits. A rich career is one that suits
your talents and provides an opportunity to make a meaningful
contribution, as well as one that provides the right compensation.
A rich career is one with a rich return on investment. What is career ROI?
It is more than a paycheck and healthcare benefits. Your career ROI is the
entire package of what you receive in return for the investment of your
energy, time, and talent in a career and an organization.
Career ROI can include monetary compensation and the typical benefits
It can also include less tangible, indirect benefits, such as the
opportunity to be involved in a professional association, credibility,
status, and the reputation of the organization you work for -- just to
name a few. Career ROI is also unique to you: what you consider a return
on your investment may not be important to the person who works across the
hall or across the country.
To determine your own unique career ROI, identify what you receive from
your current career, in addition to your salary and other standard
benefits. Once you have determined your current career ROI, think about
what elements would make up the ideal career ROI for you. Think outside
the standard HR benefits package.
Now that you know both your current ROI and your desired ROI, compare the
How large is the gap?
If your current ROI doesn't add up, does it mean that you need to look for a new job or career? Not
necessarily. Once you identify elements of your ideal ROI, one option is
to approach your current organization about making some changes.
Not all ROI changes require your employer to invest money to implement.
For example, perhaps your ideal return on investment includes the
opportunity to volunteer a few days a month for a nonprofit organization
that you are passionate about.
Unless you are in a position where your
employer would need to pay someone else to do your job during those days,
this benefit wouldn't be a significant cost.
In fact, it could bring value back to the employer, by enhancing their
image in the community. If your employer isn't willing or able to make
changes to match your desired ROI, you may decide it is time to start
looking for a new opportunity.
Before you go searching for a bigger
paycheck, take time to identify your career ROI. Then, if you decide it is
time to look for a new job, you will know when you find the right
opportunity for you.
Shannon Bradford is a writer and coach, teaching people how to master
their brains to succeed in their careers and businesses. She is the author
of Brain Power and 15-Minute Career Change. Learn more about it by
© 2005 Shannon Bradford