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  • Writer's pictureModern Techonomics

Work to Learn, Then to Earn

This article was originally titled "A Career Decade Wasted." It was going to be about how I spent over decade in a career that I got no value from. But that's not true. I was editing and reviewing the blog and it occurred to me that the time period felt "wasted" because I had the wrong perspective. Something I hope to impart on the readers of Modern Techonomics is the invaluable importance of experience.

I was listening to an Alex Hormozi (entrepreneur, investor, author of 3 bestselling books $100M Offers, Leads, and Money Models) podcast and he was telling the story of a young kid he offered a position. The kid turned down the position to take a higher salary at a Real Estate office, running their social media. Hopefully you caught the part about Alex being an entrepreneur, investor, author, and most likely you have probably heard of him or his wife, Leila Hormozi. Alex vents his frustration because this kid, who he sees himself in, took instant gratification over the master class he would receive being on Alex's team.

Instant gratification, especially in starting salaries, is wildly dangerous. We create unreal expectations and ignore the golden opportunities in front of our faces. I was going to piss and moan about how I threw away fifteen years in an industry that didn't seem to appreciate me. Instead, I'm going to tell you all about the opportunities I missed that were in front of my face.

This program was designed for participants to spend 6-8 weeks in every department of the division to create a holistic leader. From day one I was deadset on "graduating" early to I could get into a position. The truth was I was just chasing the pay raise at the end of the training. I shoehorned my way into interim management positions so I could be more marketable. Meanwhile my peers were being assigned special projects, working side by side with VPs, SVPs, and other leaders. I looked for opportunities to "improve" processes and instead of being lauded I was labeled a "know it all."

Ultimately I was plucked from the program early and offered a permanent manager position. It was at a smaller location than the one I had my eye on, and instead of being grateful for the opportunity, I plotted what I needed to do to get promoted to a larger office as quick as possible. And I did get promoted within 12 months. I went from running an office that nobody even knew existed to one of our larger branches, gained an assistant manager, and my goals tripled. That sounds awesome right? Within 3 months we cut budgets, my assistant manager was promoted and never replaced, and my salary only increased 10% even though my goals tripled and were the second highest in the division. My expectations for the opportunity were too high, and I was under qualified for the expectations of this opportunity. Within 18 months I would end up leaving the company. I wanted to stick with the company and transfer out of this role to a corporate role but my reputation preceded me.

I found myself getting to final interview after final interview for corporate roles. I was told three separate times that "I would get my offer soon." The reality was that word had spread that I liked to move through roles quickly and I didn't have the same positive reputation as my program peers that stayed in the role the entire two years. These peers would go on to do very well at the company, even though I had been there 4 years longer than them. The experience they gained on the special projects and the time spent working with the senior leaders was more valuable. Their approach was one of patience, and they understood the principle of being paid to learn on the job. And in the end, they all ended up earning more than I ever did at the company.

There is nothing wrong with working a full time job while working on building your own thing on the side. Get the "paid training" and work to learn so that later you can earn. While my journey in corporate America was poorly navigated, I still gained valuable experience. I was 26 years old with 4 years of management experience under my belt, with an AVP title. I had managed between 5-15 full time employees with both sales and operational duties. I received paid sales training from well known trainers, and the company paid part of my graduate school tuition. There is value in all of life's experiences if you take the time to debrief and find it.

Alex Hormozi's Instagram:

Leila Hormozi's Instragram:

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