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  • Mark Olivito

Want To Make More $? Burn This Quip Into Your Mind

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Who DOESN'T want to make more $? Nobody.

But actually achieving this is another story.

compensation, growth, impact, results
Making Bank: It's Your Impact, Not Your Degree

I have a great friend I used to work with for many years, great sales leader and even better person. Roberto. Bobbi. Billy. Three nicknames + and it was only one person! We used to laugh real hard almost on a daily basis.

A career journey is just that. Journey's can be a slog, or they can be exhilarating and sometimes they can be both at the same time. But almost always, it's the PEOPLE that are by your side that make the difference.

Roberto had a great habit I always looked forward too. He'd buzz by my office and blurt out inappropriate jokes (which never got old!) and the occasional a quip. One I never forgot:


I'd chuckle every time I think about this. This is brutally honest and cuts to the core of what determines income growth in a career.

Despite all the headlines of the millions more you will make with a degree, when you are 27+ and a few years out of college (if that's the path you chose), your compensation will NOT be a function if you went to Northeastern University, Rutgers or ____.

What WILL make a difference? Your RESULTS.

Let me repeat: Your degree will be a distant memory in the eyes of your employer the moment you start collecting a paycheck and performing. I'll explain.

Many business owners (or managers with compensation authority in larger companies) won't be blunt about what determines "value" in an employee, not just for raises but for KEEPING A SEAT ON THE BUS. But I'll give you my perspective.

Want to KEEP your seat on the bus? (Stay employed)

"Make sure your return to your employer is multiples higher vs what they are compensating you. Make $70k? Can you easily demonstrate at least $300k in "value" to your employer?

The moment they start thinking "I made (or lost) X$'s last year WITH you, I can make the same X's WITHOUT you, you are in trouble.? This gets to NOT a raise, but the simple test of should you still have a place on the team.

Raises are different.

Raises assume that your place on the team is not even within question, but you are aiming for a better lot in life on your current team, more money, which usually comes with an expectation to continue to grow, create solid impact.

"Your raise will become effective when you do!"

Effectiveness. Getting things done that matter. RESULTS. NOT working riddiculous hours, but making the most of the hours you work. IMPACT.

The easiest way to get a raise?

  1. Be confident in the quantifiable results you achieve, also known as your "value." "I did these series of things and the impact was....."

  2. If your NOT confident in those results, no problem. SIT DOWN with your manager and ask them for guidance. "I'd like to create more demonstrated impact for us. Here's some areas I think I can make a difference, but would love your guidance. And if I were successful in this, would you consider a compensation review that looks like......"

As a business owner, both approaches work, but the key word is partnership. Getting a raise is not just about your value, but it's about the partnership and desire for the decision maker to say yes. So they need to be on that journey with you.

What not to bring up?

The market" in absence of any discussion or self awareness to your value to the organization.

"Boss, people in my position in the area are making x....." (the market rate)

"Boss, I have X$'s in debt......"

This could work, but if you are NOT supremely confident on your value this is the last thing you lead with. I'm not saying it's not relevant, it is. But your ability to grow in your career and resulting compensation will be a function of your ability to generate results in partnership with those that impact your path, not by bringing in outside forces and doing the end around to this formula.

There are so many key things you CONTROL in your career journey, and a few key ones you do NOT. The key controllable drivers, to name a few:

  • Work Ethic

  • Attitude

  • Ability to make others better

  • Drive for applying energy to what matters

  • Pushing your own boundaries/limitations, getting better, growing

  • "Partnership" and relationship building with the people that can say yes and become your champion over decades.

Let me repeat: At 27+ and a couple years under your belt, that degree will be the LAST thing on your manager's mind when you are looking to grow. Get obsessed with results, key partnerships and executing. The prettiest degree in the world won't matter if you fall short in these areas.


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