Your time is valuable, both in your career and your overall life.
In fact, time is the most valuable resource you’ll ever have.
You can never get more of it. Once you use a bit of it, it’s gone forever. (Unlikely money, which you can get more and more of, and probably will throughout your career!)
So how should the value of your time effect your decisions? And how highly should you value your time to begin with?
Answering these questions will help you live a more productive, happier life while wasting less time on tasks that you don’t feel like completing. You’ll also have a more successful career if you use these principles when evaluating jobs.
It’s worth taking time to think about how much your time is worth.
How much does your job currently pay? That’s a good starting point. It doesn’t have to be your final answer though.
How much money would you require to spend an hour on the weekend doing something you don’t feel like doing?
How much do you think you ought to be paid in your next job? What if somebody wanted to hire you as a consultant for a ten-hour project. How much would you charge per hour?
These are all good questions to ask yourself when deciding how valuable your time is.
Now here’s the key: After you’ve decided how valuable your time is to YOU… stop doing time-consuming tasks that aren’t worth the time spent.
For example, calling a company to dispute a $5 credit card charge and holding on the phone for an hour.
That’s NOT a good use of time for most people.
If you value your time at less than $5 per hour, then stay on hold. Otherwise, hang up the phone.
This is why it’s important to come up with an amount that your time is worth to you first.
Without this figure in mind, how will you be able to decide which tasks are worth doing?
For the tasks not worth doing, you can either choose to pay somebody else to do them, or cut them out completely.
Calling your cable provider would probably be one that you want to neglect completely if you value your time at $20 per hour or more. Tasks like mowing your lawn or cleaning your kitchen might be things that make sense to pay somebody else to do.
One of the biggest differences between the top earners and the rest of people is their focus on earning rather than saving. Most people think about how to save $20. The top earners are thinking about how to earn enough that spending $20 doesn’t matter.
Especially in the early portion of your career, you should be looking at jobs in terms of where you can learn the most in the least amount of time. If you want to advance your career in the long run, you need your first two or three jobs to be challenging and to really stretch you.
Look for companies with room for growth and positions that can develop your experience and continue providing challenges as you master the basics.
If you’re not struggling or learning anything at work, your job is wasting your time. If you are bored at work, you are doing yourself no favors by staying at the company without speaking up about it.
If you have to take a small pay cut to be in a challenging position in the field that interests you, it’s well worth it.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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