When you get offered a high-paying salary or contract for work, stop and ask yourself why. You either get paid because your skill-level is at a premium, the nature of the work is awful, or you’re going to need to give up your most precious resource — time.
Many years ago I was having a philosophical conversation with a colleague about the exorbitant salaries that consulting companies offered recent grads at Rice. I couldn’t figure out why. My colleague made an interesting point that has stuck with me ever since:
When a large organization pays a recent, relatively unskilled college grad a high salary, it is likely because they want one of two things in return:
1) They want their time. And lots of it. Like, much more than 40 hrs per week, or…
2) They want them to do tedious work — the kind that the top dogs don’t want to do and would rather delegate.
They’re probably not paying the recent grad for their skill level, because no matter how good they are they probably lack true skills in the work. High salaries are a way of influencing grads into a line of work because they help them feel valued. Again, not a bad thing. The key while exploring the offer is to ask yourself if you’re willing to make the trade-off: time and/or tedium in exchange for money.
For the record, low paying jobs can also require lots of time from workers and/or tedious work. Those are the worst.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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