Tag Archives: employment

Have you hit your Earning Potential Ceiling?


People pay for value. I love this as it applies to people as much as it applies to services.

What happens when people are getting paid for the value they bring but they want/expect more? It means they’ve hit their Earning Potential Ceiling.

We have a great mentor program at carsales where I’ve been mentoring carsales’ employees for a number of years and it’s been a great experience for me – and hopefully some value to them!

I like to keep our catch-ups real with nothing off limits as I’m there to assist them in their journey.

“you’ve forgotten about what makes you valuable so that you become…..a commodity”

One common topic of discussion is their job tenure and more specifically, whether they should explore new opportunities.

This topic comes up in a number of different ways. Some are ambitious; some want more money; some are naive; some are deluded; some don’t appreciate what they have; and some just don’t have their goals clearly defined.

More often than not it is a mixture of these reasons and quite possibly they tick every box!

One thing I don’t like hearing is that an employee I have been mentoring leaves for another company for a 10% or 15% or even 20% pay rise – and I hear after they have gone.

“Your earning potential is your responsibility”

These young people are ambitious but more often than not, don’t have a plan of building a solid foundation for their future employment.

They can all get more money elsewhere – look hard enough and you will find someone willing to pay you a little more.

Do this a couple of times and all of a sudden you’ve got the pay rises you (think) you’ve wanted but more often than not you will hit your Earning Potential Ceiling.

What does this mean? It means that you have been so busy chasing those incremental increases that you’ve forgotten about what makes you valuable so that you become (or more accurately you have made yourself) a commodity that can be bought anywhere because you are getting paid for the value you are bringing.

Like most things, I didn’t realize the lesson I was learning early in my working life. I was seeing other developers leave for new opportunities which usually was a little more money. Make no mistake, I looked at those opportunities as well, nearly left, tried to leave but for some reason never did.

We had a regular catch-up group of ex-employees and they would tell us how good it was but the next time you saw them a lot had moved on again; it didn’t seem right. Quite a few of them eventually found their way back to where they started, literally (ie more than just the employer).

When I left after more than 10 years I did so to start my own business and build my own experiences. It wasn’t for more money at the time because in fact I wasn’t guaranteed anything – I went without a salary for many months after.

What it did was taught me so many more things in the business world that made me more valuable because of my experiences and of course, achievements.

You don’t have to start your own business to get that experience. You can get it by digging in and being valuable to your employer, making sure there is always a win-win-win there for the company, your manager and of course you.

Your earning potential is your responsibility but don’t think that job hopping for incremental change is the way to enhance this or is at all sustainable because you will quickly find your ceiling.

You need to make yourself valuable because people pay for value. Or you will invariably hit your Earning Potential Ceiling.