Your Salary Doesn’t Mean Shit

salary is meaningless

I have something I want to get off my chest.

I’ve been continually frustrated with how “salaries” are determined. I think that I’ve put too much emphasis on this number and have given it far more respect than it deserves.

My Stupid Assumption

My stupid assumption was that if someone earns a higher salary than me, they must be smarter than me. This was a super naive idea. Just because a company is willing to pay someone more than someone else doesn’t mean that that person is necessarily more intelligent than anyone else.

I’ve watched people making $200,000+ per year struggle to figure out how to turn on their computer, or how to make a minor change in an Excel workbook. This was frustrating for me. If a company deems someone worthy of earning $200,000 per year for a specific skill, shouldn’t they also be held to a higher standard for figuring out small problems too?

Skilled Workers Tend to Earn More

This makes sense. If someone is skilled, I think they should be paid more for using those skills. For example, someone with general “business” knowledge and experience will make less than someone with experience in chemical engineering.

If someone is a Senior Data Scientist or Senior Manager, they should obviously be compensated for their experience and the skills they’ve developed.

I think that someone who can solve any problem thrown at them is especially valuable and should be compensated accordingly.

I’ve worked with a few people who I’ve noticed really fit this description. Many of my bosses, along with just being more experienced than me, have been excellent at answering any question or problem anyone brings to them.

What is the value of solving problems?

How much is someone worth that can solve almost anything you bring to them? Early in my career I assumed that anyone could solve 90 percent of problems. A few years into working in a few different settings, I’ve noticed this just isn’t the case.

A lot of people aren’t willing to do the extra 10-20 percent of work that falls just outside of their job description. I don’t know if this is intentional or not. From my perspective, if someone can solve any problem I bring them, that person is invaluable and I’d want to have them in my organization.

Do people delegate tasks because they don’t know how to do them and aren’t willing to learn, or because it’s better for the organization they’re working for?

Published by stewofkc

I write stuff in Kansas City.

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