Step #4 – Don’t Work Unpaid

My Reasoning:

*I’m not referring to volunteer work or helping out a friend or stranger. I’m talking about working “over-time” for your boss or company without a wage.

It’s a cut throat dog-eat-dog world out there in the job market. And only a few will survive. Unless you were born rich there is almost no chance that your will ever become rich without a piano full of luck getting dropped on your head. Often people try to work “late” to impress the “boss” and (maybe) earn a raise or promotion. Working your ass off and sacrificing your freedom for your career may increase your odds. But not by much.

Working overtime is a suckers game.

An Example

Many years ago I worked in a Marketing Department. Every crunch season the boss would ask the Designers to work late to reach the clients “deadline”. This was all done under the guise of “all rowing in the same direction” and “showing team spirit”. After a couple years I started to see a pattern. It was always a crunch time. We were all just working more hours than they were getting paid; either of loyalty, habit or fear.

The fact was, the department was understaffed. And it stayed that way because the employees were suckers and let the company get away with a form of “faux slavery”. So I quit, used the time to take some classes, and got a better job.

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The Benefit

Working hard to get ahead in life is a noble (albeit rather naive) ambition. Working the hours that you get paid for is a fair shake. True, you may not be happy with your wages, but that is the contract that you and your employer freely entered. If you aren’t satisfied at work then ask for a raise or look for another job. Just never work for free to improve your future.

Unpaid hours can better be spent on increasing your skill sets to advance your future employment potential and income.
Time is a precious commodity. Use that time to follow training courses, study from home, go back to school….

Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

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