Want a great career? Looking to get ahead? It’s actually pretty simple. Understand that everyone gets paid to solve problems, not to complete tasks and approach your job accordingly.
People stall out when they think they get paid for a certain number of hours or to check off to-do’s. Their careers tend to accelerate when they connect the minor tasks to the big picture, understand the outcomes all the tasks are creating, and focus on making that outcome happen.
The value you create for the company – the value you get paid for – is based on the level of problems you are able to solve. Bigger problems have bigger potential consequences and those who can effectively solve them bring more value to the company and get paid more. My boss is paid more than me because she solves tougher problems with bigger consequences than I do. Her boss gets paid more than her for the same reason.
If your boss has to solve problems that you should be able to handle, you aren’t very useful and are probably easily replaceable. If you’re taking on and solving things above your boss’ expectations you are probably difficult to replace and will soon be moving ahead.
Want more money? Want a promotion? Learn to love solving problems and moving solutions forward. Problem spotting doesn’t pay very well (anyone can do it), ignoring problems pays even less. All the money, responsibility, and glory is in solving problems.