To Succeed In 2016, Do More Than Your Job

The New Year is upon us - time to eat better, work out more, and focus on career.  And, let's be honest, by "focus on career" what we mean is:

"I want to get promoted."

"I want to make more money."

The key to achieving either of these objectives is simple - you must learn the difference between do-ing your job and creating value. 

Doing Your Job

A job is an exchange of value between two parties.  The value proposition is a fairly simple one - employees perform services for employers in exchange for payment.  I know it may seem harsh, but this is the nature of the business relationship between employer and employee.

What does it mean to do your job?  It means showing up on time, doing your work, providing quality results, and being a good corporate citizen.  If you do these things well - and do them consistently - you will be seen as a quality player, but you will not stand out from the crowd, you will not make more money, and you will not get promoted this year.

Like it or not, people who simply "do their job" are replaceable, and there is ample evidence to suggest that the job market is flush with educated and talented people who are capable of doing your job at a comparable or lesser cost.

When an employer recognizes the employee is replaceable at a lesser cost, the value proposition between the parties becomes imbalanced and leads to a host of unfortunate outcomes for the employee.

Creating Value

As an employee, you need steer the value proposition bus in your direction.  You need to become irreplaceable.  You need to create value for your employer, which is the easiest path to more money and more promotions.

The formula for value creation has many permutations, but it can easily be explained as follows:

My Job + Value Drivers = Value Creation.

For sales and business development types, value drivers are pretty simple - create a bunch of opportunities and close a bunch of sales. 

For non-sales people (and especially for AML compliance folks), value drivers can be more varied, but usually include the following:

  • Creating a more efficient process or procedure;
  • Becoming a subject matter expert;
  • Establishing yourself as a leader, trainer, or go-to person;
  • Developing your peers and subordinates;
  • Creating, developing, and enhancing reporting and operational metrics;
  • Forging meaningful partnerships with internal clients and business groups;
  • Ensuring management understands your role and career objectives; and 
  • Finding ways to contribute to the company's bottom line, even if you are a cost-center.

Value drivers and value creation demonstrate you are doing more than just your job.  By driving and creating value, you are exclaiming to your employer that you possess a level of curiosity, commitment, intelligence, and leadership that make you irreplaceable.  The irreplaceable employee controls the employment value proposition every time.

The bottom line to getting more in 2016: Create value wherever possible. 

Employers are desperate for it.


Frank Ewing

Frank Ewing

Frank Ewing is the partner in charge of operations and subject matter expertise in the firm’s risk and compliance practice and also serves as Assistant General Counsel.  He is a licensed attorney and an anti-money laundering expert with over 13 years of combined professional experience in global consulting, banking, and law. Mr. Ewing has extensive hands-on experience in the areas of anti-money laundering compliance, regulatory enforcement actions, regulatory affairs, internal audit, commercial litigation, corporate investigations, fraud, and risk management.