Today I want to share a quick story of how I got a $25k pay rise, and the lessons that you too can implement into your own business to become an elite stand out brand for your own personal zone of genius.
Elite Wisdom Nugget…
When I first landed in Australia, I had very little business skills outside of my first job as an accounts assistant for an insurance company. I know …boring!
My first job in Sydney was doing the graveyard shift at Westpac Bank where I was given the lucky job of coding the cheques that came through the bank each day. 5 days a week processing from 11pm till 6am in the morning. Trust me,they called it graveyard shift for a reason! Every morning we would walk out of the building as the sun was rising. We looked like zombies from the walking dead…not a pretty sight.
I lasted in that job for 6 months, eventually going in search of something with more humane hours. Eventually I landed a job in the accounts department of the Hilton Hotel where I was given my first taste of working in a fun and fast paced environment. As you can imagine.. I loved it!
Being one to always put my hand up and volunteer to learn new things, an opportunity landed in my lap to work the night shift at the Hotel’s evening shows making sure the acts and celebrities from overseas were looked after.
Yep! I got to leave my day job behind, get all dressed up, and hang out with the celebrities in the back room, take them around Sydney and make sure they were happy. That was my first foray into the world of living the ‘successful’ life. That’s when I knew being an accounts clerk was not the career for me.
That was one of my first success lessons in business!
Figuring out that the more I volunteered to do the ‘extra stuff’, that no one else would do, the more opportunities landed in my lap. This mindset stayed with me over the years as I worked my way through many exciting industries. In fact, I did temp work for over 3 years trying to figure out the fastest way up the success ladder.
Those of you who have read my #1 Best Seller ‘Your Millionaire Attitude’ would know that I found a four leaf clover when I was eight years old. Success was always going to be a part of my story…
Why? Because I believed in me!
From receptionist to personal assistant, oh my!
I eventually landed a secretarial job for one of the top property companies in Australia. Over the course of my time at this company, I found I had a flair for document design. I’d done a little marketing at Tafe over the years, and found a passion for making communications ‘stand out’ and attract attention where it needed it most. The more I played around, and hung out with those who had more advanced skills, the better I got. The more skills I acquired, the more the company would pay for me to learn.
Yep! I got paid to upskill and become the #elitewoman in my job!
Everything at this company was amazing. Slowly I worked my way up through the company designing the leading managers and directors presentations. Eventually they stopped outsourcing the design work, and gave it all to me. They started getting amazing results and rewarded me with bonuses, more paid training, shares and pay rises!
Then everything went pear shape! Sadly, my amazing boss left, they hired the boss from hell [I am talking, making me come into his office, to pick up his empty coke can, and put it into the bin that was right behind him!] But I was determined to keep climbing up the latter, until I got really sick and started going backwards. Not being a quitter, I knew something had to give and eventually I had to move into another department and start from scratch.
Lucky for me, my new boss, at the same company, was super cool and really did not have much work for me to do. So that allowed me to once again put my hand up to help in other departments. I started running lunchtime events, running all the department team building activities, started building the internal website, sharing my creative design talents and once again making other people look good, stand out and get the results they were looking for in their department.
Once again, the skills that the company had paid for me to acquire, were helping ME stand out and get noticed in all the right places!
One of the ladies that I volunteered to help out, loved my work. Every time she had to do a presentation or marketing material for her department, she would ask for my help and I would always oblige. When it came to review time, I always got raving reviews, great bonuses and I was living the dream!
In fact, I was so good at making her shine, she got headhunted to start up a whole new department for another company, with a whopping big pay rise to book! I continued learning, growing and mastering my skills, slowly adding more and more talents to my resume, all the while the company was paying for me to learn.
New skills, shares, bonuses, superannuation, salary, pay rises, fun and it did not cost me a cent! Who needs University Debt?…Not me!
Opportunity too good to refuse!
Then out of the blue, I got offered a redundancy package [that is another story in itself that I will save for another #elitepost].
This redundancy package was bigger than most people earn in 3 years, on a normal secretarial wage. Yep, we are talking 6 figure payout.
I tell you what, it was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Stay at this amazing company, or get step up the success ladder by taking this amazing payout… I knew the chances of getting this opportunity again was small…so I took a leap of faith and said yes!
Over the 5 years at that company, even with my ups and downs, I thrived. I thrived because I took the initiative to learn, grow and elevate, where others were happy to live the groundhog day plateau robot life. I never wanted to live my life that way, so I took off on another adventure once again…
Having no idea what I was going to do next, I decided to try and set up my own document design business offering my services to businesses and temping for companies who needed brand and communication design.
4 weeks into launching my very first business HOT Design, I got a phone call that changed my life forever!
Remember that lady who used to work with me, and who got headhunted to another managerial position? The one who loved me because I used to make her look good? Well, seems like she never forgot what I did, and when she found out I had been made redundant, she wanted to grab those skills once again, to help her grow in her new role.
Only problem was, she wanted to hire me for a role that I had absolutely no experience in whatsoever!
I remember the call as clear as if she’d rung me yesterday. It went something like this…
“Hey Pam, how are you? I heard you got made redundant, sorry to hear that. Have you got another job yet?”
“Hey Liz, what a lovely surprise, no I am actually working for myself and temping at the moment, why?”
“Well Pam, if you are interested, I may have a job opportunity for you in my new department”.
“What doing Liz?”
“Marketing Consultant for the new Shared Services Department we are launching”.
“Marketing Consultant? Liz, I have no experience as a Marketing Consultant, I am a personal assistant/document designer”.
“Pam, all I know is that you make me look good, I need your skills to launch this new business, and I will teach you the rest”.
“I don’t know Liz, what if I do it all wrong? It sounds exciting…are you sure I can do it?”
“Pam, absolutely you can do it. You are smart, you pick things up really fast, you have amazing creative skills which is what we need, and I think you will be great!
[silence again, while my brain and heart are pounding not knowing what to do]
“How about I offer you $25k more than what you were on before, will that help you decide?”
“$25k, are you serious?”
“Yes! You have to meet the head of the department, and present your ideas based on the brief. If they like it, the job is yours!”
Success Is A Choice!
In that moment I knew I had been given an opportunity of a lifetime. There were only two options. Let my fear of the unknown stop me from walking through that door of opportunity. Or, take a leap of faith, step up and become the #elitewoman I was born to be.
So I said yes! I put together the most amazingly creative pitch [it was so good the CEO wanted to trademark it], went to the interview, put my best foot forward and I got the job!
I got chosen for the $25k pay rise because I used my skills and zone of genius to help others stand out and get to where they wanted to go faster!
It was one of the most frightening and exhilarating times of my 25 year corporate career.
…As for the 6 figures….well, I bought myself a townhouse by the beach.
That is another amazing story of trusting my #elitewoman intuition. I will share that story in another #elitewisdomnugget very soon!
Elite Woman Tips:
- Always put your hand up to help others, when others shy away.
- Hang out with people who are where you want to be to acquire new skills faster and get seen by the decision makers at the top.
- Figure out ways to help others stand out and get results with your talents and gifts.
- Don’t be afraid to ask if you can learn a new skill.
- Invest in your expertise and keep growing. The more skills you have, the faster you get to the top.
- Take risks! Don’t let fear keep you playing small.
- Give back and share your wisdom.
- Keep elevating and think outside the box. Don’t follow the herd, be elite, be different!
- Stand up for what you believe in, and always be on the lookout for bigger opportunities to shine brightly.
- Enjoy the ride #successspurts are fun.
- Believe in the vision!
Be Elite | Exceed Expectations!