Acoustic Post - Skills or Salary

By Pooja Kirpekar

Mark is an average employee struggling to make ends meet and gets stuck in a dead-end job. His passion is writing, but he needs to work to support his family since there are no assets or family fortune stored away in his name.

It’s Monday, and like every dreaded workday, he enters his workplace with a blank look on his face and tumult of emotions in his heart. Although his headspace seems full of thoughts that he could have penned down, he moves to his workspace and sits down. He diligently logs into his professional email and notices the following subject line:

“Attend today’s webinar on How AI is the future.”

Curiosity hits him hard, and a jog down the memory lane reminds him that he had heard about the rounds of discussion on the much-hyped topic of Artificial Intelligence.

Moving on, he reads the next few lines in the description:

Will it be a substitute for the workforce of the company?

Is your job at risk? 

The questions hit him harder, and he logs out with a look of absolute uncertainty. He doesn’t even feel like attending the session, which has his ill-fate decided. Though the job was a no-brainer, he knew that it was the only source of his income.

Today, there are many people like Mark who are hit with questions of doubt and insecurity. Now you may ask about their outlook. Yes, he most certainly could have kept a positive approach and looked at it to learn new skills in the workplace.

But, most people in the workplace are more bothered about their paychecks than the scope for improving one’s profile. When asked, they would instead prefer a fat check in their names than skills, which would, in turn, only benefit the company.

Not all of them are wrong! Most companies offer courses, workshops, and boot camp sessions, which are highly specific to the company’s growth in its niche. These sessions are grueling and end up draining the employee who is neither offered a promotion nor a better role in completing these pieces of training. 

In turn, the employee is disappointed by the outcome and switches to being an average employee like Mark, who prefers getting work done rather than honing one’s skills in the process. He is bogged down by familial expectations and wants a quiet day at work. But what he gets is a series of reminders and alerts about how he is falling behind.

How does one peacefully decide whether they submerge themselves in training sessions or concede defeat with the office routines being stressful enough? The task at hand is a struggle in itself and necessitates the cause-effect relationship.

As employees, they need to decide whether their focus area improves their functional capabilities or banking on the current opportunity. 

As leadership, they need to decide whether the focus area of their companies is upscaling the growth of the company at the cost of employees or rewarding them for their loyalty and consistency.

Here is where the key to the problem lies. The leaders need to value their employees as much as their clients. When a person gets treated as an asset, they thrive in such an environment and can add value to their work.

Once a person feels underappreciated and underpaid, they lose their usual enthusiasm towards work and prefer being a silent spectator rather than an innovator. The behavioral change in the employee’s attitude affects not only their growth but also that of the company.

So, why not seek a middle ground where both- the employees and the employers are happy. Such a situation will only exist when the employer can understand the employee and cherish them along the way. They can offer opportunities for training with the apparent backing of financial stability. An increase in remuneration with the following skillset makes the employee stand apart from the rest.

Employees are at the core of a company, and when they come together, that’s when the magic happens. The company stakes are higher, and tomorrow’s leaders are laying down an excellent blueprint for change.  

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Pretty nice post. It’s difficult to find good quality writing
    on these topics. Have been working in a Fortune 500 and struggling to find time to learn new skills. Would you recommend me to talk to my manager for few trainings that I want to do or should I do it after work hours?

    1. Pooja Kirpekar

      Hi Estefania,

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      I know work-life can get really hectic but investing in oneself is the best investment ever.

      Acquiring new skills can certainly equip you in the long run to gain a higher salary or start your own business.

      You should certainly talk to your manager during the work hours. Managers are usually supportive and will appreciate you being proactive.

      Go for it and all the best to you for all your future endeavours!

      1. Avatar

        I want to thank you for your guidance. My manager agreed for giving me time for my training during work hours. Hoping this will help me in the long run.

        1. Pooja Kirpekar

          That’s great to know!

          Keep learning and growing.

          Best wishes. 🙂

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