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Work and the “F” Word(s)


smile_jen-sfo-bcn_flickr_250x262Last year I was enlightened by a friend about the 3 Fs of work – Fun, Fame or Fortune. This lady is a brilliant brand manager and strategist who shared with me the secret to her success. As a self-employed consultant, the 3 Fs are the way in which she evaluates whether to take on each project – if it does not deliver her one or all of the 3 Fs, well then it is not the job for her or her brand.

While the market is not booming at the moment, it does not mean that we all have to slave away doing work that perpetuates a meagre and unsatisfying existence. Whether you are self-employed, a consultant, a contractor or employed by an organisation, the 3 Fs still apply. You have you ask yourself if any or all of your needs are being met when you take on new employment or work.

Below I have elaborated on the 3 Fs and encourage you to consider assessing your current and/or future work against these. It is a great tool for developing your personal brand and for being true to yourself to deliver a more fulfilling work life.

Fun. Actually enjoying what you are doing, learning something new, being challenged, working with great people or within a great organisation. It may mean that you are not being particularly well paid but that you are getting some personal satisfaction from what you are doing. We may want to volunteer our time or simply do a job or contract because it is purely a bit of fun. Sometimes in our careers we may want to just ‘kick back’ (for want of a better phrase) from working 12 hour days and look to a job that pays the bills and keeps us sane and happy.

Fame. Actors know this one better than anyone else, where they will do pretty much anything to be noticed in the hope of being discovered. Fame for most of us (regardless of our employment type) is about the opportunity to do something we are passionate about and be acknowledged for being great at what we do. We may be looking to take on work that can escalate us in our profession or as a subject matter expert within an industry. We may look to engage in lecturing or public speaking to promote our knowledge of a specialisation and to be seen as a thought leader. We may take a job with a company whose brand we want to be associated with because they are the best consulting firm. Or we may choose to drop our salary to work with an industry icon.

Regardless of how you define fame, it will often go back to your ‘personal brand’ and what you want to be known and remembered for. We will gravitate to, or if not should be sourcing out, opportunities that enable us to increase our fame in our chosen field/s of expertise.

Fortune. Do you know how much you are worth? What is your area of expertise? Where do you place yourself on the scale of 1-10 for your profession or area of expertise? These are questions you need to ask yourself. What are people paying me for and how good am I at what I do? Once you have a fair idea, with all the free available salary information about, you should be able to benchmark yourself and know what you should be getting paid. I don’t just mean annually, I mean what does it work out to as an hourly rate?

When you start to think of your time in terms of hours (lawyers and accountants do this very well) how you spend and sell your time at work takes on a whole new meaning (as does how you spend your money). Are you giving away your time and expertise for nothing while others are paying handsomely to receive this same information? Many talented people give away their knowledge and expertise freely or cheaply, which is often not a reflection on the quality of what they are providing; they are just not as astute as others at putting a value on what they have to offer. Ensure you know how to cost out and sell your time according to what the market is willing to pay. Be comfortable talking about why you are worth what you charge and be willing to negotiate.

Don’t be discouraged from giving your time gratis, perhaps for not-for-profits and other community courses. However, be sure to value your time.

I have been using the 3 Fs in my business, consulting and public speaking work and highly recommend it for putting work opportunities into perspective.

Kelly Magowan is the founder and CEO of Six Figures, a premium job site for $100K+ jobs and contract opportunities across all industries and professions.
To help you to value and negotiate your worth, visit Six Figures to download your free Salary Negotiation Guide.

Photo: Jen SFO-BCN (Flickr)