I was listening to the Tim Ferriss Show awhile back and on this episode, his guest was Harley Finkelstein, the President of Shopify.
At some point during the interview, the idea of requalifying for your job each and every year came up.
At Shopify, “particularly on the leadership team, [everyone] has to requalify for their job every single year.”Harley Finkelstein
I had never heard of this concept before, but it is a brilliant one – especially for a startup.
To me, as a former CEO, this was something I wish that I had thought of.
Talk about a great way to run your business.
You bring in A-players, and then you ensure that you have a mechanism to make sure that they stay A-players, and are leveling up their careers as the company grows.
It. Is. Brilliant!
But this is not just a useful paradigm for startup companies to follow.
Requalifying for your job – a simple philosophy to put your career on steroids.
I mean think about it. Anyone, in any size company can do this.
Because the last thing you want to do in any job is get stagnant. You don’t want to be doing the same job, the same way, year after year.
Even if your title is the same, even if your role is the same, continuously learning and improving is the single best way to guarantee yourself a big raise, promotion or job on the open market.
You create value where others aren’t.
Ok, so the next question is how?
How do you requalify for your job each year?
You’ve got to put in the work. Look, anyone can become a millionaire in any career. But you have to put in the work.
You have to show up every day with energy.
You need be reliable and consistent.
You need to do all of the little things that your coworkers aren’t doing.
Lastly, you need to continue to learn each and every day.
This all means that to requalify for your job you must:
- Keep up with your industry blogs/news.
- Be trying out new software (get on the cutting edge).
- Reading applicable books.
- Tracking your time.
- Ensuring that you are crushing the job that you are currently performing – yet setting yourself up to take over your boss’ job.
- Listening to industry related podcasts.
- Creating good work habits.
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
- Networking with your coworkers.
- Be likeable!
And depending upon your job, there may be more stringent requirements to keep up and requalify, or there may be less you need to do.
Requalifying for your job each year will improve your salary, get you a promotion, and more.
But by working to requalify for your job each year, you will be setting yourself up for success.
You’ll also have the confidence to go in and ask for the raise you deserve or you’ll go out on the open market and fetch more.
Hint: A-players are already doing this.
Look, the reason why this is so important is because A-players are already doing this.
That is why they are A-players.
Yet even A-players can become stagnant
But I like the philosophy of requalifying for your job even for A-players, because even we can get stagnant.
I know. Because I was one of them. I’ve admitted my failures before. This one is on the list. I became stagnant.
I was reading Game of Thrones and other novels to take my mind off the stress. I was not digging into industry news. I was trying to live a balanced life.
But I tipped the scales too much the other way.
If I had embraced the concept of requalifying for my job each year, I would have pushed myself out of stagnancy.
Eventually I did get myself out of that rut, but if you choose to follow the philosophy of requalifying for your job each year, you will be in much better shape.
You will out earn your peers, and your career will flourish.
So go out there and requalify for your jobs everyone. You got this!