Even if you’re a salary-based employee, you’re a business unit, and your boss is your customer. Once we truly embrace this state-of-mind, I believe we have a higher chance winning with our careers in today’s world of work.
It’s not about you being an “עולה” (oleh / olah) in Israel. It’s not even a universal immigration-entrepreneurship-correlation issue. It’s not a cultural issue, and, it is definitely not a “millennial” issue.
It’s a “spirit of our time” issue.
Advising, assisting and mentoring dozens (if not hundreds) of new immigrants in Israel, Masa Israel alumni who choose to stay, and others who try to make their way with their career in Israel – I started to see patterns recurring all over again. Reflecting back on my own professional journey, combined with endless and countless talks with colleagues of mine, I realized this is bigger than I thought.
Many of us grew up and were educated to be prepared for the 20th-Century job market. However, we need to survive and thrive in the 21st-Century on-demand economy. Some think it’s a matter of having the right skills, but I think it’s about having the right state-of mind.
So, here’s my point-of-view today: It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, salary-based employee, volunteer or intern. It doesn’t matter if you’re high in the command-chain of your organization, or down below at the entry-level.
You are, I am, we are all business units.
In this on-demand economy, we should always think like P&L (profit and loss) units. We’ve been invested by with inputs (resources, know-how, support, salary, budgets) – and we produce outputs. Our outputs better be higher than the inputs, from our honest point-of-view.
But, our outputs should be higher than the inputs from our boss’s point-of-view, because in today’s world of work – our boss is our customer. “Checking the boxes” for our tasks isn’t enough – even if we do them better and faster than others. We need to make sure the other side – the boss, the customer – is satisfied, so that this person will want more from us.
Therefore, we need to “sell” all the time. We need to listen to what the customers want to receive from us, and not what we want to give them. And these things may change quite often. It’s all about “who do others around me need, that I can provide better than others” – and communicate that.
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That is to say: Even if you aren’t an entrepreneur per se, you need to think like one.
In a country such as Israel, this is even more imperative. Adjusting to “דוגרי” (slang for “no beating around the bush”) and “תכלס” (slang for “nitty-gritty”), this “no BS” and an “in-your-face” culture forces us all – Israelis and newcomers – to effectively communicate what’s in it for the other side – whether that’s your boss, or your customer (who are the same, in my view).
Israelis may be more naturally grown into this state-of-mind, but even for all the people you see around you, it can be difficult in the new world of work. Once you embrace this reality, and combine it with your unique competitive advantage, you’ll have a better chance of winning with your career in this “old-new” land.
About the Author:
Assaf Luxembourg acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as “Start-Up Nation,” speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. He also provides consulting, content, business development and marketing services.