2 answers

what is life like as a business employee?

Asked Boston, Massachusetts

I want to make money like everyone else does but I want to know what a daily like is like #business #company

2 answers

Steve’s Answer

Updated Gainesville, Virginia

As with anything, a typical day varies from company to company and from employee to employee. In a typical small business, you spend time on whatever the boss thinks needs to be done. Usually that takes the form of an assignment, like "get me a sales report for last quarter, summarize it into a chart by territory, and make me a presentation to share with the leadership team." With that assignment, you'll need to find the information (which often means checking with administrators and managers in many departments) and then put it all into a presentation. When you show it to your boss, he'll have a bunch of changes, so you'll re-do about half of the work.

A typical day starts at 8:30 or 9:00 with a lunch break; and the day ends around 5:00 or 5:30. Sometimes you have to stay late to deal with some emergency but that should be the exception. A day may be filled with various meetings and whatever "work" you've been assigned. No employer wants to see you on Facebook or playing computer games; you're there to work.

Here's the thing you need to understand: Business work is based on simple economics--Your employer has a problem and you have a skill that the employer is willing to "buy" to solve his problem. In the case of fast-food restaurants, they need people who will show up every day, do whatever needs to be done, and are friendly to customers and other employees. Happily for the employer, those people are reasonably easy to find--and, unhappily for the employees, that means the job doesn't pay very much. After all, almost everybody has the skills to work in fast food.

In the world of supply and demand, higher wages go to people who have special skills. Sales people make more than software developers who make more than marketing specialists who make more than administrative assistants.

The more specialized the hiring requirements, the more difficult it is to find qualified candidates, and therefore, the more employers are willing to pay.

David’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

First of all, I agree with everything that Steve says. He's right on. Second of all, my direct answer to your question is that "business is awesome."

I say this having some unique experiences in my "professional career." Namely, I've started a (failed) company, worked as an associate at an Apple retail store, and worked as a manager at the same Apple retail store. Five years ago, I joined a startup as Employee #5. We're now probably better qualified as a small, young company that has done pretty well for ourselves.

And this doesn't even include my high school/college job experiences of grocery store bagger, grocery store cashier, pharmacy clerk, shoe store associate, Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator and college admissions fellow.

So what makes business awesome? The opportunity to impact the world, the chance to make money, the flexibility (especially in today's mobile world), and the upward mobility. All of this, of course, is predicated on performing. If you're willing to learn, to take feedback, to become a top performer, you can impact a lot of things (and not just your bank account.)

(A quick sidenote that Steve's schedule of 8:30-5:00ish is a rough schedule, that definitely maximizes productivity and minimizes burnout. But your mileage will vary; some companies expect crazy hours -- especially the younger ones.)

I've heard that working in business is really akin to being an athlete. You need to do a lot of things in today's business world, just like you do in a football game. You are never "just" doing one thing.

Business is not rocket science. Basically, you need to offer a product or service that others will buy to solve a problem. And you need to sell enough of it to exceed the cost of production.

I've loved this website, which may help you in your quest: http://personalmba.com

Good luck!