“You are a trader, you may think you are a banker, an accountant, an engineer, or whatever it says on your business card, but in reality you are a trader and you are trading your time for money,” Shane Phillips, Managing Director at Shane Phillips Consultants.


DUBAI, UAE (SHANE PHILLIPS CONSULTANTS)–Most people don’t like to think of themselves as a product or a commodity that is being traded.  You have to realize that you are and whether you like it or not your time is being traded.  Understanding the game allows you to win the game.  Employers will simply try to get the talent they need at the cheapest possible price and smart candidates will make employers pay a premium for their services.


After interviewing thousands of people I realized that there is a huge discrepancy between salaries for the exact same job.  For example the lowest paid CFO I have come across was earning USD$150,000 a year including base, allowances and bonus.  The highest paid CFO in 2012 of a publicly traded American company was Peter Oppenheimer the CFO of Apple who earned a whopping USD$68.6 million.


What is the difference? 


Oppenheimer is trading at a large premium and the other candidate is trading at a discount.  So the question is how do you trade at a premium?  The answer is focus.  Oppenheimer has spent his entire career in technology, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in Agricultural Business and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University, both with honors, he worked with Coopers and Lybrand in their Information Technology Consulting Practice and then joined Automatic Data Processing (ADP) where he was CFO before joining Apple as a Controller for the Americas.  So he has effectively had 3 employers his entire career and all where in technology.


Oppenheimer has had a very focused career and this allows him to trade at a premium because people pay for expertise.  People pay for expert knowledge.  People pay extra to be serviced by a specialist.  The biggest opportunities come to those executives who are the most focused.  This is contrary to what I see when I review peoples job search strategies.  Most people panic and start applying for any job under the sun.  Loss of focus caused by panic will not help you trade at a premium.


To trade at a premium realise you are a trader and you need focus.


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