Early in my career, I was fortunate to work for companies that invested heavily in the training and development of their employees. I also invested a lot of time, money and effort on my own, reading business books and paying to attend seminars out of my own pocket.

My career benefited from my association with these well-known, reputable organizations. I rode on their coattails while I developed my professional skills, and I followed the pattern they put in front of me.

Plus, I was comfortable with the knowledge that I was underpaid relative to the value I delivered to customers, because the value I was delivering relied on the structure they provided for me. That’s the price you pay to get trained.

The company teaches you their structure, you deliver value, and the company recoups their training investment and earns a fair return on the structure they have created and the reputation they have earned.

This arrangement worked well for me for more than 15 years. But when I turned 40, my employer was acquired by another firm, and I noticed that the value equation had suddenly flipped.

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