Some people who work for others assume that simply having a job will bring them the feeling of financial security. But in fact, the only thing that will bring them the feeling of security is for them to be truly productive at their work; that is, to continuously produce more than they cost.

Many people feel childishly entitled without actually understanding what entitlement really means. So, in the context of your work, it’s important to understand what it costs the company you work for to have you work and that you have to produce more than this cost for you to have some semblance of security.

It’s important to itemise every large or small cost you cause for your company. Most employees assume that their only cost to their company is their salary and nothing more. So what are the true actual total costs of being employed? You need to take at least the following into account:

  • Annual and monthly salary or hourly wage costs
  • Annual and monthly or annual bonus costs
  • Annual holiday and sick day costs
  • Annual holiday party costs
  • Annual parking costs
  • Annual insurance (liability, health, disability, injury) costs
  • Annual percentage of office space and maintenance costs
  • Annual equipment and furniture depreciation or rental costs
  • Annual supply costs
  • Annual telephone and technology costs
  • Annual training (transportation, hotel, food manuals…) costs
  • Annual error or irritated customer costs
  • Annual unproductive time costs
  • Annual average expected profits.

Once you have ascertained your portion of your company’s true total operating costs, you will be more likely to be productive as you will be more aware of what the company requires to employ you. It will also provide you with a true reflection of your job and financial security.

As long as you produce more than your total costs and add sufficient profits to your company, you will have a higher probably of job security and what you are truly entitled to financially.

Once you know what your true costs are as an employee, it’s next wise to find out what the general profit margin of the company is in order to add that percentage on top of your true total costs. For example, let’s say that for every million rand your company produces, the net profit is 300,000, which is a 30% profit margin.

To know what the average employee produces for the company, add another 30% on top of whatever their costs are. When you know all the costs, you will get more grounded in reality about what you have to produce to make sure you have job security. As long as you produce more than you cost, and add additional average profits on top, you will have some degree of security. You’re only entitled to your actual portion of productivity and contribution.