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Your employer is likely one of the most important entities in your life because without the job they provide, you wouldn’t be able to out a roof over your head or provide for your family. But what is important to your employer?
Companies exist to make money for the owners, as quickly, efficiently, and reliably as possible. They make money by selling a product or service, and they prosper by becoming better and more efficient at it. When a company saves time, it saves money, and then has more time to make more money; this is called productivity.
If a company can make money without employees, it will do so, because that means more money for the owners. Unfortunately for the owners, a company requires a complex machinery to deliver those products and services that bring in revenue. You can think of any and every job as a small but important cog in this complex moneymaking machine, and every cog has to be oiled and maintained; this costs money. If the company can redesign its machinery to do without that cog (automation) or can find a cheaper cog (read: outsourcing that job to a third-world country), of course it is going to do so.
The two things most important to your employer
There are two reasons jobs exist. First, as I’ve said, every job is a small but important cog in the corporation’s complex moneymaking machine: It exists to help the company make money. Second, the company hasn’t been able to automate that job out of existence because in your area of technical expertise, problems arise.
Consequently, the company hires someone who has the technical skills to solve the problems that typically occur within an area of specific expertise. The company hopes to hire someone who knows the territory well enough to predict and prevent many of these problems from arising in the first place.
It doesn’t matter what your job title is, you are always hired to be a problem solver with a specific area of expertise. Think about the nuts and bolts of any job you’ve held: At its heart, that job is chiefly concerned with the anticipation, identification, prevention, and solution of problems. This enables the company to make money for its owners, as quickly, efficiently, and reliably as possible.
How to boost your employability
Contributing to profitability and solving problems are not the only factors that are critical to your success that all jobs have in common. There are a specific set of transferable skills and professional values that all employers are anxious to find in candidates, whom they then hire and promote just as quickly as they can find them.