How to Make Your Job 10x Better and Save the Company Money

Make Your Job More Enjoyable

Years ago, my team had a horrible reputation for missing deadlines.  In fact, it was so bad that other teams in the company were padding our deadlines for us. I remember one conversation with a certain Vice President:

Me: “We’ll have that completed for your team by August 1st.”

Vice President “Sure…September 10th is fine.”

Me:  “Really, we will have it completed August 1st.”

Vice President: (Silence then eye roll)

My manager knew we weren’t very popular in the company. His default was to harp on “getting closure”, but this wasn’t helping either. While a lot of our team was content to point the finger–to me this was an opportunity!

In fact, this opportunity helped me make my job 10x more enjoyable, as well as saved the company $191,000.

You can adopt a similar strategy.  It isn’t fancy.  Here’s what happened…

Step 1: Quantify the nastiness of the problem

Before you propose a solution, quantify the impact of the problem. Answer the question, “Is this even worth solving”?

In this situation, I went through the project pipeline and discovered that 15% of our projects were missing their deadlines consistently. Based on the impact of these projects, I learned that every single day beyond the deadline cost the company $22,000. This was clearly a problem worth solving.

Step 2: List skills you enjoy using at work

Create a list of skills you enjoy using at work.  Your solution to the problem should rely on you using the skills on this list. Also make a list of the types of skills you do NOT enjoy using just so you can avoid including them in your solution.

Enjoy:  training, presenting, mentoring, and coaching

Don’t enjoy:  Spreadsheet jockeying, creating access databases

Step 3: Propose a solution that solves the problem and uses the skills you enjoy

Any problem can have multiple solutions. Solve the problem using skills you enjoy. Otherwise, it’s not going to feel like a win-win.  Here’s what I did to solve the problem on closing projects on time, as well as massively improving my job.

  • Created an intensive training to enable teams to complete projects on time.
  • Delivered the training over a series of lunch-and-learns on project management and getting closure.
  • Mentored two employees for one quarter who were particularly struggling on this issue.

Our team’s project completion time improved overall by 10 days, which generated a savings of $226,000.

When I calculated the cost of my time, the teams’ time, then the difference, the investment was around $35,000. The results for the manager and the company ended up being a 545% return on investment. The savings of over $190,000 increased momentum in other areas.

Goal: Impact project pipeline by 10 days and get savings of $226K


    Savings of $226K – Investment $35K    545% Return on Investment

    ________________________________    = OR

      $35,000 Savings of $191,000 ($226,000-$35,000)

The biggest joy to me was that I led and delivered on a project involving soul-filling work.

I chalked up a “win”, and this led to a change in perception of my own capabilities at work. Now, you may not always impact the bottom-line that fast, but the key is you can take a small project and start changing perceptions

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a problem and get started right away. And when you succeed, share your story with me.


P.S: Download my free report, The Catastrophic Cost of Quitting: How Organizations and Employees Pay the Ultimate Price