There is a term out there called WIIFM,. It is an acronym for What’s In It For me. Most people use it when they boss says “I need you to work late tonight” and the employee asks “What’s in it for me?” His or her boss says, “You get time and a half or double time” The employee responds with “What else is in it for me?” In this example, both times the employee used WIIFM he or she got it all wrong.
The misuse and abuse of WIIFM
Most people who use the WIIFM use it to try to negotiate for something that will only give them immediate and/or short-term gratification. Most occurrences I have herd of the WIIFM being used have been worked related – when someone is asked to do a job or do more than what their job description asks of them. These “poor negotiators and/or greedy employees” want more than extra pay, they often want free food, extra time off from work, etc. When they use the WIIFM in this manner, many of the WIIFM abusers do not realize they are not impressing their employers and worse – they are not using the WIIFM to its fullest potential.
Use WIFFM correctly and you can propel your career and life further than your wildest dreams!
I’ll admit it, I used to use WIFFM for short term rewards and instant gratifications as a child, but I have outgrown that habit. Today I use the WIIFM to help guide my career.
Today when I use the WIIFM I am not thinking about the now, I am thinking about how this action or this decision will help me reach my long-term goals.
2010, as I ramped down my eBay business, I set forth my goals for my future. My goals included wanting to write a memoir about surviving an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord and becoming a motivational and inspirational speaker.
In early 2011 when I began to search for volunteer opportunities, I started to search for positions that I could either gain skills to help me reach my goals, or that could propel me on my path to achieve my dreams.
My first volunteer position was through Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I became a part of the newly launched lunch buddy program. As a lunch buddy a young school aged student got himself a gown-up friend and mentor, and I got the chance to develop skills that I plan to use to mentor others who desire to overcome any obstacles in their life.
My second volunteer position was to work at Freeman Health System.
I was confident that I could bring to them a volunteer who knew what it was like to be in a hospital from both sides of the gurney. I had not only woken in an CVICU to learn that I had survived an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord during surgery, but I also know what it was like to hold a loved one’s hand while she watched her loved one be removed from life support and pass away.
I took the position not only to be a blessing to others, but I was hoping the relationships I build at Freeman would help me connect with families and other agencies that I would be able to speak to about overcoming obstacles. I also hoped that I could network and find some medical professionals whom might be willing to help make sure my medical facts were accurate in my memoir.
How the WIIFM worked
Although I have not fully received all the benefits form my volunteer position that I had listed – yet, my use of the WIIFM when choosing what volunteer positions to take have blessed me with more than I ever had hoped to receive.
I have grown in self-confidence and in assertiveness – two areas that I needed to grow in.
In retrospect WIIFM should be thought of as WIIFMC – What’s In It For My career?