As an ambitious person, you’re always working toward your next career goal. Right now, you’re focused on improving your earning power, but you’re not sure where to start.
There’s no time like the present, so you’re interested in advice that can help boost your net worth as quickly as possible — as well as guidance that will serve you in the long term. Taking these steps now will keep you on track for a very bright future.
Ready to get started? Here are seven tips from career experts to help you start working toward maximizing your earning power in a week.
Know Your Value
“The best way to increase your earning power in the short term is to know and position the exact value you bring to your current company and the market as a whole,” said Amanda Traugutt, a career coach at Elevated Resumes.
If you haven’t prepared a clear message explaining why your earning power has gone up, she said it will be hard to quantify the difference.
“For immediate action, approach three to five colleagues and ask them to objectively provide input as to the impact you make on their jobs,” she said. “How does your presence and skillset make their jobs easier and more effective?”
After gathering this information, create a value statement that positions you as an authority in a specific area.
Establish a Personal Brand
You won’t build a strong personal brand in a week, but Traugutt said having businesses come to you — instead of the other way around — can ultimately boost your earning power.
“Personal brands increase your earning power, because they position you as an in-demand expert in that field,” she said. “Businesses want to hire the best of the best. By leveraging an industry-related personal brand, you can put companies in competition to win your services or employment.”
When there’s an increased demand for your expertise, the value of your time and knowledge will rise simultaneously.
“More competition drives your earning power higher and higher,” she said. “This approach takes some time to build up but can pay off in a big way when your earning power grows exponentially.”
If you’ve been procrastinating finding a new job, make this the week you finally get started.
“In the short term, switching jobs is one of the quickest ways to improve your earnings,” said Michael Moran, founder of Green Lion Search, a Texas-based recruitment agency. “Of course, you want to look for and move into jobs that align with your skills, experience and market value and will pay you more than you are currently earning.”
Anjela Mangrum — founder and president of Mangrum Career Solutions, based in Cincinnati, Ohio — said young professionals shouldn’t stay too long in one place.
“While a raise or a promotion can be good for a decent pay increase, switching companies is the best for maximizing your earning power,” said Mangrum, who is also a certified personnel consultant. “I don’t believe young professionals who are ambitious about their income should be willing to settle down at a firm they like.”
Instead, she recommended being open to change and seeking new opportunities after you’ve been in the same job for a couple of years. Do note the latter part though, as she said switching jobs too often can hurt your chances of being hired for future jobs.
If all else fails, Mangrum said to at least consider a lateral job change in another department at your current company or a similar role at another organization.
“I’ve seen cases where employees left high-paying, dead-end jobs for slightly lower pay at organizations that offered better opportunities and quickly advanced to senior-level positions,” she said. “If you have a growth mindset, you’ll eventually become successful in securing higher salaries.”
Negotiate Your Salary
If you haven’t had a raise in a while, Moran suggested to have a conversation with your boss. He said he encourages professionals to negotiate their salaries often.
“If you don’t bring up the ‘S’ conversation, don’t expect your manager to bring it up,” he said. “If you’re taking on extra responsibilities at work, successfully leading projects, hitting targets and delivering great results, ask for a salary raise at least twice a year.”
Mangrum also emphasized the importance of asking for a raise and noted that doing so often results in at least a 6% salary increase — if all other factors are in your favor.
Opening your mind to a career-focused move can boost your earning power, Moran said.
“If you live in a city with slow economic growth and few job prospects,” he said, “moving to a bigger, more progressive city can see you earn significantly more — even in your first job there.”
While you certainly won’t pick up and move in a week, starting to think about the possibility of relocation is the first step.
Invest in Yourself
Knowledge is power, so Mangrum advised constantly updating your skillset to include newer, more relevant abilities.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for professionals today to avail whatever opportunities they find for ongoing training,” she said. “Being proactive in hunting down modern industry trends and techniques and upskilling yourself to do things better and more efficiently with the latest software can help you stay competent for higher-paying positions in the corporate world.”
Start a Side Hustle
A side project is ideal for both earning extra cash and gaining new skills and experience, Mangrum suggested.
“A small side business is a great way to earn additional income besides your monthly paycheck,” she said. “I recommend exploring your hobbies and monetizing something you enjoy and are good at to lessen the risk of getting burned out from overworking.”
Plus, if your venture is successful, it could turn into a lucrative full-time gig someday.
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