Who doesn’t want to get paid more? With inflation at a 40-year high and the economy slowly slipping into a recession, most people would love it right now if their employers gave them the chance to earn more than they are right now.
The problem is that businesses aren’t in the habit of handing money out freely. They want to maximize profits and ensure their own survivability by keeping costs down as low as possible (including salaries).
Yet, any reasonable employer is willing to increase your compensation if you can prove to them that it’s warranted. This is so absolutely important because the more you earn, the more you can put towards financial objectives like increasing your retirement contributions, paying off your mortgage, and reaching financial freedom.
So how do you demonstrate to your employer that you’re an asset and worthy of a bigger paycheck? Here are five tips for making more money at your job.
1. Learn Something New
Think about someone you work with who’s probably doubled or possibly even tripled their salary over time. Are they still doing exactly the same thing they were 5, 10, or even 20 years ago?
Most likely, no! I’m willing to bet they probably learned some new skills they didn’t have before.
Despite all the talk about workplace family and culture, let’s be real – employment is a very transactional relationship. You provide a necessary service, and the company compensates you for your contributions. That’s just how it goes …
So how can we leverage that equation to our benefit? Simple – learn how to do something else that would be beneficial to the business!
Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily have to be some extreme undertaking. Lots of people excelled in their careers just by learning new “soft” skills like:
- Talking with customers and making sales
- Creating and delivering presentations
- Analyzing financial statements
- Managing small teams
- Becoming trainers or mentors to new hires
What’s more is that when you’re taught how to do these things, that talent doesn’t go away. These are skills that you can use for life and take with you to other job opportunities or personal ventures. In fact, many people start side hustles or become entrepreneurs based on things they learned from their experiences as full-time employees. That’s something to think about for the long term!
2. Ask for More Responsibility
Again, the people who tend to get the biggest raises and selected for promotion are those who tend to be the go-to for the higher-ups. So if that’s something you want for your career, then perhaps it’s time to show them what you can bring to the table!
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to necessarily be a major role change or even require that you’re personally doing more work. Proving your capacity could be as simple as:
- Speaking up more in meetings
- Taking ownership of a project that you’re already assigned to
- Leading a small group of your peers
- Helping your boss on days where you’ve got some open capacity
The goal here is all about perception. Despite what you may think, your managers may only see you as one way or possibly even limited in what you know how to do. So, prove them wrong! Show them that you’re more than what you were hired to do and capable of being someone who’s a producer within the company.
3. Shift to a New Role
Sometimes half the problem is that the job you’re doing may be a dead end. The wages for that position might be capped or there might be no higher position for you to aspire to. If that’s the case, then it’s time to consider a strategic shift into another role.
The immediate benefit of applying for a new job within the same company might be more compensation. Salaries between some positions can sometimes be $10,000 or greater. Additionally, many of these job postings are never made public. Most companies will look internally to fulfill positions before they go outside looking for applicants, so you may already have the inside track.
Even if a job change seems like just a horizontal shift, think of it in terms of the possibilities. Some roles have more room for growth than others, and that can put you on the trajectory for major increases to your compensation in the future.
4. Ask for a Raise
Lots of companies are really good about having annual performance reviews and handing out raises to their employees. But every once in a while, you might have to take matters into your own hands. This can be especially true if you’ve done your research and know for a fact that you’re being paid well below market value for the type of job you’re doing.
The best way to approach asking for a raise is to be prepared. Come armed knowing what other companies in your industry are paying people with your credentials and years of experience. However, don’t make this the entire basis of your argument. Instead, focus on the hard work and achievements you’ve made for the company over the past year.
This is where those soft skills from Tip No. 1 can be more helpful than you think. It’s often been said that “selling yourself” is one of the best things you can ever learn to do in your career.
5. Switch Companies
If you’ve tried to be diplomatic and even offered to take on more responsibility, yet your employer is still refusing to increase your compensation, then it may be time to start shopping around. One of the great things about working in the U.S. is that most employees are on an “at-will” basis – meaning they’re free to change jobs with any company they please.
Before getting started, it will pay to spend some time researching other employees you’d like to move to. Don’t just jump at the ones that advertise the biggest salary. Consider other compensation perks like insurance, retirement plans, etc. as well as the job type (contract vs permanent). Be sure to also think long-term about potential growth within the company.
To get started, be sure to first refresh your resume and LinkedIn profile. If at all possible, leverage some of your personal contacts to try to get noticed by recruiters.
Don’t Let Lifestyle Creep Set In
If you set your mind to it and consistently work towards your goal, then eventually you will earn more money. But you have to be careful not to let yourself start spending more just because you’ve now got more income. this is a phenomenon called lifestyle creep, and it’s the reason why people who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year still find themselves feeling stuck and racked with debt.
The main way to fight back against lifestyle creep is to plan your expenses using a budget. To do this, try using a helpful app like Buxfer. Buxfer not only lets you set limits for each of your expenses but also monitors your transactions 24/7. That way you’ll always know if you’re on the right track and if any adjustments need to be made.
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