When you’re choosing a career path, your potential earning power is always a determining factor. While you may be compelled to choose a job you enjoy or to build a career that enables you to contribute to your community, your future salary will, inevitably, be a consideration.
Your happiness may not be solely dependent on how much you earn but having financial stability is certainly a step towards a fulfilling and stress-free life. When you can boost your salary and enjoy a higher income, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re able to fund your lifestyle and save for the future.
So, how do you go about optimizing your earning potential? If you want to maximize your revenue while doing something you love, take a look at these top nine ways to increase your earning power now:
1. Know Your Value
Your skills, experience and performance at work should provide your employer with value. After all, they’ll want to know that you’re delivering meaningful results in return for a salary. However, until you know what your value is, you won’t be in a position to negotiate.
Keep up to date with what other employers in your industry are offering for positions similar to yours. When you have an idea of how much you could earn by switching to a different employer, you’ll be able to determine whether your current salary is commensurate with your experience and expertise.
2. Ask for a Salary Increase
One of the quickest ways to increase your earning power is to simply ask for a raise! There’s no guarantee your employer will agree to your request but, if you provide compelling reasons why you deserve a salary increase, it will be hard for them to say no.
If you haven’t received a salary increase for some time, your current wage is significantly lower than what you could earn elsewhere or if you’ve taken on more responsibility, it’s likely you’re overdue a raise.
To increase your chances of a getting a successful outcome, make an appointment to speak with your manager, rather than catching them unawares. You’ll want to be able to explain the reasoning behind your request and showcase why you believe you deserve a salary increase.
3. Obtain More Qualification
Depending on your chosen career path, you may need to obtain certain qualifications before you can really start to climb the career ladder. If you want to be an attorney, for example, you’ll need to go to law school first and pass the relevant exams. However, obtaining qualifications isn’t something you should only do at the start of your career.
Continuing professional development allows you to expand your skills and will increase your value in the eyes of employers. If you’re a Registered Nurse (RN), for example, enrolling in online pediatric nurse practitioner programs at Baylor University, gives you the opportunity to qualify in an advanced nursing role. Once you’ve successfully completed the program, you’ll be qualified to apply for Nurse Practitioner roles, which offer a significantly higher salary than RN jobs.
Of course, the same rationale applies to other roles and industries too. If you’re working as a Marketing Executive, for example, completing a master’s in marketing management could give you the springboard you need to secure a role as a Marketing Director, for example.
4. Find a Mentor
Working with a mentor can help you to climb the career ladder more quickly and give you insider info into what it takes to succeed in your industry. Finding a mentor who is succeeding in your sector will ensure that they have the expertise and experience to guide you in the right direction.
Depending on your working environment and your contacts, you may be able to find a willing mentor amongst your peers. If not, there are other options available. Many mentoring schemes offer mentees the opportunity to connect with other professionals who can help them to succeed in a particular industry, for example.
5. Become a Thought Leader
Being a thought leader helps you to establish your credentials and raises your profile within your profession. When you are recognized as an industry leader, it naturally increases your earning potential and your employability. While it can take time to become well-known and highly respected, every step you take towards thought leadership will help you to realize your potential.
You can begin building your professional profile by publishing original and insightful content, perhaps on a personal blog or via a professional social media network, like LinkedIn. As your content gets consumed and shared by other people in your sector, it will increase your profile and highlight your talents.
From there, you can build on this initial success and secure additional opportunities. Publishing articles or papers in industry journals or magazines can be a good step forwards, for example. Similarly, hosting webinars, being a guest on podcasts and even speaking at seminars and conferences is an effective way to build your profile and establish yourself as a thought leader.
6. Volunteer to Take on More Responsibility
If you want to boost your salary package, you’ll need to be prepared to take on more responsibility. Instead of waiting to be asked to take on additional roles, volunteer your time and skills. Although you may not receive an immediate salary increase based on the extra responsibilities, there’s no doubt that it will stand you in good stead for the future.
When you volunteer for extra projects, play an active role in organizing team events or even suggest new initiatives and head them up, you’re consistently increasing your value. This will allow you to highlight your willingness to learn and be a team player, as well as giving you the chance to become more indispensable to your employer.
7. Gain Leadership Skills
As you take on more responsibility, you’ll also be able to hone your leadership skills. When you can command a higher salary, you’ll naturally be expected to hold more formal responsibilities. Before you can do this, however, you’ll need to show that you’ve got what it takes to lead a team or manage a department.
People often assume that you either have natural leadership qualities or you don’t, but this isn’t the case. In most instances, successful leaders spend time learning how to manage effectively and you can do the same.
By fine-tuning your communication skills, learning how to motivate people, refining your analytical thinking and becoming an active listener, you can lay the groundwork for a successful career as an industry leader. While there are a number of leadership skills you’ll need to master to reach the C-suite, these can be developed throughout your career, providing you make them a priority.
8. Choose a Specialism
Specializing in a particular sub-sector of your industry can be a savvy way to increase your earning power and enhance your expertise. In addition to this, choosing a specialism gives you the opportunity to focus on an area that you particularly enjoy, which means you can gain job satisfaction while boosting your salary.
People often assume that focusing on a specific niche can limit their future career options, but this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, having in-depth knowledge of a particular specialism can set you apart from other professionals in your sector and give you the ability to differentiate yourself from your peers. By doing so, you’ll become an expert in your field and be able to command a salary that reflects your expertise.
9. Focus on the Future
To deliver maximum value to your employer, it’s essential to have a good understanding of where your industry is headed. Knowing how your sector will evolve and being able to predict how the industry will change will make you a valued member of any team. After all, companies will need to adapt to a changing market in order to succeed and, if you can help them to do this, you’ll be in high demand.
Understanding the future of your profession requires a nuanced approach, so be sure to think outside the box. As well as addressing the impact of new technology on your working methods, for example, you may want to focus on how regulatory changes or even environmental changes could affect your industry. This level of insight, combined with commercial awareness and specialist knowledge, will give you the reputation you need to reach the top of your industry and increase your earning potential accordingly.
Start Building Your Career Now
No matter what job you’re currently in or what your professional aspirations are, you can start building your career and increasing your earning power right now. With a strategic approach, you can begin to lay the foundations for a successful and rewarding career, regardless of what your chosen profession is.
While it can take time to reach the top, your earning power, credentials, skills and responsibility will increase gradually, as you gain more experience and obtain more qualifications. As a result, you’ll enjoy long-term professional success and a salary that reflects your hard work and dedication.
By James Daniels
Bio: James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.