You spend a big chunk of your life at work so it makes sense that you want your income to reflect your effort. If your paycheck is feeling a little light, try these tips to boost your earnings and make more money at your day job.
#1 – Know Your Worth
Knowing how your income compares to the averages in your industry can give you an idea of your value and a confidence boost when it comes time to ask for a raise. You can use online job surveys such as Payscale.com, Salary.com, or Glassdoor.com. You can even search job listings in your industry though the salary range isn't always listed.
While these numbers can give you a good idea of where you stand, keep in mind that they are averages. Some professionals in your industry will make much more and some much less. Factors to consider are your location and your individual performance. If you're a rock star at work but your pay is less than the average, it could be a good time to have a conversation with your boss.
RELATED: 8 Ways to Ask for a Raise
#2 – Continue Learning
It's becoming harder and harder in corporate America to get promoted or become part of upper management without advanced education and/or certifications. The good news is that there are also more and more options for distant and online learning, making it easier than ever to continue your education.
Start by having a conversation with your manager about your desire to earn a certification or degree. Find out if your company offers any type of tuition assistance or reimbursement. Also, gauge your manager's interest and support. Will continuing your education help you earn more at your day job or help you get promoted?
You should also research job ads to see what types of qualifications they list for potential candidates. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money on a degree that isn't going to take your career to the next level.
#3 – Volunteer for New Projects
Aside from formally earning a certification or degree, another way to boost your earnings is to demonstrate that you've learned new skills. While you're looking to fatten your paycheck, the first thing on your employer's mind is always going to be how your skills can help the company.
Offer to take on additional tasks and get involved in new projects. You may be great at your current job, but you're already getting paid for that. If you want to make more, you often have to show that you're capable of doing more.
#4- Tackle the Job Above You
If you're looking to increase your earnings potential, start learning the job of the person above you. It's important to demonstrate that you can fill the next role and that you aren't letting yourself get too comfortable in your current position.
This may mean asking your boss for additional responsibilities and taking ownership of new tasks. Show that you can handle more responsibility with confidence. When you have questions for your manager bring solutions, not problems. If there is an issue, think through a potential way to solve it first before asking your manager for input. Don't go to your boss expecting them to offer the solution. This shows a lack of leadership and isn't likely to help you get promoted anytime soon.
#5 – Ask For What You Deserve
Asking for a raise can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but don't let that stop you. Just remember that timing is crucial. You should consider these points first:
- Are you really going above and beyond in your current role and getting good feedback from your manager?
- Do you have examples of difficult projects you've handled and customers you've made happy?
- How is your company performing financially? Do you see co-workers getting promotions, or is the company in a period of transition?
If you're doing an awesome job and you've been there at least a year or more, then it might be time to ask for what you’re worth.
#6 – Find a New Job
Research finds the biggest increase in earnings occur when you switch jobs. If you're happy, try and make it work at your current employer. If you really would like to earn more, consider hunting for a new job and negotiating for a higher salary upon entry.
Sure, you can just Google to see what jobs are available near you. But there is no guarantee that those sites will actually have something for you; you'll need to check out some of the best job sites in the business.
LinkedIn is the social media platform to be on for professionals. It's a great place to network with like-minded individuals and other people in your field. Unlike Facebook, people don't spend hours on LinkedIn every day. Chalk it up to the lack of Farmville and other addicting games. Rather, most people go on there maybe 10 minutes a day to check in with their connections and keep up with any company news.
Most businesses will post a job opening on LinkedIn, and around 87% of recruiters currently use LinkedIn to find relevant candidates. They know that many talented individuals use the website and have relevant work experience on it. Some places will allow you to simply use your LinkedIn profile to apply, so make sure yours is up-to-date.
Indeed takes job postings from several different websites and puts them all in one place. It also searches through several career pages of prominent companies and posts jobs found there. You can think of it like you're crazy hacks who stalks you and knows everything about you and your family, except as it applies to job listings. And, Indeed doesn't know where you live.
You can use a global or local search, as well as search for a salary range and use other filters to find your perfect job. Indeed also offers email notices (like a “Google alert” for jobs), so you don't have to miss a job posting.
Similar to Indeed, CareerBuilder compiles information from several sources. It uses news media such as press releases and blog posts to inform its job postings. However, unlike Indeed, it offers a variety of career resources, like advice and blog articles. You can use their personalized career tests to get an idea of what sort of industry you would succeed in.
You also have one free use of a feature called Hire Insider. This feature allows you to see how you compare to the competition for a particular job. If you want to see how good your guns are, this feature could seal the deal for you.
Along with job postings, Glassdoor has a large collection of company reviews created by their employees. Glassdoor allows you to see what it would be like to work for a particular company. A job posting might seem like the perfect fit for you, but you will need to make sure the company fits as well.
Another great thing about Glassdoor is that the companies don't have any say on what goes into the reviews about them. You can be sure that what you see is the truth instead of what the company wants you to see.
Knowing what you're worth is crucial when applying for jobs, and Payscale helps you do this. It ensures you and the company are in sync with compensation expectations and also helps ensure you ask for as much as you can get. This will help ensure your paycheck goes far enough to make you feel values, pay your bills, and meet all of your financial goals.
They've updated their functionalities lately so you can enter in tons of specific advice and get a scary-accurate picture of what you're worth in your industry and area (since compensation often varies by locale.) Definitely, DO NOT MISS this one.
Career Blogs (that also…happen to be job sites)
Nobody paid me to say this…but I also love sites like The Muse (geared toward women), Levo and The Ladders for career-focused advice that's actually fun and actionable and not super boring and generic. Be sure to check those out for advice on how to dust off your resume, handle tricky job situations and manage difficult co-workers.
Working the 9 to 5 (or even more likely the 8 to 7) can be draining especially if your paycheck isn't meeting your financial expectations. Don't get discouraged. Following the tips above can help you not only make more at your day job but also increase your earnings potential for years to come.