5 Ways to Maximize Your Worth
How to make more money all career long.
You’ve finished college and are now in the midst of a career, one that may last 40 years or longer. Hopefully, you made the right choice and are reaping the benefits of a career choice that is right for you.
Besides doing what you love, getting paid what you’re worth is important. Start off with a low salary and you may find it difficult to catch up, losing thousands of dollars every year, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. This means you need to know what you’re worth and to ask for it. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to determine your salary level.
1. Salary information – Uncovering salary information can be done by using a variety of online tools including several that are listed in the resources section following this article. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics gives official government information about salary levels and trends by occupation, a good resource to see how much you should make given your experience, location, education and other factors. Other tools can be helpful to enable you to find wage information in your area.
2. Consider moving on – You may be satisfied with your job, but staying put can prove costly. Compare your career to a colleague who started out with you and your company, but has since moved on. Likely, he now earns much more money by switching employers, a career move that can have positive financial repercussions. As long as you are in demand, well known and have solid credentials, you should consider finding a new job too. Your current employer may balk at a 30 percent raise, not wanting to match what your new employer may offer.
3. Look for internal growth – If you’re not in a position to move out, you may be able to move up in your organization. Keep an eye out for job opportunities up the ladder or make a parallel move to acquire new skills. You may need to defer increased pay for the short term gain of building your portfolio and enhancing your credibility. But, don’t stay stuck for too long – better opportunities with increased pay should not be passed up.
4. Get educated – You may already possess a master’s degree and see little need for additional formal education. This sort of thinking should be furthest from your mind as new technologies and ways of doing business mean “life long learning” should be practiced. Consider learning a new language, brushing up on your web savvy skills or take a management course. These enhancements make you a more valuable employee, someone who can command a higher salary.
5. Know when to hold them, know when to fold them – I’m no gambler and you shouldn’t be too, especially when it pertains to your job. Still, there are times when you’re going to need to lay all of your cards on the table. There are other times when you’ll need to hold that information close to your vest. Without taking risks, you won’t get ahead. However, foolish choices can hurt you. Carefully weigh your options; seek the guidance of a mentor who can advise you and guide you.
Are there more important things in life than what you make? You bet. However, maximizing your worth can allow you to pursue those things you want and need, something a limited salary can never deliver.