Out of the millions of people that are able and willing to work, quite a large percentage of them are either underemployed or unemployed (14.5% and 6% respectively) in the United States today, which makes building up a savings account rather difficult to say the least. Based on conversations that I’ve had with many couples, the lack of savings is typically due to a spending problem, but there are quite a few people that earn far less than the average and a boost in pay would really help them beef up their savings accounts!
How to Earn More Money at Your Job
I have worked in Corporate America my entire adult life (ouch, that’s painful to admit!), and based on my experiences, I am aware of three ways to earn more money at your job (and I have actually done all three). First, you can simply ask for a raise. Second, you can earn yourself a promotion. And third, you can leave and find a new job that pays more money. This sounds simple enough, but how do you actually follow through on these actions? And what is the best way to earn more money at your job?
1) Ask For a Raise
Never just ask for a raise because you need money. That’s about the worst excuse there is. The only reason your company should ever give you a raise is because your work is worth it. In other words, your company should be benefiting financially because of the work that you do. Your payment is their expense, so their revenue on your work should be greater than the amount that they pay you, otherwise your work contribution isn’t earning them any profit and the position should therefore be eliminated (ie. you need to get fired)!
In order to effectively ask for a raise, at least one of the following statements should be true:
- The work you do is earning the company far more than the amount they pay you
- Other companies are paying far more for your position than your company does
- Your expertise should put you higher on the payment scale than you are currently
If one of the above statements is true, then you’ll need to prove it to your employer and then let them know that you’d like to be compensated fairly for your work. It’s a simple concept, but not always easy to do. Done effectively though, your employer almost always agrees that your value is larger than you’re currently being paid.
2) Get Promoted
I counted it up the other day and realized that I have been promoted 5 times in the last 7 years and have more than doubled my initial salary coming out of college. So how did I do it? To what actions can I contribute my success?
Of course there is not one single secret that will get you promoted every time, but here is a condensed list of actions that helped me considerably, and I believe that they can help you get promoted as well:
- Decide what area most excites you. Is it HR? Supply Management? Accounting? What is your ideal job?
- Find a mentor that is two or three levels above you and is in the area you desire and meet with them regularly about your current work and future aspirations
- Pick up other people’s work while they’re away – this could lead to your future job if that person ever leaves
- Ask for additional projects that extend beyond your normal scope – it helps you meet other people and increases your value to the company
- Let your mentor and other top level employees know that you’d like to advance in the company
Beyond the above items, I simply worked hard and was always certain that my work was accurate and helpful. Make your bosses look good and they’ll be sure to treat you well in return.
3) Leave and Work For Another Company
For whatever reason, some companies make it very difficult for people to learn, grow, and move up into better positions. I had this with the very first company I worked for. I had a degree in Finance, but wasn’t able to get hired into their finance team because I had very little experience. Instead, I was hired in as a Merchandising Analyst.
Of course, I still had the desire to work with finances and tried to get in on a couple of finance projects. But, the company wouldn’t allow it because it was out of my expertise. So, I wasn’t able to shift into Finance and work my way up that ladder, and there was nowhere to move up in my current department for the next 10 years, so I was stuck.
Rather than suck my thumb and have a pity party, I got my three years of work experience (most company’s minimum requirement for hiring) and got the heck out of there! The new company paid more and I was able to work my way onto the finance team where I have been promoted several times.
If you don’t think you have a spending problem, but instead have an income problem, then start focusing on earning more at your job. You can either do this by proving that you’re not getting paid enough (which should result in an immediate increase), working hard to get promoted, or finding another job elsewhere that will pay you more. Obviously, none of these actions are easy and can be quite intimidating, but wouldn’t it be worth it to see a 20% increase in pay? Think about what that could do for you!
What are you currently doing to earn more at your job in the future?