You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to make more money. Finding someone who knows how to do it and is willing to put in the effort, though, is another story. Making more money isn’t easy. But dedicating the time and energy is worth it. Even a small increase in earnings will make a big difference over time.
If it’s been a while since you’ve increased your earnings, it’s time to act. These seven ideas will help you put more money in your pocket.
1. Ask for a Raise
Continuing to do the same amount of work and getting more money for it is an optimal solution. But asking for a raise is probably one of the more intimidating things you’ll do in your professional life. Exactly how you go about asking for more money depends largely on your situation and your boss.
Many different sites give good advice on asking for a raise. I find both Forbes’ guide and their article sharing managers’ advice on how to ask for a raise to be very helpful. Salary.com’s 9 Things You Should Never Say When Asking for a Raise is also really good. In the end, though, it all comes down to showing your boss that you’re providing a lot of value for the company. And (politely) asking to be compensated for that value.
A raise can endorse your value to the company. While the amount you can get depends on many factors, there’s a good chance you could secure a 2–3 percent raise. With a $50,000 salary, that’s an extra $1,000 to $1,500 each year. Without changing your responsibilities. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
2. Get a New Job
If you’re not getting paid what you think you deserve, you may want to start a job search. Changing jobs is a big hassle, but when it comes to your finances, it will almost certainly be worth it. Of course, just because you start looking for a job doesn’t mean that you’ll get one. It could take months. But being on the lookout is always a good idea.
Figure out your market worth. You can use tools like Salary.com and Glassdoor to figure out what you might get paid in a new job. This is especially useful if you’re thinking about changing fields. And if you currently have a job, be sure to make your job search discreet. Few things are more awkward than having your boss look over your shoulder and see that you’re browsing job listings.
3. Educate Yourself
Whether you’re sticking with your current job or getting a new one, adding to your credentials can be a great way to increase your value (and, therefore, salary). And with the huge number of online courses available, you can surely find something that’s relevant to your position.
Lynda and Udemy offer many courses that come with certifications, and universities are increasingly offering similar programs. Showing your employer, new or old, that you’re putting in the effort to educate yourself can be a great way to show your commitment. And, of course, add value to the company.
You can further your skills in a specific area. For example, if you do a lot of work with spreadsheets, you can take an Excel course. Or you can learn something completely new, like the principles of design, so that you can take on new projects. It all depends on your interests and what you think your employer will appreciate.
4. Get a Side Job
Of course, your primary job isn’t the only way to earn money. Many people are picking up side jobs to earn some extra cash. You must be willing to commit some time, but it can be well worth it. As you might expect, focusing on your strengths is key. If you have some coding talent, freelancing as a coder might be a good way to go. If you have a passion for running and love talking to people about it, getting a part-time job at a running store will not only earn you money, but also be fun.
Think about a side hustle for extra cash. You can also pick up small jobs here and there without committing to anything highly time-consuming. The Craigslist Labor Gigs section, for example, often has things like cleaning, moving, painting, and all sorts of other things for each city. With a little extra time and a willingness to help people out, you can always find something to do for a bit of cash.
Looking for inspiration and success stories? I would recommend you give an ear to Chris Guillebeau and his podcast called Side Hustle School for ideas.