You may have some ambitious plans for building your nest egg, making a big purchase such as a second home or doing some ambitious travel. Conventional wisdom says to sock away more, you need to cut back your expenses. Then there’s the option we often forget when we have an established career: you can make more money.
If you’re already working hard, that might seem tricky. But there are some fairly easy ways to bump up your pay. Here’s how to do it.
If you want to make more money in your current job, ask for it – you may be pleasantly surprised.
Negotiate a raise
If you want to make more money in your current job, ask for it – you may be pleasantly surprised. However, be prepared before you request a raise, says Sheryl Boswell, director of marketing for job-listing website Monster Canada. “Have a hard number going in. Base your request on research by finding out what others in your field are paid,” she says. “Make a list of your accomplishments and practice to get your pitch right.”
Quit your job
One nearly surefire way to get a salary boost is to switch jobs. According to a Wharton School study, you can get an 18 percent to 20 percent increase in pay by taking a new job, versus what you’d get through an internal promotion. “Switching jobs can be a good way to increase your salary,” says Boswell. The best way to land that lucrative new gig is to tap your network outside your current workplace. One study found that employee referrals generate 40 percent of new hires.
Upgrade your skills
Professional development can lead to new skills or give you a piece of paper to confirm your excellence in existing ones–both might lead to a pay hike over time. For instance, Robert Half International found that in the accounting sector, professional certifications can increase pay by as much as 10 percent. These can take years to complete, but many employers help foot the bill. Also, consider taking management and leadership courses, says Boswell. “Hard skills may help you get your foot in the door, but soft skills will keep you there,” she says.
Joining an industry organization can get you access to those professional development opportunities and connect you to networking events that could lead to a new, better-paying job. Volunteering with a professional group, meanwhile, looks great on a résumé and can help develop new hard and soft skills.
Learn another language
Being multilingual will increase your earning power by an average of 2 percent, depending on the language you learn. That may not sound like a lot, but over the long term, factoring in compound interest, that one-time raise could add up to six figures over a lifetime. As a bonus, such skills can lead to on-the-job travel.
When you earn more, you can do more with your money, so it’s a good idea to make earning more part of a financial plan. Plans to up your salary may not be as predictable as cutting expenses–you may be qualified for a new, higher paying job, but it may not come along at the perfect time–but long-term career thinking should lead to more dollars down the road.
Written and published by Investors Group as a general source of information only. Not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, or to provide tax, legal or investment advice. Seek advice on your specific circumstances from an Investors Group Consultant.