by Laura Gibbons
Do you wish to earn more money this upcoming year? I often hear people say that they deserve a raise because they work hard and are good at their job. The conversation usually goes something like this. I deserve a raise because I show up on time every day, I always hit my deadlines, I am a team player, I work hard, or I have been in this position for years. Unfortunately, strong job performance is not usually enough to warrant an increase in pay or a promotion. Too often, people assume that strong job performance will translate into more cash. In reality, you are already being compensated for completing your job well. If you want to earn more money, you must bring additional value to the company. In order to earn more money, your job skills must be worth more money.
Several years ago, I learned this lesson the hard way. Feeling frustrated and undercompensated, I made an appointment with my boss to discuss the need for an increase in pay. I outlined all of the reasons why I deserved a raise. I never took a sick day, I always completed my tasks on time, I was organized, efficient, and always willing to help others. I thought that completing my job well meant that I deserved more money. Unfortunately, my boss did not agree. She thanked me for my hard work, agreed that I was doing a terrific job, but felt as though I was already being compensating for completing my job. If I wanted to earn more money, I would need to take on additional responsibilities and increase my job skills. Even though I did not get a raise that day, I will forever be grateful for that conversation. I finally understood that my career path and salary were truly mine to control. If I wanted to earn more money, my job skills would need to be worth more money.
Over the next few weeks, I spent a lot of time thinking about my career path. I asked myself the following questions. What was my 5-year career goal? What skills did I need in order to achieve that goal? I searched online for similar job openings. Job postings are a great way to learn more about your goal position because they typically list the qualifications and desired skills right in the body of the posting. I viewed multiple job postings, looked for patterns, and made a list of the skills and qualifications needed for this position.
Next, I had to take an honest look at myself and make a list of my current strengths and weaknesses. Did I have all of the job skills and qualifications needed for my goal position? Which skills did I need to grow? Which weaknesses did I need to overcome? How can I improve my skills easily and affordably? I knew that I wanted to improve my skills but I did not want to go back to school in order to do it. I decided to do some research and realized that there were many different options available to me such as books, online courses, YouTube videos, free information on the internet, and even mentors within my community. I reviewed my options and quickly made an action plan that would increase my job skills and allow me to earn more money fast.
My two favorite ways to easily and affordably increase my skills are through books and online courses. Self-improvement, educational, or career related books are readily available on the internet or through your local bookstore. You can read customer reviews to narrow down your search and find the best books for your needs. I have compiled a list of my favorite books on my website, www.9to5survivalguide.com on the Recommended Books page. If you don’t have a lot of free time to sit down and read a book, try audio books. I often listen to audio books in my car on my way to and from the office. It is an effective way to learn new skills without giving up any of my free time.
Online courses are also a great way to improve your job skills. They are often focused on one specific skill (such as learning excel or improving public speaking skills) and are taught by experienced teachers who walk you through the process one step at a time. There are many sites that you can visit to find effective and affordable online courses. My favorite online course site is Udemy. They offer a wide variety of courses on almost any topic imaginable. They also show you customer reviews and ratings, tell you how many people have enrolled in the course, and tell you exactly what to expect from the course. I have compiled a list of my favorite online courses on my Survival Tools page on my website, www.9to5survivalguide.com. You can also click on the banner below to search through Udemy’s many course options to find the right option for you.
There is also a lot of free information readily available on the internet in the form of blogs, YouTube videos, forums, and even free e-books. In order to earn more money, I quickly realized that I needed to improve my Microsoft Excel skills. I had a list of formulas that I wanted to understand better. I was able to go onto YouTube pull up free videos that explained when to use these formulas and how to write to them. After one day of watching YouTube videos, I was able to implement my new skills at work and immediately saw the benefits. There is a ton of valuable and free information available as long as you know how and where to look for it.
Are you looking for more ways to increase your job skills so that you can earn more money at work? Sign up for my free e-book below to learn my easy to follow, 10 step process, to add value at work.
You are in control of your own career path. If you are unhappy with your current position, salary, or job performance, it is up to you to make the necessary changes to improve your life.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” – Chris Grosser