Does talking about money makes you uncomfortable? Do you think you may seem greedy if you admit you want more?
It's such a taboo that we avoid talking about it, but earning more and increasing your earning potential is part of the benefits of managing your career. It's the reward that comes with hard work. Or at least it should be.
The problem is most employers only give an average pay increase of 3% per year.
That’s… ridiculous. The 3% merit increase doesn't really move the needle, especially with the rise of inflation.
There are better ways to increase your earning potential without getting another degree or certificate, and you can put them in motion starting today.
5 ways to increase your earning potential
1. Change your mindset
One of the common reasons professionals struggle to increase their earning potential is that they simply don’t believe they can.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They let their past or current situation define what is possible, and they end up thinking too small. Instead of coming up with ways to grow their income by 30%, 50%, and even 100% they automatically limit their options and settle for what is given to them.
What you earn now doesn't need to be how much you earn in the future. Your past or your present does not define your future. The first step toward earning more is to know and believe you are capable of earning more.
There are two reasons why your mindset plays such an important role in how much you earn:
When you think small, you operate in a small realm of possibilities. If you don’t think you can double your salary, you’ll never consider opportunities that have this kind of reward.
When you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. If you don’t believe you deserve to earn more, why should they?
Don’t let your current situation define you. The only thing that defines your value in the market is the value you deliver, and you have full control over what you bring to the table.
2. Ask for a raise
You know the saying: “closed mouth don’t get fed?” Well, quiet employees don’t get a raise.
Contrary to what you think, your work doesn’t speak for itself. Your manager doesn’t read minds which means they don’t know you feel overworked and underpaid. You have to ask for what you want.
Don’t get me wrong, no one owes you a raise or a promotion. You need to demonstrate you deserve one, but in order to do that you have to speak up. Just doing the work isn’t enough. You have to show your manager WHY you deserve that raise and ask for it.
3. Qualify yourself for a promotion
According to Harvard Business Review people who change jobs on average, every two years end up earning double. Does that mean changing employers means earning more?
Well... Yes and no.
Sometimes another company would be willing to pay more for your skills and services. But that’s a long shot.
More often the people who leave and double their salary do so because they use the move to level up. They use their time with their employer to learn, stretch themselves and grow professionally. They qualify themselves for the next level in their career.
Then they either level up internally or change employers and get a promotion and a nice raise.
So moving every two years won't guarantee an increase in salary, but qualifying yourself for a promotion probably will.
Check out my promotion checklist to learn how to make your next promotion inevitable.
4. Find a mentor or a coach
One of the best ways to grow your career is to learn from someone who has been where you want to go. It’s like getting a cheat that saves you time and effort. If you feel stuck or have no idea what to do next finding a mentor can help you overcome the fear and get a step-by-step guide you can follow.
Here’s how you can find one:
5. Build a brand online
The easiest way to create opportunities and increase your luck is to build an online brand. Think about it, if only a handful of people know your work, you’ll only get a handful of opportunities within that circle. When you have an online brand you increase your circle. The more people are exposed to your name and reputation the more opportunities will come your way. It’s a numbers game.
It also doesn’t hurt that building a brand makes you seem more desirable and that means your stock price goes up.
You are one decision away from increasing your earning potential
Increasing your earning potential is something you need to do for yourself. No one will volunteer to pay you more for the same work unless you give them a good reason. And while it may require some time and practice, I know you can do it. You just need to believe in yourself and think more strategically.
Instead of feeling trapped waiting for an employer to decide you deserve a raise all on their own (they rarely do) take control of your career and make decisions that will put you in the position to earn more.
I believe in you and I’m rooting for you.