For my motivated millennials out there – today I wanted to talk about some different ways I’ve been able to leverage my knowledge, talent and skills to make more money and essentially more than triple my income in the past four years.
You might not realize it, but often times there are opportunities every single day that we come across to increase our income. We can choose to ignore these opportunities, or jump right on them! More often than not, we also fail to recognize that most opportunities are created by us!
1. Set Expectations Ahead of Time
When interviewing for a job, make it a point (probably later in the meeting) to discuss how you want to grow your career and uncover new opportunities while working in this position at this new company.
Make sure the person hiring along and/or the person who will be managing you knows that you are driven to grow your career and want to be promoted as soon as it makes sense for the company.
During this conversation, make sure they know you are willing to do what it takes to be considered for such a promotion. This sets the table for your motivation and drive and allows you to start to set yourself apart from others.
If you didn’t discuss it during the interview, don’t worry – you can still bring this up as time goes on. Showing initiative is the first step.
2. Think Like A Boss
I mean this literally – not just metaphorically 😉 Think about what your boss has asked you to do. Think about what his/her boss has asked them to do. What can you do or offer to them that will help them reach their goal, which aligns with the company’s goal?
Start to brainstorm how you could potentially not only do your job position well, but help in other areas that could lead you to more tasks/duties/responsibilities, which could lead to a promotion or raise!
3. Volunteer in other Areas
Once you establish what different things you could handle taking on – while still killing it at your current job position – volunteer to help. Call for a meeting with your boss and express your desire to do more.
I’ve never been told “no I don’t want you to help in XYZ area” because more often than not, the boss has been having to handle this themselves or it has been put on the back burner due to lack of time or focus.
Explain to your boss that you identified this area that needs some attention, and that you’d be interested in working on with the idea that you want to be seen as a bigger asset to the company.
Be sure to make your intentions clear: you want to help in more areas so that you could be promoted to the next level/position/whatever it might be. Also, don’t be discouraged if your boss doesn’t think your idea is good – instead, be open to hearing and ask what other areas they think you might be able to help out in.
4. Work for Smaller Companies
In my experience, I’ve mostly worked for companies that have anywhere between 25-200 employees. This opens the door for TONS of opportunities.
I’ve been able to get WAY more experience than most people my age simply because I’ve been tasked with a lot more things than someone who works at a larger company.
This makes my experience and knowledge indispensable. It also has given me the opportunity to ask for more money when it made sense.
5. Ask for more
This can be a hard one for some people – but sometimes making more money is as simple as asking to make more money. But remember #2 here – and this is important- because I’m pretty sure no one’s boss would just give them a raise just because they asked for it.
Start to keep a list or log of everything you do, and break down why you think you should make more at it. Look at your competitors (i.e. coworkers) and compare: do you get more work done, do you bring in more business, do you keep more clients, do you create things or processes that others use, do you guide or train others, do you take on more tasks than others, do you make other people’s work life easier/more efficient, are you a positive influence, etc…
Look at what you have done different during your time at the company and assess. Ask yourself: do I deserve more money? What does the job market pay for this kind of position? Am I better at this than most people?
Also, be honest with yourself. Millennials get a lot of flack for being entitled. If you aren’t dedicated and killing it at work, or if you aren’t doing exceptional things, don’t ask for a raise.
On the other hand, I also know a lot of millennials who don’t realize what they’re worth. Which is a whole other topic. But start to look at these things and it might help you realize you are actually worth more than what you initially thought.
6. Side Hustles
Another way that you can make some extra cash is to look into a side hustle. What are you good at? What job experiences have you had that you can resell as a freelancer or consultant?
Places like Upwork and Fiverr are great if you are looking to take on some side projects. You can choose projects to work on based on your own schedule. Also, ask your network who needs help in the area you are an expert in.
Your network is your net worth! Seriously! The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll come across. If your current job just isn’t working for you, get out there and start searching for what will work for you.
Start attending local networking groups that are niche or age specific. I go to marketing meetings, young professional meetings, women networking meetings, alumni meeting etc.. all of which I’ve made wonderful connections at.
8. Look into Leadership Roles
If you’ve mastered your skill or role, and you feel like you know more about it than most the people on your team, start considering a leadership or management position. Start asking your company if such opportunities are present. Also start asking if others need your help or are stuck.
Offer your free advice and feedback, and make a mental (or written) note of each time you’ve stepped in when others were busy so you can start to build a case for why you should be considered. Make sure you understand what a leader is and looks like.
Many companies believe in the idea of leading by example. If you are going out to happy hour until midnight, trash talking coworkers or management on a consistent basis, showing up late, calling in sick, etc.. then most likely you aren’t ready for leadership. When you start to think like a boss (and act like one), then it’s time.
9. Open A Business
If you’ve already been in leadership or just have an extreme case of wanting to work for yourself, open your own business. At first, you might be out some money. But the reward can often times outweigh the risk. Plus – being a business owner (depending on what kind of business) gives you the most opportunity to make the most amount of money!
10. Don’t Forget Your Why
To end on a more sentimental note – money isn’t the key to happiness. Having a purpose and/or helping others is what I most commonly hear is the key to happiness. Whatever you do to make or pursue money, make sure you do it with compassion and purpose. Think about why you do what you do.
People who are truly passionate about their career or what they do, tend to be the most successful at it. I think most people would agree that they would rather be slap happy and average than miserable and rich.
I hope you enjoyed today’s topic! I’ve been entrepreneurial since I can barely remember. I opened my first business when I was in 5th grade! But I’ve learned over the years that you can’t just take any job that pays more than the last. You have to figure out what it is that makes you happy, and then really go for it!
Bonus: Dress For Success
I don’t know about you, but I generally accept a person faster if they simply take care of themselves and their appearance. When someone takes the effort to look good, I know that they take themselves seriously.
Plus, when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you do good. You do good work, you do good things, and it simply shows people that you care.
If you are in a more casual office, throw on some statement jewelry, shoes or a blazer to look a little more put together without looking stuffy. In a more professional office, experiment with different pants, skirts, blazers and dresses that make you feel powerful. Trust me, it helps. 🙂
About the Outfit:
Not to mention – joggers are SUPER flattering on a hourglass or pear shaped figure since they are high-waisted and accentuate that cute tiny waist. These would honestly flatter most body types as well.
And as a bonus – the pants are SUPER affordable!!
What are your favorite pants to wear to work? Where do you like to shop for work clothes?