If you’ve been a visitor of this site, then you’ll know that we push the idea of increasing your current salary as an easier path to increasing income instead of trying to start a side business.
Even though side businesses can work, you spend most of your day at work so makes sense to exhaust your job earnings first and then move on to other endeavours. Plus, not every 9-5 person has the desire to run a business.
There are several ways that you can increase your salary but I need to preface this by saying that it won’t be easy especially if you work in large corporations with rigid salary bands. All professions are different so may not apply to every career but most of these tips can help you increase your 9-5 earnings or give you a clearer idea of your next steps.
1. Understand the Career Earnings
You need to understand the career you’re in and the trajectory that’s possible. There will be some careers that will cap out early on at a particular level so you need to be aware of this depending on the lifestyle you want to live.
You can look at the salary of senior roles in your field using a variety of methods including Glassdoor which shows you data. It also allows you to compare salary to others with the same/similar title. Although the numbers will never be 100% accurate because it’s based on submitted values from users, it gives you a solid idea of where you stand.
Understanding the career path that you’ve chosen also gives you further insight into the skills required to get to your desired level so you can map out the steps to make it a reality.
Also by seeing the skills required, you can decide whether that excites you and is a path you’ll enjoy because you don’t want to be stuck in a career path that you somewhat like.
2. Understand your Job Role
When you decide to apply for a job role the first thing you should do is look at the job spec and make a note of the key responsibilities. This is what you need to stick to as a minimum throughout your time in this role or take the steps to develop to a point where you can carry out these tasks.
This is important because in any future pay reviews you need to be in a position to prove that you’ve been undertaking your required role to a high level. It’s also good to go above and beyond and take on extra responsibility but you also need to show that you’ve been doing the baseline tasks too.
Understanding your job role also allows you to highlight the areas for improvement to get you to the next salary level.
3. Learn New Skills
If you want to move up to the next level then you need to start learning new skills. An easy way to do this is from your colleagues who are more senior than you, so never feel scared to ask them questions about how something works.
This enthusiasm isn’t forgotten and you don’t need to become an expert in these tasks but having a working knowledge of complex procedures can open new opportunities such as project work.
This new knowledge can also help you in future salary negotiations. Also, if you’re learning new skills this can unearth new passions that can lead to career changes into a more lucrative area that you enjoy.
Ask your workplace about any training courses that they have available as they’ll often have free courses allocated to the company. These can range from digital marketing to leadership to give you the skills to progress in your career to senior positions.
4. Track your Achievements
When you’re working, it’s easy to assume that you’re manager is seeing all the work that’s being completed but usually, there are so many moving parts in a business that they will miss things
So it’s up to you to track your key work accomplishments or milestones that you complete. This also makes your performance reviews more productive and likely to have a positive outcome if you have a list of all the key highlights.
This will show your value to the company and gives you more opportunities to ask for a salary raise or promotion. Tracking your achievements is also important if you have management changes where your new manager may not be aware of previous achievements.
Tracking achievements also makes it easy to update your CV giving you a higher quality application for any future job searches.
5. Move Career
Once you understand your desired salary, if you realise that your current career won’t progress to that level then you can begin to explore new careers. This feels like a huge step but a career change can be small or large.
You could even have a career change within the same company such as moving from the digital marketing department to the finance department.
The benefit of moving career within the same company is that they’ll normally keep you on a similar salary, whereas if you have a career change to a different company you may start on the minimum band salary range while they train you up.
Starting a new career may sound daunting but so does working in a career that you don’t enjoy or doesn’t let you reach your desired levels. Therefore learning new skills is very important as it may unearth these new passions that set you on the way to changing your career.
6. Negotiate your Salary
If you’re planning on moving jobs and starting a new role then it’s incredibly important to negotiate your salary to your desired level. As a prospective new employee, this is the most leverage you’ll have in increasing your salary because it’s significantly harder to receive salary increases as a current employee.
A lot of people make this mistake and feel that they need to accept whatever is offered. You should avoid this as you will always be slightly annoyed even when you start your new role. Always ask your employer what the salary range is and look on Glassdoor to see what the current salary is for the role.
Don’t be afraid to lose the employer as if they’re willing to hire you then you’ve already done the hard part and they’ll be open to the conversation. But of course, always be realistic with your demands.
7. Ask for a Pay Rise
The average salary rise barely beats inflation so essentially most people are earning the same amount year after year. For this reason, you need to be bold and ask for a bigger raise. To do this you need to be well prepared with achievements and justification for your request while having any salary research too.
In most cases, your manager wants to give you a salary raise but they need a justification to bring to their bosses to fight your case. The more evidence you have the better. If you have an annual appraisal then this gives you enough time to collate this data.
8. Have Patience
If you’ve found a career that has the progression you need then patience is a big underrated quality. Job hopping is often an option but sometimes you just need to be patient in your current role until you reap the benefits of gaining promotions and pay rises.
The grass isn’t always greener when it comes to moving companies. if you’re working for a company that cares about your development then don’t take that for granted. If you’ve got a development plan in place and you can see the steps that need to be taken then you’re in a strong position because now all you’ve got to do is deliver.
Never make assumptions about your career path and always speak to your manager to understand where it leads. You don’t want to be in a position where you’ve gone out and found a new job only to find out you were just about to be promoted to your current role.
9. Move Job
If you’re not getting your desired raise or there isn’t scope for development in your career then it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Hopping jobs doesn’t have the negative connotation that it used to have with previous generations.
It can be frustrating to have all the work accomplishments and relevant salary research but still not getting a salary raise. If you feel you aren’t being appreciated, then it’s time to look elsewhere.
Moving jobs also opens you up to learning new skills that can progress you further in your career not only in earning potential but in your role.
Increasing your salary is the main way of boosting your overall income and you should be paid adequately in relation to the value you bring to your employer.
Patience is key to this progress and the skills you learn in your 9-5 can also be applied to side hustles out of hours to further boost your monthly income.
Let me know of any other tips for increasing salary in the comments.