In today’s swelling jobless environment, most people are trying to batten down the hatches, hoping to hang on to their current employment and to avoid rocking the boat. Who would dare request a raise or seek a promotion? In fact, a number of companies have asked employees to take a salary reduction to help the company survive this economic tsunami.
Like most people, you may assume that a higher-paying job will bring you a better lifestyle. But financial advisers point out that an increase in income of $100 is the same as a decrease in expenses of $100.
Admittedly there are times when you just need to make more money to make ends meet. There are ways to boost your potential to earn more money. One is through formal education and training as past career studies have shown.
Typically this has meant getting an advanced degree or taking continuing education courses. But today’s economic climate calls for greater scrutiny of what applies to your specific situation, says Karen D. Bowser, a Five O’Clock Club career coach and principal of New York-based Bowser Research & Consulting Inc.
Bowser suggests a more informal path of educating yourself about what is going on at your company and in your industry. For example, she says, participate in employee networking or affinity groups events. “This way you get to know people in other parts of the company.” Also, become more involved with professional associations or trade groups to learn about trends and challenges within your profession. “You become better informed and that makes you more of an asset in your company,” she adds.
It also pays to develop a board of career advisers. Make sure you have several mentors inside and outside of the company who can provide specific training, advice, and direction on your career development and leadership responsibilities.
Regardless if you feel like your job might be in jeopardy, you need to do an assessment of yourself to drive your career forward, Bowser says. “Take a look at your past experience and education. “What are the things that you do well and enjoy doing? What skills should you be using in the workplace?” You can access career assessment tools as well as career counselors through The Five O’Clock Club.
Companies still rely heavily on the intellectual capital of key employees to manage resources and lead departments. So, upgrading your skills can still increase your chances of getting a higher salary, a promotion, or a better job. Career counselors caution that right now you may not want to invest in an advanced degree, but you can still take coursework.
If it will give you a leg up the ladder, enroll in executive management or career advancement programs. Such courses will help you to develop and enhance core competencies as well as improve your standing within the company. By participating in an executive education program, you may learn how to put effective collaborative methods of leadership into play. Check out top colleges and universities across the county, a number of which offer career advancement, executive management, and business education programs.
Also, even if you aren’t prepared to change jobs to grow your career, continue to update and revise your resume. Go on exploratory interviews in order to stay abreast of the current market, Bowser suggests. This allows you to know what people are really looking for beyond what is placed in an ad and how well you come across based on your experience and education level.
“It is important that you understand what you can and cannot control,” Bowser says. “You cannot control whether your company is going to lay off employees. But you can control your skills set and what you have to offer—your desirability on the market.”
Further Reading: Wealth For Life Principles
1. I Will Live Within My Means
2. I Will Maximize My Income Potential Through Education and Training
3. I Will Effectively Manage My Budget, Credit, Debt, and Tax Obligations
4. I Will Save At Least 10% of My Income
5. I Will Use Homeownership as a Foundation For Building Wealth
6. I Will Devise An Investment Plan For My Retirement Needs And Childrens’ Education
7. I Will Ensure That My Entire Family Adheres To Sensible Money Management Principles
8. I Will Support the Creation and Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses
9. I Will Guarantee My Wealth Is Passed On To Future Generations Through Proper Insurance And Estate Planning
10. I Will Strengthen My Community Through Philanthropy