5 Ways To Make More Money At Work

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Making More Money At Work  

Part of your overall financial plan should be to find ways to increase the amount of money you are making at work, outside of the normal pay increases you may receive. Why? If your average yearly increase is the typical 3%, you are just getting by, considering inflation. At 3% you might be able to maintain your current lifestyle until you retire…..if you are lucky and something like a layoff or recession doesn’t happen.

In order to ensure you are doing better each year, economically speaking, versus simply maintaining, or worse, falling behind, you must make more than the “average” increases. How?

Two of the best ways to earn more is to 1) have your boss give you more than the average pay increase everyone else is getting and 2) get a higher paying position at your company. Here are 5 ways to ensure that one or both of these happen for you.

1. Keep records
12 months can be a very long time. If you receive your performance evaluation once per year it may be hard to remember what you were working on earlier in the year and discuss it with your supervisor. So that you can adequately talk to your boss about your contributions, be sure you are always recording your accomplishments AND what you have done in order to improve yourself / make yourself more valuable to the company.

If you are going to ask for a larger than normal pay increase you better be ready to justify why you should receive more money. Having these records will support your request. Your records will also give you great content for your resume when you are submitting an application for a new job at your current workplace. Many people struggle during interviews with other departments when asked what meaningful, impactful projects they have completed or what they have done on their own to improve themselves.

2. How you dress
Don’t think its fair or right for your boss / co-workers to judge you on your appearance? Don’t care what others think about your appearance? Best to get over that. How you dress says a lot about you. How you dress for work should be approached just as strategically as you approach any other area of your career planning. Many studies have proven that, just like how you organize or decorate your work space, your physical appearance sends an unspoken message about your involvement at work.

Here are a few tips. Dress in a manner that is appropriate for your type of work and particular work place, but be dressed the best. If its “jeans day”, wear the best casual clothes, don’t look sloppy or too casual. Don’t dress better than your boss – you don’t want to make her feel like she looks worse than you. Don’t dress worse than your co-workers – you don’t want to unintentionally send the message that you don’t care how you look (which, by the way, is another way of saying “I don’t care about my job”).

3. Stay active on social media
If managed properly, a strong online presence is an excellent way to demonstrate your value to your employer. Understand that people, including your boss and co-workers, will see your public profile – use that to your advantage. Strategically use social media as a tool that allows you to be presented as an invaluable asset to your company. How do you do that?

First, be your company’s biggest online fan. Leave positive comments on their LinkedIn company page, retweet their tweets, like them on Facebook, and write your own posts about your favorite things at work. Secondly, talk about your industry and expertise online. Comment on industry trends and offer suggestions to common problems. This portrays you as an involved, knowledgeable contributor; someone your company would want to incentivize to stick around.

4. Network
Networking is not adding a name to your list of contacts on LinkedIn. It is the strategic exercise of building professional, mutually beneficial relationships with your peers and contacts. Having a friendly relationship with key people at work and in your industry will make you a much more effective employee, as well as, a front runner for more attractive, higher paying positions.

Building those relationships means you will often need to be the first one to reach out. Introduce yourself, ask questions so you can learn more about others and their interests, be helpful, be friendly, be warm and open toward others. Making friends in your industry can be hard work, but it is always worth it. Also, don’t get caught up in people’s rank or position. The company’s receptionist can be just as connected as the CEO.

Where can / should you network:
-Training classes
-Various sub-divisions of your department.
-The cafeteria
-Holiday parties
-Large meetings
-Wherever you see new faces at work

5. Be friendly with your boss
Much like it pays to have peers who are willing to look out for you, it pays to have a strong relationship with your boss. Generally speaking, he is the person with the most influence over your chances of getting promoted at work. Even if you dislike him, your direct supervisor will often be the person who can open doors for you and put you on the right track when working toward a promotion. Certainly, a boss that favors you is more likely to expend the energy in helping you achieve greater success at work.

Having a boss that favors you doesn’t necessarily mean you are friends, but rather you have a relationship that more closely mimics a friendship than it does the traditional corporate employee-employer definition. Keep in mind though, that your “friendship” is strategic. He is still your boss and must be treated as such, but its ok to encourage and foster a more favorable relationship. Never expect favorable treatment, rather earn it and give your boss many reasons to validate his fondness of you…it could pay off.

How can a friendly boss have a positive influence on your career? He can:
-Groom you for a higher level position
-Give you favorable evaluations
-Refer you to other internal hiring managers
-Make you aware of unadvertised job opportunities in the company
-Promote you in within your department

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The Quarter Roll is published to provide personal insights and opinions on everyday ways of saving and managing money, budgeting, and reducing debt. The Quarter Roll does not give professional accounting, legal, or investing counsel. The ideas, examples, and advice presented on this site are solely the opinion of the authors based on his or her personal experiences. All photos courtesy of The Quarter Roll, iStockphoto, or Dreamstime. © All rights reserved.