Don’t confuse your earnings and earning potential.
A salary can be enticing. But prioritising your earning potential over your immediate salary is the equivalent of focusing on long-term investments instead of short-term gains. And it is a great year to start doing just that.
“Between remote hiring, a tight labour market, and a good portion of the workforce reconsidering their career paths entirely, you are more able than ever to write the future of your skillset,” said Mykola Tymkiv, COO at MacKeeper, a data breach and adware security app.
“Don’t think solely in terms of what you can offer to your company based on advancement opportunities — branch out and make yourself a unique, multi-talented candidate for your hypothetical dream company.”
Soon enough, that ultimate dream job could be yours with a matching bank account.
Here are five underrated career moves that can increase your earning potential — because, let’s face it, you already know networking is important.
Become an influencer in your industry
No need to rack up hundreds of thousands of followers to become an influencer in your industry. Identifying a niche around your expertise and consistently putting your thought leadership out there on platforms such as LinkedIn can be a very smart — and monetisable — move.
“This helps you increase your earning potential in two ways: You now have an audience you can market and sell to, as well as use to sell ads or sponsored posts, and you now have an audience any employer will be interested in tapping into when they hire you, which will increase your value in their eyes,” said Stacy Caprio, Founder of Her.CEO, a company that helps female entrepreneurs launch their businesses.
“Any employer will also see you as more of an expert when they look at your sizable audience and authority in your niche, which will increase your earning and bargaining power.”
Earn extra certifications
“What I wish every professional knows about increasing their earning potential is that their credentials (which affect their earning potential) extend well beyond their degrees,” said Darren Nix, Founder of InsurTech start-up Steadily Landlord Insurance.
Nix recommends earning Lean and Six Sigma certifications to solidify your business background: “These are certifications that are essentially business engineering to help prevent errors in services and products.”
Because they require extensive training, you will boost your credibility and might access appealing promotions and raises in the process.
The best part? Your employer might pay for your training.
Take a pay cut in favour of a more senior title
Taking a pay cut can pay off.
Steve Oliverez, CEO of Insanely Cheap Flights and author of The Book on Making Money, set a goal to double his income every year and managed to pull it off for seven years in a row. And he understands there are benefits to accepting less money now for a better payday down the road.
“Sometimes it can be advantageous to accept a job for less money than you’re looking for if it will look great on your resume and can help you increase your salary in the long run,” he said.
“I worked with many smaller companies that couldn’t afford an expensive salary but were willing to give me a better title and much more responsibility in return. This allowed me to move up the corporate ladder a lot quicker than grinding away at a larger company.”
Target paid public speaking gigs
Do you love leading meetings and giving presentations? You could earn extra income for your public speaking skills.
“Public speaking is the number one fear in the world and by conquering this fear, you immediately set yourself apart from most of the competition. You showcase your expertise and leadership abilities,” said social media consultant, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker Austin Iuliano.
“Additionally, the average speaking fee is $2,500-$10,000, and adding in one paid speaking engagement per month can easily net you an additional $30,000 to $120,000 in additional revenue.”
So it can be a pretty lucrative side hustle if you pull it off. Practise your speaking skills by joining an organisation such as Toastmasters International, identify a core message you’d like to spread, and start pitching yourself as a speaker to event organisers.
“The top thing to know about increasing your earning potential is that automation is in everything now. The more you can work alongside automation tools — no matter what your duties are — the more valuable you’ll be to your company,” said Daniel Cooper, managing director at Lolly.co, an automation company.
According to Cooper, now is the perfect time for technical and non-technical workers alike to figure out which tools and platforms they can leverage to automate their own tasks and also add value to their organisation.
“Whether it’s programming or content creation or HR tasks or otherwise — really, virtually everything — there are tasks you can automate not only to decrease your own workload and save yourself time but also to demonstrate your value to your bosses.”
This article was originally published on The Ladders.