Investing is a great way to increase your wealth over time. However, it’s even more effective to increase your lifetime earning potential. Earning more money throughout your career’s development will help you pay off your debts, improve your lifestyle quality, and still leave you with extra money that you can funnel into investments.
The question is, what are the best ways to increase your lifetime earning potential?
Go to College
College isn’t the right move for every person, but the statistics speak for themselves. Men who have at least a bachelor’s degree tend to earn $900,000 more than their high school graduate counterparts. For women, that increase in lifetime earnings is $630,000. Men with a graduate degree earn $1.5 million more over the course of a lifetime, compared to high school graduates, and women earn $1.1 million more.
Just looking at the numbers, going to college is well worth the investment – even if it means paying tens of thousands of dollars intuition.
Get Training and Certifications
Next, make sure to get additional training and certifications when possible. For example, if you’re in the accounting field, preparing for the CMA exam and becoming a CMA can instantly make you a more valuable employee. Certifications often allow you to expand your skillset and take on more responsibilities. At the very least, they help you round out your resume, equipping you with emblems that can help you earn higher-paying positions.
Invest in Ongoing Education
No matter how much education you received at the beginning of your career, it’s important to invest in ongoing education. Most industries evolve constantly, adapting to new technologies, new market trends, and moves by new competitors. Constantly learning and updating your approach is the only way to keep up.
Diversify Your Skillset
Try to diversify your skillset. Having more skills will put you in a better position to ask for raises, seek promotions, and get hired in different positions. We’ve already covered a few ways to acquire new skills; for example, you can attend classes, get training and certification, and invest in your ongoing education. But you can also pick up skills in your spare time by reading books, cross-training with people in other departments, and practising on your own.
Ask for Raises
Asking for a raise is a simple strategy to make more money. In a best-case scenario, your employer will grant your request, and you’ll instantly become a higher earner. In a worst-case scenario, your employer says “no” and you continue earning what you earn now.
Despite this simplicity and the fact that most workers are constantly improving, only 37 percent of workers have ever asked for a raise. And an even smaller percentage of workers ask for a raise periodically. Ask for a raise whenever you feel you’ve earned one.
Look for Promotions
You can also look for promotions whenever they’re available. In most cases, getting promoted to a managerial position or a leadership position will help you earn more money. You’ll have more responsibilities, a higher salary, and an opportunity for more bonuses.
Sometimes, finding a promotion opportunity is difficult; for example, you may work in a small business with no one directly above you in the hierarchy. If this is the case, consider creating a new role for yourself. If there aren’t any opportunities for advancement, your only available option is to change jobs.
Change Jobs Occasionally
Most people eventually stagnate when they stay in a specific role for too long. After a few years of advancement, you may no longer receive raises, promotions, or other boosts. If and when you hit this dead end, you have to change jobs and find a different company to work for. It’s the only way to continue moving forward.
Negotiate Every Position
Before accepting a new position, negotiate the salary. Too many people simply accept the initial offer without even asking for more. Do your research in advance and figure out what the average person with your credentials makes in a position like this; chances are, you can get at least a few thousand dollars more each year just by asking.
Finally, learn to professionally network. Meeting new people and expanding your circle of contacts will introduce you to new job opportunities, new mentors, and professional peers who can all help you find new ways to advance.
Planning for the Future
One key element of “lifetime earning potential” is the fact that it manifests over a lifetime. These tips and tricks won’t help you make ends meet immediately, nor will they help you land a six-figure job the day you decide to start taking personal finance seriously. You need to remain patient, take your time, and gradually incorporate these strategies to ultimately produce the best results.