Earning extra income has a profound impact on day to day living. When you get paid extra, those little luxury items you’ve wanted to buy but couldn’t justify suddenly seem to be within reach.
There are only so many ways to earn extra income. All of them are accessible by everyone, depending primarily on mindset. Those who are serious about raising their wages, and who willingly take on the challenges associated with the task, invariably achieve their goals. The process is simply a matter of adding more value. For people in a career where they have sufficient on-the-job experience, this is usually a case of adding more value to the base of existing value that accumulated over time. Only in rare cases will it be necessary to jettison all your work experience to begin anew.
Assess Your Career Advancement Opportunities
It’s important that you evaluate what opportunities exist for you to advance in your current career. If you see a clear path to advancement with your current employer, then you have a direct line to extra income if you follow through with a clear plan. If the picture of the future conjured up by your current employment situation is not so bright, you need to assess opportunities among other companies in your sector. It may be time to look for the proverbial greener pastures that exist in your industry.
Your career advancement goals need to align with a realistic view of your company, your place in it, and the industry you serve. Make simple tree-style logical decisions up front. For example:
- If you’re well suited to your current career and company, make every effort to excel moving forward.
- If you find yourself in an employment situation that does not match your temperament or experience, career advancement may lie with another firm or even industry. (We’ll talk about that in the next post. For now, we’re concentrating on those with current employment that suits them well.)
If quickly climbing the ladder is your goal, these two concepts make sense. People who build on top of existing foundation reduce their time to advance. If you’re already working every day at a company that supports your future growth, it’s enough to double down and dedicate yourself to moving up the chain.
3 Steps to Level up Fast in Your Current Job
- Study your current corporate culture.
- Identify key players in decision-making roles.
- Play the game the same way it’s being played by those who are presently winning.
At most corporations, it really is no harder than this to make the move up the ranks. Management has built a specific culture. Their visions didn’t manifest overnight. It took years of dedicated work by a team of people to get the company to the point it was at when you joined. You can’t be expected to change company culture from your current vantage point. As the old saying goes, you need “get along before you go along.”
It’s not necessary to become a clone or a drone, either. You simply must respect the prevailing culture that already exists if you wish to get ahead. When you align yourself with the shared mores of those you work with, you’ll find doors open relatively quickly. If you never fully embrace the gestalt of your work environment, it’s hardly surprising if you get passed over by those colleagues who have connected on a deeply emotional level with their corporate surroundings. Don’t make the mistake of looking down on those who “play the game.” Everyone does the exact same thing to one degree or another. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be getting ahead.
If you decide you really can’t get your head around doing things the way others approve of at your present job, then you’re back to square one and need to look for career advancement opportunities that exist outside of where you’re at. When you go looking for a new place to work, though, pay particular attention to their corporate culture. When you begin working for them, you’ll need to sync up with their philosophy right away.
Employers Have a Right to Expect Your Best
Not only do employers have an inherent right to demand your best, but you also have an obligation to deliver it to them. Despite what many think, employment is a privilege and not the inherent right some expect. No company has to keep you on their books for any reason. They do so because you provide enough value that getting rid of you would be painful and expensive.
If you’re not willing or able to give it your all, then you’re shortchanging your employer and yourself. Despite this warning, there’s a silver lining. As long as you’re still working, and you’re committed to your future, you can turn it around. If you’re not on the hot seat, it means you’ve been performing at a level above the baseline. If you’re willing to dig in and make a few improvements, your advancement is underway.
You also have to be prepared to improve whatever skills are needed to excel in your chosen profession. That means you have to be willing to learn the technology and tools of your trade. If you stop learning, you’ll fall behind those who continue to press forward. They’re building a formidable arsenal of professional tools that keeps them in demand. You’d be well served to do the same.
Consistently adding the tools, training, and tactics needed to do your job well is guaranteed to pave the road to career advancement opportunities for you. You become a rising star when you show an indomitable spirit to improve. You won’t just focus on career development, either, if you want to get ahead. You’ll also master personal growth as well. With excellent personal and professional habits in place, there’s no chance your momentum will stop.
In the next part of this series we’ll take a look at jumping careers altogether. This is the nuclear option in every sense of the word. When you make this move you’re making the statement that you’ve been spending time doing something that’s just not your liking. You’ll have to start over in many respects, but the increased enthusiasm you feel will offset any setback.
You’re in charge of your time. It’s completely your decision on how to spend it. Do what gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction and you’ll never go wrong.