How to earn “more” money at work

Earning more money at work is really not as difficult as many people think it is. It’s really a combination of time, patience, dedication, and maintaining good relationships with your peers, supervisors and upper management. I’ve been able to earn a lot of money throughout my life at work, and I did it mostly by applying a combination of the items I just mentioned. So let me give you some real-life examples and tell you exactly how I’ve applied them (and still do) to earn more money. Here we go!

Wait! Before going any further, I do have one disclaimer I want to make clear. The formula – as stated above – is really not that difficult, but I have to assume that you already possess certain values and principles that are absolutely necessary for this to work. You must be a man (or woman) of your word, have integrity, respect for others, willingness to learn, be loyal and honest. Without them, I’m assuming you’ll just have to work harder – I guess.

Time & Patience

When I say ‘time’, I’m trying to tell you that you need to be patient. You cannot just go ask your boss for more money right after reading this article. There’s some work you must do.So, the first thing you need to do is become conscious that you want to earn more money, and that you’ll do whatever it takes to do so. One of the things you can do to amplify this state of mind, is to write your goals down. Make this step very practical. Don’t go around looking for the “perfect journal”, or “specific notepad design”, or anything else. Just find a blank sheet of paper or an old wire-bound notebook and just start writing. There’s just something to the physical and mental exercise of writing goals down. Just trust me on this.

Here’s a few of the things that I’ve written in the past to help me focus;

  1. how much money I want to earn, exactly
  2. why do I want to earn more money
  3. (generate ideas) what are some of the things I can do to earn this amount
  4. (analyze your current situation) what are some existing opportunities at work I can strive for
  5. are there any relationships I can cultivate that will help me reach my goal
  6. (self-examination) what are some of my current impediments, and what can I do to fix them

Give these some valuable time, and be completely honest with yourself. Doing this will immediately start to shift your thinking in a positive way. The important thing on this step is to really start focusing your mind, attention and emotions on your goal, which is to earn more money at work.

Read this list at least once a day. Try to memorize it and make adjustments as needed, as you’ll soon find yourself coming up with new and better ideas. Examine your list regularly to make sure it’s still relevant to you.

Don’t take this step lightly. Really embed this idea of “earning more money in your mind”. Make sure it’s present throughout your day and every day. Always remember that everything you do throughout your work day is in an effort to move closer to your goal. We live in an era where “instant gratification” is not only expected, but it’s also demanded. Although this may apply to products or services, instant gratification does not apply to making more money – at least not in a permanent way. Actually this is one of the main reasons people don’t earn more. They are always looking for an easy way out. They can easily fall for get-rich-quick schemes! And don’t get me wrong, it may work for a few. But for most, it doesn’t. Always be suspicious of them.

Dedication

Once you have a clear financial goal, and a list of things you can do to accomplish it, you must get to work. Honestly this is really self explanatory. To me “dedication” is just another word for “persistence”, or “action”, or “physically doing something”.

Not too long ago I had a goal on my list to increase my yearly salary at work to $150,000. One of the items I had, was to come up with new ways of saving the company money (reduce costs). So I gathered my team and we all came up with several ideas which we later established as goals;

  1. an inventory system
  2. improve and enhance our brand, and upgrade all our marketing
  3. reduce our margin of error (mistakes) significantly
  4. improve communication amongst departments
  5. automation of repetitive tasks

Soon after, I started to lead these changes. I started working closely with my team, setting goals and objectives for all of us, and regularly measured our progress. To make the story short, we accomplished most of the objectives within about a year, and saved the company a lot of money. We’re still actively working on automating other tasks, monitoring our marketing and inventory, and tracking errors.

After about 14 months, I received a letter in my paycheck congratulating me for earning a 12% pay increase, bringing my yearly salary to $140,000. It wasn’t exactly the $150,000 but do you think I cared? Of course not! A 12% increase felt awesome! It gave me motivation to keep working at it until I’m able to reach my goal. Once I do that, new ones will be established 🙂

My point is that by creating this value and really leading change, my boss was able to realize my skills, notice our effort, rely on me, trust me… and then, reward me.

Relationships

This, I have to say, is the most important of all! How you get along with your team, with your boss, and other people in general, including your family and friends, makes a huge difference in both, your personal life, and work life.

Important: I’m NOT saying that you have to “suck up” to your boss or your team members. No ass-kissing should go on anywhere, in my opinion. In fact, I try to avoid these types of people as much as I can. Unless of course they happen to stand directly in front of my goal, in which case I treat them as any other – with respect – and I try to limit interactions with them as much as possible.

These people can sometimes be very annoying, even condescending, deceptive, and deceitful, but make sure they respect you! Don’t let them treat you in this way. If they do, you may be in the wrong place. Just leave slowly. Don’t reduce yourself to their level no matter what you do. Try to avoid any type of confrontation with them, as that will make things worse. Avoid burning any bridges at all costs. You never know what the future holds.

Ok, back to our point – relationships. You must establish, build and maintain excellent working relationships with everyone at work, especially with your boss or anyone else directly involved in evaluating your work or making the final decision as to how much shows up on your paycheck. Again, no ass-kissing, only genuine effort to prove yourself and your skills.

Oh, and try not to fall in the peer pressure trap. Stay focused on your goals. If you find yourself getting dragged into an unproductive conversation or are asked an opinion on someone else, where a negative response is expected, just say “I never really had any issues with them”, or “sorry but I have to go”, and walk away.

Let me give you an example on maintaining and respecting relationships. Back in 2004 I resigned to a position I had as the head of a drafting department. I was really fed up with management and their decisions, and really could not see a future for myself in the company anymore, although I had been there for almost 7 years.

I left in excellent terms, without any drama or complaining about my manager or anyone else (or to anyone else). I explained that I wanted to move into the IT field which was growing fast. They accepted my resignation and we parted ways.

A few months later, I received a call from the General Manager of this company asking to meet with me. The CFO and himself invited me to lunch at an Italian Restaurant, I remember. They got right to the point and asked me “what would it take to bring you back?”. I really didn’t know what to say. Remember this was way before I knew any of this stuff I’m preaching to you today! So they then asked me “what are you making right now?”, and I said $54K. Great, they looked at each other, and the GM said to me, “we’ll pay you $72K if you come back.” I replied that I had to think about it.

I never took the job back, for the reasons I left in the first place. I knew the kinds of things I would deal with if I went back. It would have felt as taking a step backward. So although the money sounded great, I knew deep inside of me that I had to move forward, and what I was doing at the time, was just that.

So here’s the point; do you think they would have called me back if I had just left the company without saying anything, or in the slightest way insulted them, talked behind their backs insinuating their incompetence, or had been disrespectful in any other way to them? No! Of course not.

I do have to say, it felt good to receive this call and attention. Remember, try to avoid burning any bridges. And by the way, that company went bankrupt within 2 years after that last meeting.

Learning is a lifetime commitment

If you go back to my initial paragraph, you’ll notice that I highlighted the word “mostly”. The reason is because there’s one more, very important factor to this formula, and that is “never stop learning”. Whether you choose formal education or a self education system, it doesn’t matter, the point is to always keep learning. The world we live in today is fast paced, quick-evolving, and will only move faster in coming decades. What you do in your free time has a direct impact in your future, and can easily affect your income at work. Don’t stay behind.

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