Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This material is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney or tax advisor.
How to Maximize Your Earnings Through Smart Career Moves at Any Age
Steps to Bring You Closer to Financial Security in Any Phase of Life
Achieving financial security demands the cultivation of good money habits. These include saving regularly, sticking to a budget, and investing wisely. However, wealth management isn’t the only way to go about establishing a firm financial footing. It’s also critically important that you manage your career smartly. The choices you make at work can have a lasting and significant impact on your future financial comfort.
Here are some steps you can take to maximize your earnings at work no matter where you are in your career.
For Those Just Starting Out
If you’re just finding your footing in the workforce, you might feel like you have no choice but to put financial goals on hold while you claw your way up the ladder. However, there are steps you can take right away to improve your career and financial prospects.
- Be Socially Savvy. In today’s day and age, having a strong social media presence can go a long way in helping your career. Now that most employers use platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find potential employees, having a professional and engaging profile can make all the difference. Cultivate your online presence so that it’s easy for your employer to find you, as well as see your accomplishments. Having a completed profile, along with a professional photo, can greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll be contacted about a job or impress your current employer.
- Negotiate Smarter not Harder. When talking to a potential employer, there are ways to discuss your salary that can lead to a higher paycheck. For instance, get the company to name figures first. If you tell them your current pay right away, you have no way of knowing if you’re low-balling or high-balling yourself. Let them name a figure first and then you can begin negotiations from there. Also, make sure to do research on the salary range for the position you’re applying for in your area. Know before you go into the interview what a typical salary might look like for the job you want so that you negotiate from a more informed position rather than just taking the company’s word for it.
- Stay in the game. Not everyone has the luxury to keep their career and pursue a family life simultaneously. However, it’s a good idea to try if it’s at all possible for you. Taking time off to care for kids can strike a big blow to your lifetime earnings because of the lost wages and change in career momentum. Before you quit outright, see if you can negotiate flextime, part-time work, or a freelance gig.
- Don’t lose touch. If you’re unable to hold your current position, whether for family reasons or due to something else, try finding something you can do in your free time that dovetails with your career and can be added to your resume. Even some “strategic volunteering” can go a long way in helping you stand out when it comes time to enter the workforce again. Additionally, staying in touch with your co-workers and keeping your network connections strong can also help you gain a strong footing as you re-enter the workforce.
- Get Moving. According to a study done by Vasilios Kosteas, a professor at Cleveland State University, regular exercise yields a six to nine percent wage increase. Furthermore, the data showed that while even moderate exercise yields a positive earnings effect, frequent exercise generates an even larger impact. Kosteas cites growing evidence that fit employees are more productive and manage work-related stress better, which can lead to faster career advancement. So, get moving!
Tips for Later in Your Career
- Re-vamp your résumé. Invest in your future self and find a professional résumé writer who knows what works in your field to give your résumé a facelift. Also, if you’ve been working for a while, remove everything but the last 10 years. While experience is good, your employers will care more about what you’ve been doing lately, rather than when you just started out.
- According to Duncan Mathison, author of Unlock the Hidden Job Market, half of job openings aren’t advertised and are instead found through word of mouth. So, be sure to create and maintain strong connections that you can tap into when looking for new work opportunities.
- Seek new opportunities. Some companies exclusively seek experienced workers. Utilize sites like AARP’s Life Reimagined or CareerBuilder’s Prime CB to see if there are senior-level positions that you could fill.
- Maintain a strong and smart social presence. Having a strong social media presence is just as important later in your career as it was at the beginning. So, be sure you keep your professional profiles and photos up to date as your career progresses. Additionally, it’s smart to know how to discuss the latest technological trends that affect your industry.
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- Build your brand. Think past just a social media presence and consider creating a blog or a website that better showcases your talents and accomplishments. Sites like Yola.com or WordPress.com allow you to create a professional website for cheap, or even for free, depending on your needs. Showcase your work by posting articles, presentations, speeches, and client testimonials. Just don’t forget to update your site regularly.
- Protect your earnings. When it comes to company cutbacks, high earners are the most vulnerable and slower to rebound. So, be sure that you’re always working to be at the top of your game so that you can be prepared no matter what happens. Should anything happen to your current job, companies often seek outhires who can showcase new thinking. So, add new skills to your repertoire constantly, even if they’re not a perfect fit with your current job.
Concluding Thoughts on Maximizing Your Earnings Through Smart Career Moves
While mastering your finances can seem daunting, it’s ultimately about practicing multiple tiny habits that all work together to help you achieve financial security. One sure-fire way to get closer to financial security is to make more money, and these tips can help you make the most of your earnings no matter where you’re at in your career.
If you think you may benefit from financial advice tailored to your personal situation, or you’d like help maximizing your finances, please contact us today. At Paces Ferry, we take pride in using our expertise to guide our clients to achieve their financial and life goals.