As the job market slowly improves, it may be time to consider how to improve your earning potential as well. If you feel like you've hit a plateau at your current place of employment, try one, or more, of the following suggestions. You may find the answer to your earning woes were a lot more straightforward than you thought.
1. Get a new job
A 2012 study done by Wharton Professor Matthew Bidwell showed that people who land a new job after reaching a plateau with their current employer were likely to make between 18% to 20% more than they would if promoted internally. So if you're not all that attached to your current position, start job searching passively. Today more and more recruiters are seeking out job hunters who are already employed. To hiring managers, what makes these candidates appealing is that they're valued commodities at their current place of employment. Now it seems you may be better off starting your search before you decide to leave behind the job you're currently at.
2. Ask for a raise
If the idea of asking your boss for a raise makes you uncomfortable, you're not alone. But would you rather be comfortable and underpaid, or rightly compensated for all you do? Our guess is the second. To give you an idea, most salary increases are granted about once a year -- so if your earnings have hit a plateau, and you find yourself consistently exceeding expectations, it might be a good time to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the possibility of a raise. When you finally get up the courage to go for it, here are some tips on how to do it right.
3. Make yourself irreplaceable
The better you are at what you do, the more valuable you become, and ultimately the harder it is to replace you. Stay up to date on industry news, attend conferences, learn new skills, become great at what you do and your boss will notice. Standouts like this are usually first in line for seasonal bonsues, and they're rarely turned down when requesting a raise. Do your job well enough, and you won't even need to ask.
4. Take on tasks outside your job description
When you volunteer to take on a project that doesn't fall into your line of responsibility, you're taking the initiative and showing you're a team player. Trust us, your boss will notice, and it's very possible he'll reward you for it. This comes back to making yourself irreplaceable-- if your current daily workload allows you to take more on, do it. The more you do, and the better you do it, the more valuable you become to your company. When your boss realizes you're doing the work of two employees, a salary increase is likely to come your way. The alternative? Hiring someone else to do the work you've decided to take on. And that would be much more costly.