Your Paycheck Potential
How to Get Ahead in the Workplace, and Earn the Salary You Deserve
Wish your paycheck had a little more weight to it? You’re not alone. But you can do something besides fantasize about making more money. You can take steps to make it happen. Here are some strategies to use that can pay off big:
Play for the team, but be an MVP
Being a team player is important, and shows you are supportive and loyal. Just make sure you aren’t a bench warmer. Instead of only doing the team work required of you, take a lead role. You’ll gain respect and gratitude, and show you know how to take initiative—all things management tends to notice.
Ask for more responsibility
Got downtime? Ask your manager(s) if there are additional projects or tasks you can take on. Or ask if there is any work that can be redistributed to help take pressure off harried coworkers. Not only will this show you are a go-getter, but taking up needed slack will make you popular with your teammates too.
Watch your image
The phrase “dress for success” really does make sense. No, you don’t have to wear a suit to work every day, especially if your workplace is a casual one. But do take care to wear neat, well-pressed, professional-looking outfits—basically, wear clothes that project the image you want to have. Watch your body language as well. Don’t slouch or slump—you could appear lazy. And always make eye contact. You’ll look confident and capable.
Show up on time
There are few things that will show you’re meant to scale the corporate ladder more than being timely. This goes for everything: arriving at work, attending meetings, and handing in work. It shows you’re responsible, dependable and that you respect a deadline—not to mention the person who set it.
Get a mentor
Find someone whom you respect, admire, and has a job (and salary) you’d really like to have. Talk with them about their tactics, strategies, and philosophies—and find out how they got to the position they are in now. Ask for advice, then emulate their ideas and ways of doing business. They’ll be flattered—and you’ll be wiser.
Think a job or two ahead
Do you want to be at your current job for the rest of your life? Don’t settle. Decide where you want to be or what you want to do, and make strides toward that position. This could mean continuing your education, networking with people in other industries, or pursuing specialized training. And always keep your resume current—you never know when you’ll need it!