We all want to earn more money, whether it's to pad our savings accounts, pay off nagging debt, or have the freedom to travel and enjoy leisure and entertainment as we wish. No matter your reason for wanting a pay bump, here are three steps you can take to boost your earnings by the time 2021 comes to an end.
1. Get a Side Job
When you work full time, the idea of a side hustle can seem overwhelming. After all, how are you supposed to carve out the time to do even more work when you're already on the hook for a 40-hour schedule or more?
But actually, there are many flexible side hustles you can do that won't force you to commit to a preset schedule or a specific number of hours each week. That means during periods when your main job becomes overwhelming, you can simply scale back on your side hustle and ramp back up once your schedule frees up.
You may, for example, decide to sign up to drive for a ride-hailing company. In that case, you can work when you have time. If it's a light week at your main job, you may feel up to driving passengers around town every night. If not, you can choose to not take on any fares that week.
There are other side gigs you can pick up that work similarly, like flexible data entry or telemarketing roles. So it pays to see what options are out there rather than assume that a side hustle won't fit into your schedule.
2. Push for a Promotion at Work
Getting promoted at work may not automatically lead to a raise—but there's a good chance your pay will go up if you climb the ranks. And there are different steps you can take to snag a promotion.
First, boost your skills or learn new ones that will make you a candidate for a higher-ranking role. Take an online class or spend a weekend hammering away at the software program you've been trying to learn.
Next, volunteer to head up more projects. That'll show your manager that you're eager to take on more responsibility and aren't afraid to be challenged.
Finally, network within your company. There may be another department with an opening that offers more pay. Don't be afraid to talk to people and go after an opportunity like that.
3. Prove You're Underpaid
Marching into your manager's office and asking for a raise is easier said than done—unless, of course, you can prove that your salary really isn't up to par. There are many sites, like Glassdoor and Salary.com, that allow you to research earnings data by region, industry and job title.
If you can make the case that you're statistically underpaid based on your position and experience (keeping in mind that salaries can vary from one part of the country to another), you might manage to score a pay increase.
One thing you should be careful about, though, is discussing earnings with your colleagues. Many companies have policies that either ban or strongly discourage this practice, so you may be better off gathering general data rather than data that's specific to your company.
A bump in earnings could buy you a lot more financial flexibility. Follow these steps to grow your income and start off 2022 with more money to your name.