Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I achieved my goal to earn a 6 figure income at the age of 28. Since I got a lot of feedback from the post (comments, emails, visits, etc.), I have decided to dig a little deeper to let you know how I was able to optimize each aspect of my overall income in order to reach the psychological mark of $100,000.
Technically, making a 6 figure income is pretty easy. $100,000 per year is $1,923 per week. Therefore, if you are earning $20/hour, you would simply have to work 96 hours a week and you could do it. The problem is that you may die from a heart attack at the age of 40 (ever seen a fifty year manager at UPS, HARD livin’)… if you don’t suffer through a burnout and/or a divorce before then;-)
I found it was easier to diversify my income rather than trying desperately to find a single 6 figure income job. Those jobs require a lot of talent, knowledge (i.e. diplomas), connections and devotion (read working almost 96 hours a week ;-)). While I am not so dumb, have a few piece of papers stuck in frames at work and I know a few people, I certainly don’t want to work 96 hours a week!
So, I decided to create source of alternative income. But before I start anything, I had to improve my current salary. So here how I did it:
How to increase your salary
#1 Getting a promotion
I have already covered this topic partially in a few other articles but getting a promotion has nothing to do with being your manager’s pet. My first boss came to my office after I was working for him for 3 months and asked:
“Do you want a promotion?”
“hell yeah!… I mean, yes sir, I really would like to climb the corporate ladder, sir”.
“Then, you have to do 3 things:
#1 Dress like you get the job.
#2 Act like you get the job.
#3 Do your job and do additional tasks linked to the next job you want.”
YES SIR, may I please have another SIR!
And this is how I changed my way of seeing work. I started to pay attention to what I was wearing (we all have our too much casual Fridays… I never let myself hav casual Fridays anymore). If you want to become a senior or a manager in your team, you must look like one. People won’t respect you because your title changed overnight. But they will if they see you as a great leader and a professional in front of them. Dressing like one and not looking like a sloppy goof, with running shoes and a Batman t-shirt, will enhance the perception others (your coworkers and your managers too!) have of you.
Acting like you get the job doesn’t mean being cocky or looking at others in an intimidating matter. It means thinking twice about what you say in meetings (stop complaining and whining and start acting proactively and suggest solutions). It means you need to get to know colleagues in the water-cooler conversations. Some people are just too good to make you talk and spread the word after ;-). You don’t have to defend anybody, but you can simply say that you don’t bite the hand that feeds and that you respect your boss and co-workers.
Not entering the stupid games will definitely help earn others’ respect. If people like you and respect you, they are more likely to be happy about your promotion and your manager will be pleased to give you a push up the corporate ladder.
Finally, if you want another job, show people that you can do it. Telling people that you would do better is easy and annoys most everyone around you 😉 However, you actually show how you would do things better, that you actually cover your work and do more in order to improve efficiency, ambiance at work or profitability. This will land you better odds of getting a promotion.
One last thing to mention is that if you follow those 3 rules and you don’t get a promotion in the next 2-3 years, you need to ask yourself some questions. People that get promotions usually don’t have to wait 5 years to get one. There is the fast lane and there is the HR lane (remember, HR are evil!). So you better be in the fast lane of change department right away. Sometimes, the best move is a lateral one 😉
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