Want Better Pay? Improve Your Marketable Skills

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

Many of us would like to earn more money. However, in many cases it requires planning and effort to make more. Whether you are looking for ways to develop alternative income streams, start a business, or just get a raise, you need to have a plan. One way you can help improve your chances of getting better pay is to improve your marketable skills.

Developing a Marketable Skill

Part of the way that your compensation is determined is through the types of skills you bring to the table. Even if you are working for yourself, it can help to have some marketable skills as you try to sell yourself and your personal brand. Consider your weaknesses, and how they might be impacting your work. If you have a hard time communicating orally, you can take courses to help you improve your ability to speak. The same is true of learning to use social media, written communication, computer skills and a number of other skills.

Find out what your boss would value in a worker, and then make an attempt to develop that skill. In some cases, this can be done through online courses, or through workshops offered in your town or through your work. Other skills, though, might require that you go through a certification process. Find out what the expectations are for you, and what it would take for you to earn a promotion or a raise by developing marketable skills.

More Education

In some cases, getting more education can help you to a pay raise. Some employers will pay more if you get a master degree, moving beyond the bachelor. Find out whether or not more education can help you achieve your goal of higher pay. You should be careful to do your research, though, because in some cases a higher degree won’t help you improve your earning power. While you might want a certain degree for your own edification, you have to be aware that it can be costly. Make sure that you are able to handle the cost before you make that decision — especially if your earning power won’t improve as a result.

Acquiring New Skills for Self-Improvement and Personal Satisfaction

Perhaps you are interested in new skills from a self-improvement standpoint. Even if you won’t see a pay increase as a result of your efforts, it can still be full-filling to learn a new skill or achieve a certain level of education. However, before you pursue such self-improvement goals, it is important to make sure that you can handle the financial and time commitment. Someday, I would like to earn my Ph.D. However, right now I don’t have the time to devote to the endeavor, and my husband and I would like to see a reduction in our student loan debt first.

I would enjoy getting another degree, but it wouldn’t impact my earnings, so it’s not practical right now. As a result, I am planning ahead, setting aside some money now, and considering what I might cut back on later, when my son is older and my husband has a more established career that wouldn’t require me to do so much work. In the meantime, though, I can develop other enjoyable skills, such as playing the guitar, learning about psychology, and improving my abilities on the piano.

What skills do you want to develop?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Thom Holland July 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hey MMarquit:

I really enjoyed reading through this article. I often tell friends that it is typically a good idea, in some sense, to think of yourself as a business. Consider where the company is heading and what needs may come up; start working now to position yourself as the person who can solve those needs.

Thanks again for the read.

– Thom

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