I just finished reading about an individual who started a job at $100,000 and over a few years leveraged their compensation level to $500,000. How was it done? What was the result?
An interesting story that has some real-life learnings.
Step one, Morgan (not his/her real name) had to have excellent high school grades to be accepted and graduate from a top university with a technology degree. Morgan also must have been near the top of the class to initially earn $100,000. Lesson #1 – get great grades in high school and university from the best schools you can afford. If you’re already past that option, get an advanced degree or meaningful certifications that are in demand.
Step two, Morgan changed jobs at least 4 times over the 5-year period. Each time Morgan used prior experiences to negotiate a higher salary. Doable? Yes, if you’re in the right niche with the right skills and don’t develop a sense of loyalty to the company or co-workers.
Lesson #2 – Only think about yourself, your financial return, and little else. (This is not a recommendation, just an observation) Making $500,000 a year takes a great deal of time and effort. Employer expectations are very high.
Step three, Morgan found little personal time for things that were important, like family, fun, travel, hobbies, lunch with friends, or community involvement. It took a family issue to realize that life is too short and there’s more to living than work. So, what did Morgan do? Asked for a lesser role, at a reduced compensation level to maintain a balance of life. Lesson #3 – Don’t let the job dictate how you live your life. There are parts of your life that are just as important as work, like loved ones and your health.
Step four, Morgan now has the freedom both professionally and personally to make decisions about the future, career direction, family, and other equally important considerations. Before, Morgan had no wiggle room for anything or anyone. Lesson #4 – Give yourself some space and time to enjoy quality of life issues.
What’s the difference between Morgan’s experiences and yours, other than an income of $500,000? Not much. Here’s the takeaway:
- Get the best education you can. Take additional courses and certifications to enhance your resume and experiences. Keep up to date in your function. Perform at a high level.
- Find out if your value is higher than your current pay. Understand your worth and the opportunities in the marketplace. With remote work, your prospects are national or international, not just within a commutable distance.
- Speak with your manager before the annual raise so you can compare and negotiate pay
- Shift priorities when your personal and professional life are in conflict. Very few people on their death bed say, “I should have spent more time on the job”.
Ask the question, “What do I need to do to create a better work-life balance?”. Then, “What’s my plan to change for the better?”
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