Increasing your annual income is a sure-fire way to improve your financial situation, but how easy is it to generate more revenue? You might be surprised to learn that increasing your income could be simpler than you realise. In fact, there are some relatively straightforward ways to optimise your earning potential and take home a bigger pay cheque. To get started, take a look at these seven ways to boost your earning power now:

1. Check Your Value

Before you can command a higher salary, you need to know what you’re worth to your employer in financial terms. Take a look at job adverts for people in your industry with your skillset and compare the salary to what you’re earning. 

Similarly, look at independent career sites that contain verifiable salary information and get an idea of whether you’re earning a fair market value for what you’re bringing to the table. If your research shows that you’re earning less than you could elsewhere, you’ve got a great basis for approaching your employer and requesting a salary increase. 

2. Ask for a Raise

Now that you’ve armed yourself with the information you need, you’ll be well-placed to discuss your remuneration package with your employer. Many people feel anxious or embarrassed about asking for a raise, but there’s no need to be. Don’t rely on your employer’s good will when it comes to getting a higher salary, or you could be waiting for a long time! Instead, be proactive but professional when you discuss your expectations with your employer. 

Don’t be disappointed if your manager can’t give you a decisive answer straight away but do set a date for a follow-up meeting. This will give them an opportunity to determine whether they are going to offer you a raise and, if so, how much it will be. Of course, this also gives you a chance to consider whether your current employer recognises your true value. 

3. Look for a New Role

If you’re not happy with your current rate and a salary hike isn’t on the cards in the foreseeable future, it might be time to start looking for a new role. If you’re being underpaid, a horizontal move to another company could be all it takes to significant boost your salary and improve your financial situation. 

Alternatively, you might find that a different company values your knowledge, skills, and experience enough to give you an immediate promotion and hire you at a more senior level. If you so, you can look forward to a larger salary and a step up on the career ladder. 

4. Obtain a Valuable Qualification

When you have the right qualifications, it can have a substantial impact on your earning power. Completing a master’s qualification can enable you to take on leadership roles or specialise in a particular area, for example, which should naturally lead to a higher remuneration package. 

Traditionally, professionals often had to take a sabbatical or career break if they wanted to pursue a qualification, but this is no longer the case. With online study options, you can continue in your current role while you expand your skillset. Aston University’s Doctor of Business Administration online course gives you access to a top-ranking business school and flexible study options, for example. With the freedom to study in a way that suits you and the opportunity to gain valuable skills, you can increase your earning potential and prepare yourself for a role as a business leader. 

5. Consider a Career Change

Most roles have upper earning limits and, if you’ve hit the threshold, you may need to consider a career change if you want to earn more. Switching to a new industry is a major decision, so take time to determine whether it’s the right option for you. In some instances, it may be possible to modify your career path within your existing sector, so explore all the possibilities before you make any drastic changes.

However, if your existing role isn’t satisfying you, or you’re eager for a new challenge, then switching to a totally different career could give you the break you’re looking for. You’ll need to assess whether your existing skills are transferable and at what level you can enter a new profession. Depending on the career change you’re making, you may even find that dropping one or two levels in terms of seniority still enables you to achieve a salary increase. 

6. Secure an In-house Promotion

If you’re happy with your current career choice but you simply want to increase the amount you’re taking home each month, talk to your superiors about promotion opportunities. By taking a step up, you can accept more responsibility and command a higher salary. 

Even if there aren’t any positions available right now, talking about your professional goals will ensure your managers are aware of your ambitions. You might even find that they provide you with opportunities to enhance your skills before promotions arise, which could make it easier for you to step into a more senior position. 

7. Learn New Skills

By increasing the value you can offer an employer, you should increase the amount you’re worth to them too. When you can develop new skills and apply them in your current role, this could ensure that your employer is willing to give you a raise in order to retain you. 

Alternatively, you could use your new skills to launch a side hustle or start-up of your own. Millions of professionals are using the gig economy to boost their earning power and developing new skills will give you more options when it comes to launching your own venture. 

Planning Your Career Trajectory

People rarely secure a dream salary by accident, so you need to be strategic if you want to boost your earning potential. Ideally, your salary should increase incrementally each year, but you’ll need to consistently prove that you’re worth the investment to employers. By doing so, you can achieve your professional goals and earn a salary that you feel reflects your talents and contributions.