Q. I'm in a field that is not highly paid. I'm tired of working long hours and doing hard work for a small paycheck. Is there any way to take my current skills and make more money?
A. Yes, stop thinking of yourself as your job title. Instead, redefine yourself as a professional with a toolkit full of skills.
When you get done with your research, you should have a list of many new job titles other than the one you currently possess to explore jobs with a higher salary.
Now consider your life circumstances and your flexibility about where you live and work. The wider the geographic net you can cast, the more job opportunities you will have.
Make sure you note jobs that use your special skills that are more plentiful and often have openings. You'll increase your chances of getting a better paid job if you know there are more of these types of opportunities.
Now do research on the companies that hire people for these jobs. Find out if they have online applications, and start getting your resume out to as many companies as you can identify. Also consider whether there are professional associations for people within these departments and go to some meetings. Personal contacts are always your best entry into a new job.
Some people think making money is simply luck or an Ivy League education. The truth is that neither luck nor a prestigious degree guarantees a higher salary. In today's economy, every employee needs to see himself or herself as an entrepreneur. Your company may be bought out, and the needs of your industry may change, but your skill set can stay relevant if you don't rigidly identify with your job title.
Even when you are happy with your salary and job, keep your eyes open to changes in your industry. Look for new ways to apply the old tools you already have. Be keenly aware that the rapid pace of change has created two classes of employees: those who get run over by the wave of change and those who ride the wave of change to the career of their dreams. Be the latter.
The last word(s)
Q. I work with a guy that constantly whines about his problems and expects our team to pity him and do his work. Is there a downside to pointing out that his complaining makes him look like a 2-year-old?
A. Yes, you'll end up looking like the scolding parent. Ignore his pleas for pity and trust that the rest of the team will get fed up with feeling sorry for him.
(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)
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