You're on the hunt for your next job and your goal is clear: it needs to break through the salary ceiling you've faced before. While you are sending out resumes and filling out applications, try these five approaches to landing a high-paying job.
1. Fully Exploit Your Talents
Not all of your talents have been gleaned from classroom schooling and on-the-job experience. Take a good, hard look at the full package you offer to employers and exploit every one of your talents. Skills earned through volunteer work, in particular, can boost your resume. If you've become an expert at fundraising by working with a favorite charity, highlight that in your applications to nonprofit organizations. If you're adept at drawing together and motivating groups because of your past involvement in community organizations, put that front and center as you pursue higher level management jobs. In other words, take a full inventory of what you are great at doing, in all aspects of life, and use those transferable skills to land your next gig.
2. Network to Work
It's absolutely true that many jobs are found through networking. So while you may enjoy culling lists of open positions from your favorite job boards, don't neglect your personal network during your next job hunt. U.S. News reports that up to 70 percent of jobs come about through networking. And just think how much more likely you are to receive the pay you deserve when you work with people you already know to find your next job.
3. Show Progression
Going from making peanuts to banking big dollars each month isn't likely. What prospective employers like to see, however, is that you are making steady progression in your career - and, as such, your salary. While your future employer may not ask you for specifics about former salary levels, you can use your cover letter and interview discussions to highlight how each subsequent role in your career has been a step higher than the one before. Being more specific in showing this progression can help you work your way into a higher salary.
4. Dream Big
Don't fall into the trap of believing that you have to stay in certain jobs or with certain companies for a long, long time in order to earn a higher level of pay. In fact, statistics show that changing roles and companies will better lead to higher salaries. By taking risks and looking for work outside of your comfort zone, your bank account may grow fatter sooner than you think. Look critically at your work history - are you pigeonholed into certain roles or do you feel stuck in a certain industry? Take a risk and you may find that it pays off quickly.
5. Continuously Learn
Showing employers that you are invested in continuously improving yourself as an employee and a person is the surest way to be considered for higher level roles. After all, not many jobs these days are tenure-dependent. Rather, progression depends upon learning new things and working in new ways. If your current employer offers continuing education assistance, take advantage of it. Also look for opportunities online and in your community to learn more about both your current area of work and areas you are interested in exploring in the future. You don't have to spend a lot of money to continuously improve yourself, either. You can often find courses offered by local community colleges, put on by networking groups that you can find on LinkedIn or Craigslist, or by professional organizations to which you already belong. Courses that cost more money, however, could also be crucial to your career progression - just think of them as an investment in yourself.