We can’t all be hedge fund managers and zillionaires. But there are a few very practical strategies that can help you maximize your assets.
1. Location Location Location
Don’t just flock to L.A., Chicago, Boston, or New York because they’re there (and so big and shiny). Use a resource like Zillow.com to check for metro areas with a better bang for your buck—cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and Indianapolis, where housing costs are a much lower percentage of your income. A lot of these cities are up-and-coming and great places to live.
2. Be proactive
Don’t wait six months or a year for your first performance review to ask for that raise. Most companies make their budgets at the end of their fiscal year; if you can, start the conversation before that window closes.
3. Give it a Number
Let your boss know what you want before you explain why you’ve earned it. And set a range; you’ll appear flexible; and you never know, you might end up with the big number.
4. Go Rogue
Executives who switch jobs can end up with an up to 15% pay bump, compared with your typical 3% raise. Make that kind of upward move at the age of 40, and you can make a 9% difference in your lifetime income.
You’re not the same employee you were when you were fresh out of college with your first resume. Tailor your current resume to your current goals, and drop whatever positions are no longer relevant to your career.
Why look for other opportunities when the Internet can do it for you? Keep up on LinkedIn, Poachable, and Poacht, and sex up your profile with keywords pertinent to the job you want. This will attract prospective employers without your even having to go looking for them!
7. Climb Higher
Even if you’re late in your career, aim to make it up just one more rung on the ladder. It can make all the difference in cumulative earnings, not to mention the ego boost of conquering another level of the game.
8. Go Lateral
No more free rungs on your ladder? No worries. Hop to the adjoining one if opportunities are short. Just make sure not to burn any bridges—and keep your boss sweet in case you ever need a glowing reference.
9. Have a Back-Up Plan
You never know when everything is going to come crashing down around you. Prepare for the worst and you’ll never get caught with your pants down. Have an idea for a small business or a freelance project? Keep it in your back pocket for emergencies and never lose a chance to earn.