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It is very common to feel like you are stuck in a rut and not earning the salary that you deserve. This is a critical time where you can seriously assess what you can do as far as self-improvement goes to earn more. Believe it or not, there are some career hacks that you can start practicing today to increase your earnings. The important thing to remember is that you are not just trying to increase your salary, you are trying to improve your long-term career.

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Whether you are starting a brand new job or have been with the same company for years, here are the top tips to start making more bank:

Do Your Research

Before you consider a career change of going into another field, know what the typical annual salary is for people just starting out or more seasoned professionals. Consider also the region in which you are living because sometimes it will increase or decrease. Google salary calculators and check multiple sources to ensure that you have a general range in mind. When it comes time for a job offer, then you will know if they are starting you off at the lower end or higher end.

Know Your Worth

Experience is critical and if you are green, then sometimes it is worth taking a position where you arent thrilled about the pay to gain experience. However, if you are seasoned, then it is time to up the auntie. For example, if you have been in the same position for over 2-3 years and still have not received a raise, then it is time to set up a meeting with your boss. Explain to her how you have valued the time and experience at your company and how much it has taught you. Elaborate on how you are now a more seasoned employee because of that and you feel that your desired salary will better reflect the goals and values of the company.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Before accepting a new job offer, make sure to thoroughly read over the offer letter. Assuming that you have already done your research (#1 on the list), see if what is being offered is aligned with the average salary on the market. On average, only about 7% of women negotiate while 57% of men negotiate when offered a position. However, do so in a polite and respectful manner. Instead of flat out saying, I want more, politely and professionally say something like, I appreciate you extending this offer. I noticed that the initial salary is $45,000. Is there something more we can do about this?

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Trends

This is especially critical if you work in tech. Some programming languages are here today and gone tomorrow and knowing what the industry is demanding is crucial in the digital age. Take every chance you can in learning a new skill and keep your ear open to industry experts. Ask to be involved on projects that challenge you and expand your horizons on the latest technology in your field. This could even mean studying and completing something like a da-100 exam, which will help your CV to stand out from the crowd and give you a lot more knowledge within the technology sector.

Educate Yourself

Take continuing education classes or earn certifications that will make you a better employee or more qualified candidate. There are even night classes for MBA or graduate programs that will drastically change your career upon completion. Working full time and going to school at the same time is never easy, but the pay-off is definitely worth it.

Update Your Skills

Sometimes, learning new skills can simply be self-educated. There are plenty of resources like Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, and TeamTreehouse where you can learn your desired skill at your very own pace. If taking formal continuing education classes is a bit much for you, then consider these online memberships or classes. They usually charge either a monthly fee or a flat fee for each lesson.

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