Move To Indianapolis, Ask For Raises In Dec, & More Ways To Make $$$ At Work

Time magazine has put together an intriguing list of nine ways to make as much money at work as possible. Its tips include:

+ live in a city like Dallas, Atlanta, or Indianapolis where “job growth exceeds the median 1.3% and housing costs are below the typical 2.9 times income.” In other words, choose a place where rent and cost of living are low, while your earning potential remains high. From what I’ve heard, Pittsburgh is like this too. There are jobs yet housing remains affordable.

+ start putting forward your case for a raise in December, well before the performance reviews that typically happen in the spring. Aim high. “Asking for an extra $5,000 to $7,000 a year beats plain old $5,000. You’ll seem cooperative and flexible — and make it harder for the boss to return with a lowball counteroffer.” Lead with the dollar figure too, followed by your explanation for why you deserve it, and not the other way around.

I’m trying to remember if that’s what I’ve done in my successful salary negotiations. The first thing I ever did that worked was blurt out the truth. An HR person told me the starting salary was $27,000 and, without thinking, I replied, “I can’t take it for less than $28,000.” Sold, to the lady for $28K! If only I had been prepared and asked for $30K.

+ keep moving. You can get bigger salary increases if you go from one office to another, especially as an executive, rather than from one rung of the ladder to the next in house.

+ keep fixing up your resume. After you’ve been out of college a certain length of time, put your educational credentials at the bottom rather than the top; they matter less than what you have accomplished since.

Slate, in an evergreen piece, concurs in this advice and offers lots more about cover letters. So as not to annoy hiring managers, don’t waste precious cover letter time by discussing:

1) what you did before college;

2) what you did at college, if it comes to that, including the classes you took and your GPA;

3) what you did while studying abroad;

4) your life journey; or

5) your thesis.

OK then!

Oh, and while we’re talking about resumes, use Helvetica rather than Times New Roman — the latter is, according to Bloomberg, the equivalent of “sweatpants.” Also avoid Courier. “Don’t try to pretend that you have a typewriter.”