A Surprising But Simple Way to Increase Your Income
The number one way to increase your income is to provide proof of your work accomplishments. By detailing how you’ve impacted your company’s bottom line, you are more likely to increase your income in one of the following ways:
- Get hired for a higher-paying job at another company (if you are currently conducting a job search).
- Be promoted to a higher-paying position within your current company.
- Receive a pay raise for your current job.
- Avoid a possible layoff.
Accomplishments Are King
A resume without accomplishments is guaranteed to end up in the trash. But, accomplishments are king throughout your entire career, not just in the job search, especially if you are trying to achieve one of the above results.
So what do I mean by “accomplishments are king”? Your resume, performance review, and LinkedIn profile should never read like a job description. Instead, these credentials should show what you did that no one before you in that position and no one after you can duplicate. They should include specifically how you made a difference in your job. Examples of accomplishments include:
- Ways you made the company money and/or increased revenue or profit.
- Ways you saved the company money or decreased spending.
- Ways you saved the company time or man hours.
- Ways you increased efficiency or made a process easier.
- Ways you increased customer satisfaction or decreased customer complaints.
- Ways you met deadlines ahead of schedule.
- Ways you came in under budget.
- Ways you improved staff morale.
- Ways you discovered a potential problem no one else saw and corrected it.
- Other examples you can think of.
Once you brainstorm a list of your own accomplishments, you want to go back and quantify what you’ve done by including dollar amounts, percentages, etc. It’s okay if you have to approximate the numbers or if you have to go back and ask your supervisor what those numbers might be.
Often times when I advise my clients on doing this, I get some push-back. They’ll say something like:
- “Well, I really didn’t do anything important.”
- “I wasn’t trying to get the glory, I just did my job.”
- “I’m not in sales so I didn’t make the company any money.”
- “I don’t remember what those numbers are.”/”I have no way of finding out what those numbers are.”
Now is not the time to make excuses, especially if your job or salary is on the line. Everyone is unique and everyone solves problems and does their job uniquely. Therefore, you have accomplishments to show your contribution to the company.
You may have to do a little research and reach out to people from your work history, but it’s well worth it when you can prove why you deserve a job offer, promotion, or pay raise. It can even save your current job from possible downsizing if you can show just how big of a loss it will be to the company if they let you go.
Everyone Can Do This
Obviously, someone with more experience is going to have more examples to list, but even someone with very little experience can do this. For example, when I used to work with college students, a student came to me for help with his resume. The previous summer he was hired to deconstruct an old barn. He said, “Ms. Bumgarner, all I did was tear down a barn. How in the world can I make that sound good on a resume?!” After working with him, here’s what he came up with:
- Worked alone for long hours in extreme heat to deconstruct large barn, calculating the best way to disassemble it without causing costly damage to adjacent structures.
- Saved $1,500 by reusing board to create additional shelter.
- Made a profit of $500 by reselling remaining usable metal to salvage yard.
- Properly disposed of other materials that might harm the environment.
Display Your Accomplishments
Once you have brainstormed a list of your accomplishments, you want to include select ones on your resume under the appropriate job, several of them in your LinkedIn profile, and all of them on a separate document entitled “Accomplishments & Contributions” or “Competitive Advantages.” This separate document will serve either as an addendum to your resume for a job application, or as a stand-alone document for when you go in for a performance review or to ask for a pay raise. It should be formatted neatly, and it can simply be a bulleted list of all your accomplishments (no need to indicate in which job you performed these accomplishments).
Accomplishments ⇒ Confidence ⇒ Increased Income
When you perform this exercise, something magical will happen: your confidence will soar! It is such a confidence booster to see on paper all you’ve achieved in your career. This confidence will also be noticeable when you go in to a job interview or a performance review, therefore increasing your likelihood of getting what you want. You’ll be able to tell the details of how you achieved such results, which is what employers want to hear!
Most people need help with brainstorming ideas or with the final wording of their list of accomplishments, and that’s what I’m here for. If you need help with making these necessary updates to your resume or LinkedIn profile, contact me so we can begin working on that. You need to be ready for when that promotion or job opening comes up. Don’t wait until it’s too late!