Capitalize on What You Know to Earn More

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When most of us think of earning more money, we think of working overtime or of going in to see the boss and asking for a raise. While these are effective ways to earn more, they are a little less effective in some environments. Some companies limit overtime during times of economic difficulty. And depending on whether your industry was affected negatively by the pandemic, you may be thanking your lucky stars that you still have a job, let alone get a raise during the last couple of years.

The Problem with Relying on Someone Else

The problem with relying on these methods of earning more is that you are, in fact, limited by what others are willing to provide you with. While you can try to convince someone else that you deserve a raise or the chance to work longer hours by hard work and competency, your ability to earn more is largely out of your hands.

Instead of relying on someone else to decide your financial future, you can find creative ways to earn money on your own. When your earning power is limited only by your creativity and the time you are willing to put in, you have a better chance of earning more over time.

Why You Should Look for Other Ways to Make Money

The rise of the side hustle has been going on for years, but it’s kicked into overdrive since the pandemic. Thanks to technology, many people are realizing that they can start small side projects and put a little more cash in their pockets. It doesn’t hurt that many of these jobs can be done at home and away from physical contact to limit the spread of the virus.

Being able to cultivate other sources of income is important for long-term financial success. Gone are the days when you could work for the same employer for decades and retire with a pension. Instead, people are being hired and fired regularly, and the pension has all but disappeared.

Times Have Changed

Employees aren’t considered extensions of the company “family” anymore. Instead, they are seen as assets or liabilities and discarded as easily as any liability could be. Almost no one has a safe job anymore. As a result, it is important to carefully consider your options and look for ways to earn more money on your own. After all, you can’t rely on your employer to take care of you.

In fact, sometimes I feel like it’s worst if your company offers a pension. That’s because employees at these firms are given the promise of a guaranteed monthly stipend after certain years of service. Yet, so many companies are freezing, eliminating, and changing the pension calculations. If you started a job and planned to have a certain guaranteed income just to get the rug pulled from under you, then what can you do?

Supplement Your Income

Look. A side income is great but I’m not saying that you absolutely need to replace your “day job” with income from a side gig. In some cases, supplementing your income is sufficient. Another income stream can take some of the pressure off in the event that you lose your main source of pay. Rather than having all of your income disappear, you will have something coming in to help pay your expenses.

That way, you won’t be as stressed out and it may give you enough breathing room to land the next good gig instead of having to take whatever comes your way because you will be living on the streets if you don’t take whatever job offer is available immediately.

Other Benefits of Having Supplemental Income

In the meantime, your side income can bulk up your emergency fund or it can add to your retirement portfolio. If you are lucky enough to never lose your job, having decades of supplemental income means that you get to retire that much earlier. How great is that?

Additionally, you can also bump up your fun budget with extra income. At the end of the day, what’s the point of supplemental income if it can’t help you enjoy life more? You can use the money to take trips, buy gadgets, or pay for your child to participate in extracurricular activities. The use of supplemental income can mean that the money you earn from your employer goes to the essentials of life, improving your cash flow.

Capitalize On What You Know

It’s really possible. You already know how to use technology to reach out to others. You just have to figure out the rest. If you are trying to figure out what you can do to work from home, or at least earn a little side money, then I suggest you start with what you know.

Chances are that you know something that others are willing to pay for. You can capitalize on that to earn a little more money. What you know is part of your human capital. And, if you want to earn more money, you need to put that knowledge to work.

Start a Side Hustle or Your Own Business

Use your knowledge to start a side hustle or your own business. What you learned about business from your last job can help. Additionally, it’s possible to take your knowledge of a hobby to start a business or side hustle. If you have a particular skill, you can build a business around that skill, whether you hire out to do work for others or whether you teach the skill to someone else.

Do a “skills and knowledge” inventory. Examine what you have to offer. This includes soft skills like your ability to communicate and lead others. Harder skills need to be looked at too, like having a specific ability like computer programming. Consider your abilities and how you can make money from them. It’s possible to turn many skills and abilities into freelancing, consulting, and teaching gigs on the side.

Improve Your Pay on the Job

I know I’ve said that sometimes it’s hard to ask for a raise, but it doesn’t mean you don’t ever ask for one. What you know can be used to help improve your pay on the job too. When you learn a marketable skill that can be used at work, you become more valuable.

You might be able to ask for a raise, get a promotion, or wrangle a few more perks. Your knowledge and skills can benefit the company and provide a return, allowing you to make a case for earning a little more money. When you have the chance to receive a useful certification, take it; your increased knowledge might be worth something to your employer.

Be Willing to Look for Opportunities

You can also use your improved experience and knowledge for leverage. Your industry may be struggling, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t try to jump to an entirely different segment of the economy. Certain companies are thriving in this economy and they’ve been hungry for talent for years. You’ll only learn of these career opportunities if you are willing to put yourself out there.

This means that it’s possible to earn higher pay at a new company – or use an offer from a new company to get a raise at your current job. Realize, though, that sometimes capitalizing on what you know means accepting perks, like being able to telecommute, rather than receiving more money.

Bottom Line

The days of relying on some big corporation to entirely take care of your family’s financial needs are in the past. Technology offers a way for you to earn a little extra money on your own, so use it to prepare yourself against the financial upheavals that can be a part of life.

Everyone has experiences, skills, and knowledge that can be put to use. The key is to determine how you can use what you know to your advantage. Learn how to present yourself, and how to market your skills. Once you know the value of what you have to offer, you should be able to convince others to compensate you for what you can bring to the table.

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  • Beau W. says:

    Im ramping up my concrete side work for my extra cash. Im not even looking for the extra work too be honest. My co- workers are networking for me. My philosophy is do the 1st job on the cheap and trade the low price for your co workers too spread the word about what ever it is that you do. Works for me. Are you ready for some concrete work yet David? LOL!

    • David @ says:

      Hahaha not yet Beau!

      Never say never but the day I work in concrete is probably when California rains 360 days out of the year :).

      Good for you though. You are definitely doing it right by having your friends spread the word for you. That’s the best form of marketing!

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