Learn More to Earn More

Most people want a pay rise.

One recurring theme we see in the media is employees demanding more pay. The question we need to ask ourselves of course is what have we done to deserve the pay rise? The following aren’t reasons for an increase in pay:

  • I’m broke
  • I have become a parent
  • I have loans to pay off
  • The cost of living has gone up
  • Somebody else got one

The best tip I ever heard from a personal development guru was to consider yourself as Me Inc. If you were your own company what would you do to improve your value to others?

If you want more money from your job then you need to present a valid business case. Doing exactly the same thing you did as last year and the year before that won’t cut the mustard. Did you:

  • Take on project work over and above your job requirements
  • Save the business money with some ideas
  • Help the business make more money or be more efficient
  • Pass exams which will help you to do your job better

If you want to earn more you have to learn more. Read books on business and personal development. Take evening classes or distance learning modules. If you become more marketable you can present a case for an increase in pay or find an employer who values your hard work ethic.

Paul Browning

9 Responses to “Learn More to Earn More”

  1. This is a great point! I am currently studying for the Windows 7: 70-680 Exam and if I pass I’ll get a $1/hr raise and 3 days paid vacation. The only reason it makes sense is that it will add value to my employer by increasing his technician’s knowledge base and expertise. It can directly tie to the possibility of more contracts or a better reputation in the marketplace.

  2. Yes & No.

    In this current economy and climate learning more won’t necessarily get you more. In fact as I look around teh market place for my type of role I see less pay for the higher the qualification.

    My answer – get yourself a job first then make yourself more useful (not indispensible – no-one is) to the company and maybe, just maybe you might get a payrise. The only guaranteed way I know is to get the training and then go work in London for higher pay. Then you move back out to the sticks with that same company so keeping the pay but getting the work / life balance back.

    To me – pay is nice and does the bills etc but the work / life balance is sooo much more important than chasing another 1 or 2%.

    I don’t need that stress.

    Oh and if you think there are 1000’s of companie sthat value a hard work ethic AND reward you for it then you are (I believe) mistaken. I have yet to find one that I’ve worked for or anybody I know has worked for within IT.

  3. I think it’s very important that as a technician you do not allow your skills to stagnate. Personally I am a big fan of self development/education as a way of fine tuning more formal education and training. The problem here is how to quantify the knowledge, skills and abilities obtained through your self study in a meaningful manner. I think this is where certifications come into play. They tend to validate and legitimize knowledge acquired though self study and informal learning. Obtaining the certification will help you validate what you know and are capable of contributing to the company. In turn that will be good grounds to discuss pay raises. Think about it like this. In an interview or discussion about pay raises n would you feel better about saying that “well I have sure read a lot of Cisco Press books ” or “gee it was difficult but I studied up on Cisco technologies and passed my CCNA “. Its also probably a really smart idea to analyze your job and coworkers and figure out what skills are lacking in the group and then be the guy or gal who can fill that gap. Do what you can to make sure your self studies are career enhancing in some way instead of just personal interest stuff. Having a Linux + cert might be personally fulfilling but not so useful if you’re a WAN engineer in a Cisco shop. Hopefully in expressing my two cents I have not rambled too much.

    Jeff

  4. INVEST IN YOURSELF

    Most people look on training as an expense or cost. I personally see it as an investment. For example if you want to earn the CCNA/CCNP then invest in the following:

    * Books (I’ve got Paul’s Simplified books and Cisco Press)
    * Labs (I have my own home lab and also use the HowtoNetwork racks)
    * Bootcamps (I’ve attended the networksinc bootcamps in Milton Keynes)
    * Online training/forums (I have been a member of HowtoNetwork, Bryantadvantage and also subscribed to forums)
    * Video training (eg CBTNuggets and Trainsignal. HowtoNetwork is free with subscription)

    When you pass the exam(s) then you will be more marketable and qualifications give you credibility, especially if you don’t have any experience. Your CV will stand out from the crowd and you will have more chance of being selected for interview.

    You want to improve your lot in life then go ahead and invest in improving yourself. Invest in Me.Inc. remember, No excuses, No regrets.

  5. Hi farukm
    What I think you are trying to say is that just like other companies, ME.Inc has to reinvest in it’self if it wants to reap the benefits and I could not agree more.

    Robert

  6. Hi
    There is no substitute for hard work, its like going to the gym, the more you train the better you get, its just that we don’t all start from the same place. But eventually with sweat and toil we can end up at the same point, with the guys at the top.
    Whatever people tell you there is no easy way…Thanks Paul
    Bob

  7. Mlletech. The more you know, the better you feel about yourself. You will see your self-worth increase the more you study. I am positive that that comes across.

  8. I think what you’re saying is, you have to deliver results, and to show the results you’ve delivered. That puts you in a strong position to be considered for a rise in pay in the same position, or for a promotion to more lucrative position, or it makes you the candidate of choice for something completely new.

  9. I once worked in a human resources department of a large company. I was amazed one day when an employee came to complain that he’d been turned down for a job because he did not meet certain educational requirements. His comment was, he didn’t see why he should take the time to go to school on the chance that he *might* qualify for a job. (The company would have paid for it.) He thought we should offer him the job, and then he’d consider it worth his while to get the education!

    Other employees *had* taken the time to invest in their own development, thus positioning themselves to be ready when job opportunities came along. They’d be the ones getting first consideration.

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