Summer holidays are over, you’re back at work and you’re pondering how to ensure 2019 is financially a better year.
Start off by looking around you at work. This is where your financial turnaround can start.
For most Australians, their wage is their most critical income stream. It drives the family budget, and determines whether there is anything left over for luxuries and lifestyle expenses.
An extra, say, $10,000 a year from the boss would do wonders for the household budget.
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Assessing your job prospects, and the likelihood of whether you can earn more money, should be your first decision of the new year.
Just as we’ve written before about how to stress test your home, and add value, the same principles apply to your job.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS?
Have a long hard think about what your dream job is. Are you currently doing it or on the path to getting there? If not, why not?
Get out a piece of paper and write down your long-term career goal. Then list the short and medium-term goals you need to achieve to get there, like specific experience or further education. Set time frames and follow your career plan.
DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE GOOD PROSPECTS AND IS IT GROWING?
The Australian economy, and business, is undergoing incredible change at the moment because of technology and globalisation. Some industries are riding the opportunities from this change while others are being threatened by it.
Make sure you’re working for a company benefiting, rather than being battered, from this new environment.
A company under financial pressure is likely to be in the bunker cutting costs and limiting opportunities to staff. You will see telltale signs like retrenching staff, a freeze on hiring, a clampdown on expenses and paying suppliers late.
If there is a clear explanation on why these changes are happening, such as restructuring to grow or merging with a recent acquisition, position yourself to be part of the new structure. If there’s no explanation, then maybe you need to look for an employer with better prospects.
DOES YOUR BOSS VALUE YOU?
Speak to your current boss about your future with the company. They have a huge impact on whether you’ll be considered for advancement. It’s important to prove you are worth the extra money and/or responsibility by making a list of recent achievements like exceeding sales targets, taking on extra work or outperforming colleagues in some way.
Also remind the boss of any unique skills, experience or contacts you bring to the position and share your career goals with them to show that you’re serious about advancement. You want them to realise how valuable you are to the company and how difficult you are to replace.
If the boss doesn’t show any great interest in what you do, or who you are, there is only a very slim chance of being better off staying where you are.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT JOBS AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET ONE?
There are a range of different jobs in every business. Some are more valued than others and pay more to those doing them. These higher-paid jobs will vary between different companies and industries.
It could be accounting, sales or administration. Identify the roles that are most valuable to the boss and see if you can transfer across. If you don’t have the right skills, look at how to get them. It could be starting as a junior and being trained up in-house or completing an outside course at TAFE or university.
Weigh up the cost of the education, whether it helps reach your career goals, the prospects of being able to change jobs and the potential increase in earning capacity.
DO WHAT’S REQUIRED AND START A SIDE HUSTLE
If you’re in a safe, secure job with limited opportunities and which isn’t demanding, maybe consider supplementing your income by starting a side-hustle. Turn that passion, skill or hobby into a money-making venture.
But the performance at your full-time job is critical. It must not deteriorate. Remember the job is providing that all-important financial security to allow you to try something new and earn extra cash.
There is no reason why you should tell your employer about the part-time business but if you have a good relationship it would do no harm. You never know, they may even become a customer.
Just don’t make business calls during your day job because you’ll probably get fired.
LEAVE FOR SOMETHING WITH MORE PROMISE
There has been record jobs growth in Australia over recent years, unemployment is low and job vacancies are high. In short, there are plenty of jobs out there, particularly in NSW and Victoria.
So dust off that resume and get it up to date. A resume can win or lose a job and effectively markets you to prospective employers. You want it to stand out from other applicants and land you an interview. Include all your relevant experience, qualifications, skills and emphasise big career achievements. Tweak a resume for different job applications to make sure you’re clearly meeting each of the advertised criteria.
Work out what kind of jobs you are currently qualified for and what’s the going market rate. Scan career websites or speak to a recruiter in your industry.