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Maximising Earning Potential in Midlife

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Ongoing Education Asking For A Raise

Most people look at the years from midlife to retirement as those with the biggest potential for earning. Early in our careers, we are likely to take entry level positions, but by middle age, many of us have firmly established ourselves in our fields and can reap the financial rewards of age and experience!

Keeping Skills Sharp

No matter the job, most workers need to keep learning throughout their careers in order to advance their positions. Some fields, such as those that are technologically intense, require an almost constant upgrading of skills, while other jobs may require far less in terms of ongoing education. In all but a few cases, though, keeping abreast of new advancements or trends in the market can help employees to optimise their value at work.

Workers who are able to predict what their employers want and need can take steps to deliver, keeping them at the top of the list when raises and promotions are considered. Those who are consistently able to meet (or exceed!) their company’s expectations are likely to shine at work.

Seeking Promotions

Even the kindest of employers are unlikely to pay more than they need to in terms of payroll, so employees need to be aggressive in seeking raises and promotions. Proper preparation is needed before asking for additional responsibilities (and the pay that goes along with them!) so those who hope to advance their positions at work should assemble copies of positive reviews, sales figures, or other proof that their work has been exceptional.

Additionally, it’s good to mention any classes, seminars, or workshops that have been attended in order to be of greater value at work. Showing that they have been working for both personal advancement and the overall growth of the company will impress employers, as will presentations that are well thought out and include a few ideas for what you hope to achieve in the position that you are seeking. While modesty has its place, self-promotion is the key when asking for a raise or promotion at work.

Being a Team Player

Few (if any) successful people have gotten where they are without the help of others, and wise people are quick to acknowledge and show appreciation for coworkers and others who help them to achieve. An attitude of goodwill with a focus on the importance of best utilising the skills of everyone involved for the advancement of all is usually admired by employers, who must keep a sharp eye on the bottom line.

Those who are fearful about educating coworkers and subordinates to succeed at work are unlikely to advance as well as they could if they’d be open to allowing and encouraging others at work to utilise their skills for the greater benefit of the company.

Working for Yourself

Midlife is often a time of reflection and assessment of personal and professional achievement. Career dissatisfaction can sometimes prompt middle aged workers to consider leaving their current positions and branching out on their own. There are a number of factors to consider before making the leap in to self-employment, though, and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly.

Some find that they best way to transition from being someone’s employee to heading up their own businesses is to first attempt to work in their desired position on a part-time, freelance basis. By testing the water, they can get a good idea as to whether or not they have the skills, self-discipline, and market to make their business profitable. For those who are able, though, being self-employed can offer great rewards, including flexible working hours, pride in self sufficiency, and of course, financial gain.

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