With today’s tough economy it’s often quite difficult to get the salary you think you deserve. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at these great pointers.

Study more
People are often quite torn about whether or not to study further. The misperception is that if you go back to studying, you’ll have to quit your job. This isn’t true. There are plenty of institutions that offer part-time and evening classes; with a little research you’ll find the right place for you in no time. If you do enough homework, you might find that your institution of choice offers handy bursaries too. By investing in a course that is relevant to your career, you’ll be adding value to yourself and the company you work for, which will give you more leverage to negotiate for a better salary.

Branch out
Never put all your eggs in one basket; try to supplement your income by doing other things as well. If you can, try to freelance, if you enjoy baking cupcakes and are good at it, start a little cupcake business on the side, or volunteer to tutor maths if your strengths lie there. These are all great things to do to increase your income.

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Keep your finger on the pulse
Industry trends matter a lot in these uncertain economic times. Read and keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry; if there has been a continuous decline in growth, perhaps it’s time to switch over to greener pastures. If you’re thinking of switching careers and moving to a different industry because of a downward spiral in your field, look at courses you could do to make the transition easier. Invest in your career and yourself.

Negotiation is key
If you’ve been offered a new job, don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary. Be realistic as well though. As a rule of thumb, you should ask for a minimum increase of 20%. Use examples and achievements in your job to help justify the increase.  

Be professional
When given more responsibility, do you gladly accept the challenge or make excuses as to why you won’t be able to handle it? Professionalism goes a long way in your career and the more you’re seen as the best person to handle added responsibility, the better your chances are of getting a raise.  

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