This is a dilemma many of us may face at some point in our career. Although we work hard and invest in our professional development, continue to get good performance evaluations and get promoted, we realize we’ve reached a ceiling on our income. This can affect many professions, especially those called to service, such as teachers, professors, social workers, some types of nursing, therapists, counselors, bookkeepers, administrative positions and many others.
The pain of hitting your income ceiling
You could find yourself stuck in mid to upper five figures, and depending your life plans, realize you don’t make enough to finance the lifestyle you dream of. Whether it’s the house you want to buy, vacations you would like to take, the ability to provide opportunities for your children, to get out of debt and save, and other goals. On the other hand, it could be that you just work too hard for the money you do make. You can put in the overtime and extra hours to push your salary as high as it can go, but it comes at the expense of your free time, your stress levels, or ultimately your health, and in that way, your life goals are also not being met.
But, I love my job!
Now, you likely still love your job. After all, you were called to a professions that you knew wasn’t the highest paid, like a management executive or lawyer or physician. You love teaching, heling and serving others. You are great at what you do and you deserve to live the kind of lifestyle you can envision for yourself and your loved ones. So, what do you when you’re stuck? No matter how much you excel at your job or love what you do, the toll of not making enough to live comfortably, will begin to eat at you and affect how you feel about yourself and your job. I’ve been there and have walked the walk with friends and clients, who were also amazingly skilled and passionate about their work, but unable to finance their dreams.
What are my options when it comes to making the money to finance my dream lifestyle?
Even when you feel stuck, however, you do have options.
- One is to see if you can position yourself for a raise (you’d be surprised what a motivated employer can do, including providing pay and benefits off salary scales).
- Alternatively, make a plan to switch career tracks within your same company (e.g. make the switch to administration or leadership roles).
The drawback of both those strategies (which are great for a near-term income boost) is that they may still not provide enough additional income to hit your lifestyle targets. Or, the demands of a new position might be more than what you want to take on at this stage of your career.
Have I really hit my peak?
- Another thing you can do is determine if you really reached your career salary peak for your industry, or just with your current employer. Perhaps a new job with a different company or agency could boost your salary. Sites like Glassdoor crowdsource the inside scoop on pay and conditions for different employers. The drawback of switching employers is that you lose the benefits and seniority of your current position. Other benefits may be on hold until you pass a probationary period.
- Another option is to see if you can translate the awesome skills from your current job (and your entire career, really) into a completely different, higher paying career in another industry. The trick here is making your trajectory and background make sense to those doing the hiring in your new industry. It’s totally possible, though. Check out this story on Career Muse of how a CIA agent successfully transitioned to a career in Geology.
What I found interesting is that the process of transitioning careers is very similar to the process of figuring out your business idea, which we specialize in. It’s possible that you might find a new career move means going back to school for a new degree, certification, or license.
Before making any move, the important thing is to be clear about your goals, what kind of career and lifestyle you want, the investment needed and arrangements you might need to make to support those investments (going back to school, taking classes, etc.), and then monitoring your progress.
Another option with potentially unlimited income
There is another option, however, which is what we’re all about at Think Beyond Boundaries. And that option is creating a lucrative, enjoyable side business helping others with the know-how you’ve gained from just living your life. It’s pretty amazing that with our current technology, anyone can launch a business and connect to a global audience 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
If you want to learn how you can finance your dream lifestyle with a lucrative side business, enter your email below to get the roadmap to do just that. The guide is available now for free as we launch this site, but won’t be for long. It gives you a complete guide to what it takes to turn your unique life story into a profitable knowledge-based business helping others to solve the problems you’ve learned to overcome.