“Get a new job with more pay and you’re OK,” goes the line from Pink Floyd’s classic song Money. And while money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it’s a lot harder to be happy when you’re stressed out about paying your bills and can’t ever seem to get ahead.
But how do you change careers or get a job that pays what you think you’re worth? The first thing is that you have to determine that you are the only one in charge of your own career. Too many people accept that the job they have currently is all they are fit to do; they’ll accept their nominal pay increases each year and expect their company or boss to give them more money at some future point in time.
Take Charge of Your Own Destiny
However, you must take charge of your own destiny if you truly want to earn more money. I’ll tell you my own story. Ten year ago I worked for a local newspaper as a photographer and reporter. It was a fun job, but anyone who has worked in the newspaper industry will tell you that it doesn’t pay very well.
So, I began to teach myself HTML  and programming by developing my own website. Soon, I began to get requests from others to build websites. I spent my free time reading, practicing and developing sites, often working into the wee hours of the night. I took the mindset that only I could control my own destiny if I wanted to change careers. Shortly after that I decided to quit my job at the paper and strike out to find a full time job as a Web Designer and Developer.
My friends all said I was crazy; why would you leave a perfectly good job without already having another job lined up? But I knew that if I was to find a better job, one that paid twice what I was earning at the newspaper. And you know what? I was right. It took me 30 days and I made finding the right job my full time job.
Be Persistent and Commit Yourself to Getting a Better Job
I looked on Craig’s List , phoned dot com companies and landed numerous interviews, until I was hired as a Web Developer by a small dot com company in San Francisco for almost exactly twice what I had been earning at the newspaper! At my new job I became a Development Manager within 4 months and another large increase in pay. Then, about 8 months after quitting the newspaper, I again decided to strike out and find a better job.
This time I decided to stay at my current job while seeking new employment, but within about 45 days I again had numerous interviews and landed a new, director-level job that paid nearly twice what I earned at my previous job.
Now, you might say that was in 1998 during the hay day of the dot com era and I was simply lucky. And there is some truth to that; I was in the right place at the right time. But you know what else? The only way I quadrupled my income in less than a year was by striking while the iron was hot. I saw opportunity and worked my butt off to capitalize on it!
You Are Your Own Boss Whether You Like It Or Not
I believe others can do the same thing if they truly put their mind to it. After nearly 10 years of working in the high tech and Internet business I found myself working as Chief Technology Officer for a $100 million a year company … and then, in 2007 I, along with several other top managers at the company, was “downsized”, my job being given to one of my direct reports who earned far less.
So, rather than go back to the corporate life again, I decided to strike out on my own. Now I have a successful portfolio of websites and am already earning six figures after less than a year in business. I finally decided that I was my own boss, regardless whether I worked for a company or simply started my own!
You may think this kind of story can’t happen to you, but I believe you would be wrong if so. Anybody with reasonable intelligence and a strong desire to learn, adapt to change and take some risk can earn more money, whether by stepping up in your existing career or taking time to go back to school or otherwise learn the skills needed to change careers entirely.
Whenever I feel the need for a little money motivation, I like to listen to that old Pink Floyd tune so I’ve posted a YouTube video of it below for your listening pleasure. Now go out and find a job with more pay!