(This article was originally posted on Forbes.com (click here to see the Forbes version!)
You’ve probably seen many different online video posts and ads all claiming that they can provide someone with the ability to earn $50-$100,000 more per year. They claim that by purchasing an online course for $99 you can learn how to make passive income and support yourself and your family better while being able to travel the world, purchase fancy sport cars, and live the life you’ve dreamed about.
Don’t worry, that’s not what this article is about.
Getting right to the point, you can make more money (20, 50, even 100k more per year), if you understand the difference between job based skills and career skills.
What is the difference between job skills and career skills?
Job skills are your capabilities of competently completing the daily tasks given to you on the job.
Good career skills give you the ability to properly position yourself to achieve the highest levels of compensation, raises and promotions while in your current role, and throughout your career.
For example you might be great at sales and meet all the qualifications to be a great salesperson. But having good career skills will give you the ability to land a great job in sales, or get a large raise and/or higher rate of pay when the time comes. Having better upside, greatly increases your chances for success.
So how does one develop good career skills? You can start by investing in these areas:
Stand out. Let’s say there’s a dream job you really want at a large reputable company (e.g google). It’s safe to say that job probably has hundreds, if not thousands of applicants. So why is the hiring manager going to pay attention to ‘lil-old you’? Start thinking: “What are things I can do to make myself stand out in the hiring process?” A good place to start is by doing research on your hiring manager. If you’re not sure who it is, try to determine who it could be by looking up profiles that are as relevant to the position as possible. The important thing to remember is find a way to positively separate yourself from the other candidates in the interview process.
Ask. It doesn’t get simpler than this folks. One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my career was not asking for what I wanted. I assumed my managers could read my mind and that I would earn those promotions automatically with performance alone. Let’s say being a manager is your main goal. You should be talking to your superiors and people you look up to in the organization from day one on what it takes to be a manager at that company. Let them be the ones to tell you what skills are required of you, and what things they want to see you accomplish. Then work on those skills and perfect them as early as possible.
Work well with others. Note that I didn’t just write “Work with others.“ In real life, Don Draper and Harvey Specter don’t do well or last long in the workplace. Lone wolves and bounty hunters, while sounding glamorous, are only successful in the short term. If you want to find real business success from a career perspective, you need to be able to network and work well with others. This means being able to work on a team, while earning the respect of your coworkers. What’s the easiest way to start, you ask? Give without expecting something in return. This random act of kindness will go along way in your “building bridges bank”. And who knows. The person you worked with might not be able to help you right now, but might be able to help you in a different position, roll, or different company.
Never stop learning. You should be learning something new every single day at your job, whether you’re a individual contributor or a c-level executive. Learning gives us the ability to constantly improve ourselves, and allows us to continually grow and mature. The second you realize that all you’re doing on a day-to-day basis is clock in and clock out, you have hit a ceiling. Hitting a ceiling means there is little to no upside, or growth in that opportunity, and it might be time to think about a different career path.
Paying attention to these simple areas can provide massive returns in the amount of income you make on a monthly and yearly basis. What are things you do to develop your career skills?