Friday, September 22, 2006

3 Ways Improving Your Skills Can Increase Your Income

Not long ago, I read an interesting article where Steve Pavlina explains how to improve technical skills. This got me to thinking about the opposite side of the cashflow equation: the income side.

Most people in the personal finance community seem to focus on saving money, and being frugal, and minimizing expenses. All of these are items that are generally about the expense side of things. But the income side should not be forgotten, just because it is often more difficult.

Getting a higher-paying job is often the most straightforward ways to improve your income. However, most people often stick in their current position or field when taking the next position. However, this is not always where the most money is made.

After taking Steve's tips and a strong work-ethic, it is possible to perhaps branch off into other related fields, or at the very least become proficient in these skills.

3 Reasons it matters:

1. Learning more skills may change your ways of thinking. Often, problem-solving is a matter of changing your ways of thinking, not working harder. New skills provide new ways to think about and work on solving a problem.

2. More experiences give you things to talk about in an interview. Often, interviews are just a way for hiring managers to size you up in terms of your experiences and how you handle yourself in a job. Going after new skills is a sure-fire way to show your drive and aptitude for learning new things.

3. Side-Jobs abound for people with multiple skills. If you have multiple skills and use them successfully, you may find yourself doing work on the side in the form of a second job, or a small business. Combining your different skills together might actually be an excellent way to gain a competitive advantage over your competition.

Personally, I've combined my skills in fixing computers with my skills as a programmer to start a small business that I've been running since college on the side. It has allowed me to learn more, grow my skillset, and also provides me with plenty of opportunities to learn above and beyond my regular positions.

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