The thing about single parents and work is that we’ve got to be way more innovative in our thinking and our dedication to delivering value to our workplaces. Those of the adult workforce who have two parents contributing to finances and to homemaking have a little more back up than most of us. So here’s what I’ve discovered are some strategies for increasing income over the past five years of working and parenting full-time.
1. Know the Value of What You’re Trading
This sounds simple. But it’s amazing how many people don’t know what they actually get paid for. Now if you’ve got a time=money mindset, you’re going to have to trade extra hours for an increase in finances. If, however, you can get your head around value=money and knowledge=money, then you’re trading with a whole other limitless kind of currency. Think about this, even if you think you’re in a time=money position, try to think of one extra thing you could supply that would have value to your managers, OR think of the knowledge base you possess and how that could benefit your organization in return for additional financial rewards.
2. Be Clear About What You Want
When you get clear about what it is you want as your next step of success and you hold an intention to achieve that step within a certain timeframe, you’re 100 percent more likely to achieve it. And if you write it down—the likelihood of achievement increases even further. We may be talking about income here, but remember success can be defined in many ways other than simply financial. And remember, negotiations are a two-way trade. If the company has budget restrictions, you can offer to receive the same salary for a four-day week or for increased holiday time. The more you believe you’re worth, the more your organization and clients will value you.
3. In Negotiations—Start High
You’ll never be talked up from your starting point, so start higher than what you want in the end. Now this takes boldness, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. I remember when I negotiated my first proper pay rise. I wanted a £5,000 increase, but I would have settled for £3k. So I asked for £10K and I got £8K. Nice!
4. Plant Seeds That Allow Some “Growing” Time
If you’re going for a promotion, a pay increase, or a career change, plant the seeds ahead of time. They might be with your boss, they might be with your family, or they might be with a new employer. Give the people around you who’ll be impacted the time to catch up with how you’re thinking. If you ask for a pay rise on the day of your review, chances are there’ll be little scope for negotiation. However, if you planted that seed a month beforehand and mention, “I just wanted you to be clear before my review about my expectations in the area of salary,” then you’re both focusing on the same outcomes for the day of the review.
5. Get Financially Educated
You know, we learn the majority of our financial education from people who are highly under-qualified to give it. Our parents (unless you’re the son or daughter of a millionaire), our teachers, and our peers—most of whom, if you’re anything like me, are living to their financial limits permanently. If you haven’t already read it, I recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosake as a good starting point. Start to learn about what it means to plan to be debt-free, then to increase your income, and finally to manage your accumulated wealth.