With the world-wide recession starting to hit home, a lot of people are just focusing on keeping their current job rather than pursuing loftier ambitions such as moving to a better job with another company. However, we have also seen price rises for things such as fuel, food and public transport so there are many people who are keen to find a way to bolster their monthly take-home pay. Let’s consider, then, whether there are any ways that you can earn extra money whilst staying in your current job.
– Ask for a pay rise:
The best solution may be to ask for a pay rise. However, there is no guarantee, of course, that your request will be successful and companies will be especially determined to resist wage inflation during a period of economic recession. Your chances of securing a pay rise may therefore depend on how strong a case you can make to justify the increase that you are looking for. One useful approach is to identify whether there are other people in the company, doing a similar job, who are getting paid a significant amount more than you. Getting your pay increase may be a real test of your negotiation skills and you will need to assess how far you can push your request. Another factor that will influence your ability to get a pay increase is how indispensable you are? A worker who has skills and experience that would be very difficult to replace stands a much better chance of getting their way than an employee whose skill sets are easily obtained.
– Standard overtime:
Other than securing a pay rise, the most obvious alternative route is to volunteer to work overtime. If you’re prepared to come in a little earlier or stay a little later each night, then this may be very helpful for your employer and good for your bank balance. It will be dependant, however, on there being enough work to justify overtime.
– Non standard overtime covering anti social hours, weekends and bank holidays:
Often, the best opportunities to earn good overtime money comes from offering to work anti social hours, or weekends or bank holidays. For example, I work in a bank and banks often look to implement IT changes in the very early hours of the weekend. The rationale for this is that if anything goes wrong, they can back out the changes without affecting branch staff or unduly inconveniencing customers. When the changes are being implemented, they usually require members of staff to be on hand (sometimes via audio) to test that the changes have worked correctly. You will always have colleagues who will find it difficult to work these anti social hours, so this can be a great opportunity if you have the flexibility and desire to help out. You will also get good kudos from your boss for helping out.
Bank holidays are another time when employers usually pay well if they need staff to help out by working when they would normally be enjoying a well-earned day off.
Of course, there are some jobs where staff don’t ordinarily qualify for overtime payments. When I worked as a marketing manager, for example, there was no overtime paid even if we had to stay long hours to complete a piece of work. In such circumstances, however, there is usually a bit of flexibility and you may find that your manager will reward you with a bottle of wine or a day off in lieu or some other thank you for your efforts.
– On call
This is probably one that is mainly applicable to IT staff. Often, there is a need for at least one IT professional to be available, should a crisis emerge with his or her company’s IT systems. Being on call means that the person will have their mobile phone or pager on and will be readily available to come into the office at short notice if a problem does occur. The nice thing about it is that you can get well paid and nine times out of ten, there will be no crisis and you will have got paid for doing nothing more onerous than remaining sober!
– Performance Bonuses
Many companies offer performance-related bonuses as part of a work incentive scheme. This may mean that extra money will be triggered if you meet a sales target or if you are deemed by management to have performed exceptionally well. Some companies are struggling in the current economic climate to offer the same level of rewards as they did in the past but if you’re company offers performance bonuses then they are well worth striving for.
As well as individual bonuses, some companies also offer team bonuses if a team meets its sales target. This is particularly common in the retail sector.
That pretty much covers the main opportunities to make additional income in your current job. In general, the bigger opportunities to increase your take-home salary lies with getting an internal promotion or going to another company. However, until such an opportunity emerges, it makes perfect sense to look for opportunities to make extra money from your current job. One final thing that is worth mentioning is that there may sometimes be opportunities to make a little extra money by covering for someone who is on maternity leave. Often this means that you are technically still at the same employment grade but may be doing the job of someone who is one grade higher than you. The company may give you a pay bonus to cover this period of time in recognition that you are taking on a more involved role or extra workload.