On Your Own: Your Job

Getting a place of your own is a financial decision that you will need to keep up with every month. It's called paying rent. 

To pay your rent, you'll need money, and to get money, you'll need a job (unless you win the lottery, or discover some other way to get rich!). A job is one of the most important things you'll have to create financial stability in your life. 

So let's talk about getting a job, or increasing your value as an employee. 

For The Job Seekers

The good news is that today's job market is performing better than in the past! The unemployment rate is below 6 percent, and is supposed to be lower by the end of 2015. That means that there will be more opportunities for work. That doesn't mean that landing your dream job will come that easily.

Look At Job Hunting Differently

Think about how many people submit a resume to their prospective employers (it's probably a lot). This list of skills, experiences and qualifications is supposedly going to make you more qualified than the mass of other applicants that submitted similar-style lists of skills, experiences and qualifications. (See the point?? But, maybe I'm wrong, and it is true that you are much more qualified than any of the other candidates. If so, ignore the rest of this section!) 


  1. Do something different!! Study the company and their competition. See where improvements can be made. Research their history. Interview their customers, and ask why people choose this company. Get to know their culture, and learn about their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Be a problem-solver! Figure out their problems, and more so, figure out how you can solve their problems. Find strategies that might work more efficiently for the company. 
  3. Offer solutions! Approach a manager or leader in the company with, not a resume, but a letter explaining what you have done, what you have seen, and what potential solutions you can offer. A good way to phrase this might be,

"Dear ___, 

Since moving to Bangor, I have been a huge fan of your credit union, and the competitive rates you offer. Before moving to the area, I was a branch manager at ___ credit union, and received ___ (honors/awards).

Over the past month, I have visited your credit unions' 5 branches, and have interviewed with your members. I have also visited the 3 other credit unions in your area, and have talked with their management and members. I have summarized my findings in a report, which I will deliver to your office free of charge. Because I love the culture at your credit union, I have approached you first with this offer. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these findings..."

Do something bold. Don't just market yourself as an out-of-work-qualified-candidate, you are much more valuable, find a way to show it! 

(P.s. to all you job seekers -- WE ARE HIRING A NEW YOUNG & FREE SPOKESTER!! Check it out!)

For The Employed

The good news for employed people is that if you are a top performer in your workplace, some raises can be as high as 5 or 6 percent this year. The average raise will be about 3 percent, which is up slightly from last year, at 2.9 percent. 

If you're wondering how to be a top performer to get a greater raise, ASK your boss. Here's an example, "What do I need to do to earn $50,000 a year?" Find out what you can do to add more value to the company. Set goals, and see what you can do to save or earn the company money! 

Value might come in other forms, like staying on top of your industry by constantly learning. See what other experts in the field are doing. Go to trainings and seminars. Take initiative and tackle new projects. 

Look At Your Job Differently. 

For a lot of people, your job is your main source of income. It's an investment. You need to figure out how to make the most of your job, so that you can hopefully enjoy it for years to come. 

Think about:

  1. Adding Value
  2. Keep Learning
  3. Charging What You Are Worth
  4. Being Different! 

Take care! 




Why Bother? Peter Bielagus, 2012.