I have been asked by several people what it means when I say “maximize your career.”  I want to give everyone an overview because it may not be what you think.  I used these techniques and it has paid big dividends for me.  I use maximizing my career as an anchor to building wealth and you can do the same.  Raise your earning potential with these strategies on your path to create wealth.

Many people view their career as a job.  They exchange dollars for hours.  I view my career as an investment in time and like any investment, I look for big returns.  If your thinking that you should just move up your career ladder to make more income, you have missed the opportunity.  Let me explain my view.

We were all taught all our lives to get good grades, go to school, get into a good college or vocation and then get a good job.  When you get into a job, then you should focus on moving up the career ladder and eventually you would make decent pay.  I see it a little different.  Yes, I trade my time for dollars, but I am also working to get more out of my “hourly rate”.  I view my career as one part of a company I run called “Me Incorporated.”  I think like an entrepreneur, so I usually look scale whatever I am doing for more benefit.

Strategies to leverage your time for big paydays:

  • Find a company where you can get equity – smaller companies or start ups may give away equity in the company to attract talent.  If you believe in the company’s product or service you may get a bigger payday down the road.
  • Find a company with an ESOP – ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  This will give you equity in the company and as the company grows your ESOP grows.
  • Find a company that gives you stock options or stock grants – If you work for a company that is public, you may be able to get options or grants at no cost to you.  This is usually done to keep talent and there is normally a vesting period but, again, if the company does well then so do you.
  • Find a company that is likely to have an IPO – If you can find a small private company that is likely to go public in the future and get equity as a private company you may receive a payday beyond your wildest dreams.  Internet and medical companies are usually a good place to start.
  • Find a company with a good bonus structure – I am not talking about 2% to 5% of your pay.  I am thinking more like 10% to 30% of your pay with a decent base salary.  Look to management and sales positions for these bonus structures.
  • Find a company that offers full tuition reimbursement – If you can get your company to pay for your MBA or even an undergrad, you can use this to raise your pay in the future.
  • Find a company where you bring a product or service –  If you have a proven idea for a service or product, but don’t have the capital to scale it in the marketplace, you may be able to take it to company in return for a salary and a percentage of the profit.

I know that these work.  I have used all these in my career and this has allowed me to be on a path to become millionaire before my 41st birthday.  I am not smarter than most, but I have been tenacious in my strategy to leverage my time.  If you start to incorporate these strategies you can achieve great results.

 Originally published April 3, 2011