This might mean that you must learn to get creative…or think outside the box…but you can use your current job to provide yourself with free training and new skills to beef up your resume in order to get a pay raise or better career position, or simply to enhance your present workplace and your relationships with your coworkers.
Here are some of the ideas I have used to successfully create a better job for myself:
I became a notary public in just a few hours online, and I did it with my boss’s permission — on company time! He even let me pay for it on the company credit card because it would be so useful to him to have a notary on the premises.
Pitch Your Boss
The point here is to try to think of an idea you can pitch to your boss that will help him or her or the company, and therefore make you a more valuable employee. You will have more job security and confidence, management will love you, and you can grow your resume for the future.
My most recent pitch to my boss was not for myself. I learned that a coworker who is also a friend has a small hobby/side business that requires a lot of social media, so she is very experienced in that field. We pay our advertising company an astronomical amount of money to have them manage our social media in addition to running our website and designing our ads. Their contract is up next month.
I talked to my boss and presented my idea to save the company tons of money by having one of our own employees take over the social media portion of the advertising contract for next year. We could even give my coworker a nice pay raise, but it would be SO much less than we currently spend. The company would come out MUCH better off financially, and so would my friend.
Believe it or not, being kind and offering to help others can also be an opportunity for you to create a better job for yourself at work. Because I volunteered to do extra work filling in for someone on maternity leave so that her boss could cope, when she decided not to come back to work after having her baby, the position was given to me…with a pay raise!
Look for Training Opportunities
Another potential way to improve your career options is to sign up for any relevant training programs offered by your employer You can also find out if they would pay for certifications or classes. By taking advantage of any learning opportunities available, you can become a more valuable asset to your company while also growing and improving yourself and your capacity to earn more money in the future.
For example, I learned of a fabulous program in my state offered by Workplace Development. I discovered it through an email sent by our local Chamber of Commerce. It is a grant offered by the state to pay for employees’ continuing education or to improve or build job skills.
I presented it to my boss and told him I would do all the work involved if he would let me apply for the grant. (Full disclosure: If I’d realized how much work would be involved in the grant process, I’m not sure I would have been so eager to volunteer for this project!)
With the grant, I am getting approval for over a dozen of my coworkers and myself to take classes on company time for two hours, twice a week. With our new knowledge and skills, we will then be able to get pay raises, but the company will benefit financially as we apply the new knowledge and skills.
For example, our maintenance staff will learn more intensive plumbing, air conditioning and electrical skills. They will be able to do more of the big jobs that usually require hiring outside contractors. Therefore, even with giving the maintenance staff pay raises, the company will come out ahead by saving money spent on contracted services. Win-win!
For myself, I am taking accounting and Quickbooks classes so I can cover for our bookkeeper when she goes on vacation, rather than having to wait for her return every time she takes a few days off. Perhaps one day, I’ll even want to change my career from administrative assistant to accounting. In the meantime, I have a pretty good thing going with the present job I created for myself.
Frame Your Idea in Positive Way
The first time I asked my boss if he had a few minutes to talk to me, I felt him cringe as he assumed I was going to ask for a raise. (There was no money in the budget for that.) I learned to ask instead, “Do you have a few minutes so I can run an idea by you?” Now when I approach with a big grin asking if he has time to talk about a new idea, my boss is eager to hear what I have to say.
Have you ever pitched a new or creative idea to your boss that changed your job or experience? Please share your ideas or comments!