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BY Fairygodboss

How to Get a Job That Pays Six Figures

How to Get a Job that Pays Six Figures

Photo credit: Creative Commons

TAGS: Job search, Compensation, Negotiating

How do you get a job where you make a six figure salary? Many of us would like to find out how to make more, and making $100,000 is a milestone that many people want to achieve. What are the skills and things you need to do in order to make this goal a reality? You may be surprised to learn that this income level is a more achievable than you think—and that making some tactical decisions and doing some research and planning will help you along your way.

1. Do Your Research

To earn 6 figures, you need to pick a profession that pays 6 figures.

If you think that this income level is reserved for CEOs, doctors or lawyers, you may be surprised to learn that six-figure salaries exist in many less obvious professions. Depending on where you live and what company you work at, Fairygodboss’ compensation database shows you can make $100,000+ a year as a sales rep, software developer, brand manager, legal consultant, director of finance, or even a construction manager.

In short, if you want to earn a six-figure salary, be aware that you may need to focus on where the money is. Sort through salary databases, and being thorough in your research will help you find jobs where your interests and money goals align.

2. Persevere

A six-figure salary may not materialize overnight.

Sometimes your professional interests are a match for that target 6-figure position, but for one reason or another, it takes a while to get there. Some job positions require that you work a set number of years in that industry to qualify for a specific salary tier. Think about doctors, for example. Sure, they can earn quite a lot in private practice, but it takes years of education (read: student loans) and low pay in a residency program before they hit the financial jackpot. Only you can decide whether the trade-off is worth the money—but if your heart is set on both a high income and working in a profession you love, staying the course will feel worthwhile.

3. Negotiate

Don’t count on benevolence. Whether you’re getting your first job or your fifth, the salary offer you receive is often unlikely to be the absolute bottom line. Negotiation is one way to make sure that you are earning the maximum amount you deserve. If you’ve done your research and you’re not earning your market worth, your pay may become anchored to a lower number for longer than you think. Every subsequent raise, promotion, or even future job negotiation, may lead your manager or prospective employer to consider what you were previously making. So start off on the right foot by asking for more. What’s the worst that can happen? If the answer is no, at least you've tried and you won't regret asking in a few months—even if it feels awkward at the time.

4. Be Confident

If you're feeling shy about whether you deserve to make six figures, get over it! Nobody will pay you a six-figure salary if you act like you don’t deserve it. Own up to your professional worth. While simply believing you're worth $100,000 a year isn’t the only thing that will get you there, nobody is going to drop that much cash in your lap if you can’t at least believe in yourself and what you can offer.

5. Make a Plan

Sometimes there simply aren’t shortcuts, and you have to work your way to the confidence and experience that a six-figure role requires. If you start off in a job that pays less than you want, don’t despair. You can work hard, keep looking for related positions in the same or different company, and apply for a promotion or new position when you’ve gained more of the skills and experience you need to earn a higher salary.

Managers make more than entry-level workers for a reason—they know more and have more responsibility. While you shouldn’t assume that the passing of years alone will guarantee you reach that salary goal, active career planning will help you get there sooner than you may think.

6. Take Some Risks

It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes the surest way to land a six-figure salary is to listen to your gut and take a job that doesn’t offer that salary level. Making some sacrifices and embracing uncertainty will often propel you to something that will become financially lucrative.

For example, you may have the opportunity to intern unpaid for an industry leader, which could set you up for some unusual future opportunities. Or you may really believe that a start-up (that can’t afford to pay you a lot right now) is going to become the next big thing. Waiting it out makes those stock options a lot more valuable than they look now on that offer letter.  The point is: there’s a reason for the adage “No risk, no reward.”

7. Network: No Woman is an Island

Nobody can achieve maximum career success—which is at least partially measured by money—on their own. Whether you’re a social animal or an introvert, making a concerted effort to build relationships with other people is absolutely essential to reaching your financial goals. Your connections at work and in your industry can help you land a new position, learn more about how to change industries, or simply support your chances of being promoted. So network, network, network. Here are some good ideas about where to start building networks that can support your financial goals.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

Related Community Discussions

  • I recently got engaged, will be married October 2017. My fiance and I want to start a family right away. My job does not have paid maternity leave. Would it be premature for me to advocate for paid leave? My initial thought process was to figure this out as soon as possible. Maybe I should start looking for another job; researching other companies I noticed that most (all the one's that I saw) require employees to have been employed for a year before being offered paid maternity leave.

    If I could have my way I would stay where I am at and get paid leave.

    I have a positive relationship with my boss and can talk about this with him, however; he isn't the one who ultimately makes this decision, corporate does.

  • I am trying to change career paths. I was laid off in Nov. 2016. I spoke with a master resume writer yesterday who recommended an entirely new resume, LinkedIn overhaul, valuation letter and summary/biography all for close to $3000. I also received a call for an interview for a part-time job, $10/hour, no benefits. Needless to say I burst into tears by the end of the day.

    I had high hope when I obtained my law degree (especially after working full-time & attending night classes). I've tried contacting the law school and my undergrad career centers but have received only nominal assistance. They both wished me luck, gave me login's to their job portals and had nothing more to suggest.

    Someone mentioned networking & I agree that is an option but here in Michigan is comes with a fee to attend events, seminars or join associations. I understand we are all trying to make money but I graduated from law school during the recession and have 6 figures in student loans. I also am running out of unemployment.

    The master resume writer explained only 15% of people get hired from online applications. Is that true? If so then why are we even bothering with an online system at all? She suggested I find the hiring manager & connect with that person. The hiring manager is sometimes 2 people deep in the company so how do I find the person who told HR that they need a person for X job?

    I've reached out to people on LinkedIn and have not gotten much response or advice. Are there any mentors or HR people that can suggest anything that is free? My mom thinks I should go back to school but with a BA and JD that I am still paying for adding to the debt with no promises that another degree will land me a job doesn't seem wise.

    I am frustrated, disheartened and angry that the process of finding a job has become so convoluted but understand why it has. I've read so many articles on LinkedIn that they conflict with one another...you need a cover letter, no you need a pain letter, don't bother you don't need these because HR won't read it. Your resume needs skills, don't list your skills, list dates, don't list dates, take off references. Which article do I believe? Adding insult to injury the unemployment agency here requires your resume to be uploaded to the talent network. Do you know what companies contacted me expressing interest in my skill-set? Tru-Green lawn care as a fertilizer sprayer and a local manufacture as a line-worker. Is that all I am capable of and are they even reading my resume?

    If there is anyone out there who can help please respond and as 1 talk-show host says everyday at the end of her show remember to "be king to one another".

  • Does anyone here work for Earnst & Young? I see their communications department is hiring for multiple roles I think I'm qualified for. I'd like to learn more "inside scoop" from a current or former employee. Also looking to learn more about how this department is structured so I can figure out which of the positions I should apply for. Don't want to apply for all of them and have it look as if I'm spamming them with my resume.

  • Any advice for someone searching for work during their first trimester of pregnancy? I currently work with a temp agency for income and am applying for my next role. From what I've read on the boards, it seems that most women are firmly established at their companies but I was forced to look for a new role outside of my former company due to a health condition. They were unwilling to move me to a different role within the company. Any suggestions on how to navigate the next 4-6 months before giving birth?

  • The previous post is a hard act to follow, but here goes: Within a week or two, I will be laid off from the ad agency where I work. Unfortunately, this is a hazard of working at an agency. If the agency loses a major client (or, as in our case, two), staff are let go. For me, this is deja vu; at my last job, also at an agency, we lost a major client and 11 staffers were laid off (including me).

    The advertising industry skews quite young. I laugh when I see a job posting for a "senior" copywriter requiring only three years of experience (I have more than 20).

    While I am seeking a permanent, full-time position either remotely or in the Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey region, I am considering going freelance. I have had a freelance business on the side for decades, but never made the leap.

    So, if anyone has advice on making a living as a freelancer, let me know. Or, if you have any ideas on how to "spin" my experience in a positive way, please share. (And if you want to send a job offer my way, that's OK, too!)

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How to Get a Job That Pays Six Figures

How to Get a Job That Pays Six Figures

How do you get a job where you make a six figure salary? Many of us would like to find out how to make more, and making $100,000 is a milestone that many ...

How do you get a job where you make a six figure salary? Many of us would like to find out how to make more, and making $100,000 is a milestone that many people want to achieve. What are the skills and things you need to do in order to make this goal a reality? You may be surprised to learn that this income level is a more achievable than you think—and that making some tactical decisions and doing some research and planning will help you along your way.

1. Do Your Research

To earn 6 figures, you need to pick a profession that pays 6 figures.

If you think that this income level is reserved for CEOs, doctors or lawyers, you may be surprised to learn that six-figure salaries exist in many less obvious professions. Depending on where you live and what company you work at, Fairygodboss’ compensation database shows you can make $100,000+ a year as a sales rep, software developer, brand manager, legal consultant, director of finance, or even a construction manager.

In short, if you want to earn a six-figure salary, be aware that you may need to focus on where the money is. Sort through salary databases, and being thorough in your research will help you find jobs where your interests and money goals align.

2. Persevere

A six-figure salary may not materialize overnight.

Sometimes your professional interests are a match for that target 6-figure position, but for one reason or another, it takes a while to get there. Some job positions require that you work a set number of years in that industry to qualify for a specific salary tier. Think about doctors, for example. Sure, they can earn quite a lot in private practice, but it takes years of education (read: student loans) and low pay in a residency program before they hit the financial jackpot. Only you can decide whether the trade-off is worth the money—but if your heart is set on both a high income and working in a profession you love, staying the course will feel worthwhile.

3. Negotiate

Don’t count on benevolence. Whether you’re getting your first job or your fifth, the salary offer you receive is often unlikely to be the absolute bottom line. Negotiation is one way to make sure that you are earning the maximum amount you deserve. If you’ve done your research and you’re not earning your market worth, your pay may become anchored to a lower number for longer than you think. Every subsequent raise, promotion, or even future job negotiation, may lead your manager or prospective employer to consider what you were previously making. So start off on the right foot by asking for more. What’s the worst that can happen? If the answer is no, at least you've tried and you won't regret asking in a few months—even if it feels awkward at the time.

4. Be Confident

If you're feeling shy about whether you deserve to make six figures, get over it! Nobody will pay you a six-figure salary if you act like you don’t deserve it. Own up to your professional worth. While simply believing you're worth $100,000 a year isn’t the only thing that will get you there, nobody is going to drop that much cash in your lap if you can’t at least believe in yourself and what you can offer.

5. Make a Plan

Sometimes there simply aren’t shortcuts, and you have to work your way to the confidence and experience that a six-figure role requires. If you start off in a job that pays less than you want, don’t despair. You can work hard, keep looking for related positions in the same or different company, and apply for a promotion or new position when you’ve gained more of the skills and experience you need to earn a higher salary.

Managers make more than entry-level workers for a reason—they know more and have more responsibility. While you shouldn’t assume that the passing of years alone will guarantee you reach that salary goal, active career planning will help you get there sooner than you may think.

6. Take Some Risks

It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes the surest way to land a six-figure salary is to listen to your gut and take a job that doesn’t offer that salary level. Making some sacrifices and embracing uncertainty will often propel you to something that will become financially lucrative.

For example, you may have the opportunity to intern unpaid for an industry leader, which could set you up for some unusual future opportunities. Or you may really believe that a start-up (that can’t afford to pay you a lot right now) is going to become the next big thing. Waiting it out makes those stock options a lot more valuable than they look now on that offer letter.  The point is: there’s a reason for the adage “No risk, no reward.”

7. Network: No Woman is an Island

Nobody can achieve maximum career success—which is at least partially measured by money—on their own. Whether you’re a social animal or an introvert, making a concerted effort to build relationships with other people is absolutely essential to reaching your financial goals. Your connections at work and in your industry can help you land a new position, learn more about how to change industries, or simply support your chances of being promoted. So network, network, network. Here are some good ideas about where to start building networks that can support your financial goals.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

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