Your Career Future: 8 Effective Strategies for Salary Increase

Are you ready to take your career to the next level and secure a substantial salary increase? In today's competitive job market, it's essential to have effective strategies in place to ensure you're maximizing your earning potential. After all, ageism is real, and employees have a limited economic lifespan in today’s fast-moving economy. Whether you're looking to negotiate a raise at your current job or exploring new opportunities, this article will provide you with eight proven strategies to help you achieve your financial goals.

From climbing up the corporate ladder to starting your own side hustle, we'll cover all the bases to help you boost your career future. By implementing these strategies, you'll not only increase your salary but also gain confidence in your professional abilities. So, let's dive in and discover how you can pave the way for a bigger paycheck and take control of your career trajectory.

The Importance of Career Growth and Salary Increase

When it comes to your career future, growth and financial stability go hand in hand. A salary increase not only rewards your hard work but also allows you to enjoy a higher quality of life. It provides you with the means to invest in your future, support your family, and achieve your financial goals. Furthermore, a higher salary often signifies professional growth and recognition, giving you a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.

In Singapore, having a higher salary also means an increased in CPF contributions from the employer if you are a Singaporean or PRs. This will help you to build a bigger retirement fund in the days to come.

Assessing Your Current Salary and Career Trajectory

Before diving into the strategies for a salary increase, it's crucial to assess where you currently stand in terms of your salary and career trajectory. Take a moment to evaluate your current position, responsibilities, and the compensation you receive. Consider factors such as industry standards, your level of experience, the value you bring to your organization and vertical/ horizontal mobility potential. There are a few useful resources you can tap on for free. E.g., Glassdoor and salary guide from recruitment agencies.

The information and self-assessment will help you identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals as you embark on your journey towards a higher salary.

Strategy 1: Further Education

In today's rapidly evolving job market, continuous learning is key to staying relevant and increasing your earning potential. However, it is important to recognize that continuous learning does not necessarily mean the pursuit of paper certification. Continuous learning can also refer to adopting new ways of doing things, picking up hands on skills, setting aside time to read and learning from YouTube videos etc.

Whereas pursuing further education, such as obtaining an advanced degree or acquiring specialized certifications, can significantly boost your qualifications and open doors to higher-paying positions. It’s important to note that not all industries place a premium on paper certifications. These are some industries that placed a premium on further education e.g., Healthcare, Academic, Engineering, Legal etc. Generally, in such industries, your salary will move in tangent with the qualifications you get.

Identify areas within your field that pay well and invest in expanding your knowledge and skills in those areas. Contrary to popular belief, not all employers value individuals who are committed to their professional development and are willing to invest in their education.

Tip: Not everyone is suited to educational pursuits. If this is an area that you struggle with, there are always other options to explore. Heard of this saying? “All Roads Lead to Rome”

Strategy 2: Explore the Management Route

One effective strategy for a substantial salary increase is to pursue a career in management. Moving into a managerial role not only offers higher compensation but also provides opportunities for career growth and recognition. Develop your people skills, demonstrate your ability to manage teams effectively, and seek out opportunities to take on additional responsibilities. Position yourself as a valuable asset to your organization, and showcase your potential to lead and drive results. By transitioning into a management role, you'll be on the path to a more lucrative and rewarding career future.

It's common for employees to have a 20% to 25% pay jump once they are promoted to a manager level or higher. The amount is influenced by the industry and company they are in, along with the economic cycle.

Tip: To move up the leadership role requires people skills, stakeholder management and corporate savviness. It’s important to ask yourself if you are suited to pursue in this direction.

Strategy 3: Be a Subject Matter Expert

Becoming a subject matter expert in your field is another powerful way to increase your earning potential. By positioning yourself as an authority in a specific area, you become an invaluable resource to your organization and industry. Invest time and effort in mastering your craft, staying up to date with the latest trends and developments, and sharing your knowledge through writing, speaking engagements, or industry conferences.

A simple way to do it is to create and post industry specific content on LinkedIn and personal blogs. This helps to create personal branding for yourself and pave the way for future opportunities. As a recognized expert, people are more likely to refer job and business opportunities to you. When people consult you for your expertise, this gives you the opportunity to help them and build a relationship with them. You are effectively accruing social credit for yourself. Moreover, you will be in a better position to negotiate during the job offer due to your credentials.

Tip: Check out your LinkedIn account and who are those on your LinkedIn feed that post regularly. These people are effectively building their personal brand, and it is a long-term plan.

Strategy 4: Job Hop Every 2 Years

While job loyalty used to be highly valued, the modern job market favors individuals who are willing to switch jobs every few years. Moving to a new company can often result in a salary increase as employers are willing to pay a premium for experienced professionals from similar industries. In normal times, one can expect between 15% to 20% salary increase upon changing jobs.

Additionally, changing jobs allows you to gain exposure to different practices, expand your network, and acquire a diverse skill set. However, it's essential to approach job hopping strategically and ensure that each move aligns with your long-term career goals.

Tip: Don’t worry about the job hopper stigma. Be comfortable with moving on to better opportunities if there is a limit to how much you can achieve in your current organization.

Strategy 5: Consider Overseas Job Opportunities

In today's globalized world, considering overseas job opportunities can be a game-changer for your career and salary. Exploring international markets not only exposes you to new cultures and experiences but also presents the possibility of higher-paying roles.

Research industries and countries that are in high demand for your skill set and be open to relocation. Working abroad can provide you with invaluable international work experience, enhance your perspective, and significantly increase your earning potential.

Strategy 6: Mid-Career Switch

Sometimes, a complete career switch may be necessary to achieve a salary increase. If you find yourself in a stagnant industry with limited growth opportunities, consider making a mid-career switch. Identify industries that are thriving and align with your interests and transferable skills. A good example is the shipping industry, which is struggling amid low freight rate and industry consolidation during the 2010s. Or the travel and aviation industry during the pandemic period (2000 – 2022). While it may require additional training or education, making a strategic career change can open doors to higher-paying positions and a more fulfilling career future.

Tip: For companies in sunset or consolidating industries, job opportunities and overall compensation tend to lag behind faster growing industries. One of the growing fields are healthcare jobs in Singapore.

Strategy 7: Start Your Own Side Hustle

In today's gig economy, starting your own side hustle can be a lucrative strategy for increasing your income. Identify your unique skills or passions and explore ways to monetize them. Whether it's freelancing, consulting, or launching an online business, a side hustle can provide an additional stream of income and potentially grow into a full-fledged career. While it requires dedication and hard work, the rewards can be significant, both financially and personally.

While most people may not realize, starting your own side hustle will require the individual to put in at least 15 hours per week for an extended period of time. If your intention is to start your own e-commerce business, you need to prepare to set aside at least SGD $20,000 as seed funding to grow your business from scratch. The profit may only come in 12 to 18 months later.

Tip: Talk to people who have the experience in the type of side hustle you are interested in. This way, you can start your journey with your eyes open.

Option 8: Develop In-Demand Skills

Lastly, staying ahead of the curve by developing in-demand skills is essential for increasing your earning potential. Research industry trends and identify the skills that are in high demand e.g. data science, cloud computing. Invest time and effort in acquiring these skills through online courses, workshops, or mentorship programs. By positioning yourself as someone with sought-after expertise, you'll be able to command higher salaries and secure more lucrative job opportunities.


In conclusion, securing a substantial salary increase requires a proactive approach and a commitment to professional growth. By implementing these eight strategies - further education, exploring the management route, becoming a subject matter expert, job hopping, considering overseas opportunities, making a mid-career switch, starting a side hustle, and developing in-demand skills - you'll be well on your way to achieving your financial goals. Remember, success doesn't happen overnight, but with persistence and dedication, you can pave the way for a brighter financial future and take control of your career future.

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