9 Ways to Invest in Yourself to Maximise Your Salary
In today’s competitive Life Science job market, continuously improving your skills and knowledge is essential when looking to increase your earning potential. Whether you are just starting out or looking to advance your career, there are numerous ways of developing your expertise and growing your skillset, from taking courses and attending industry events to joining professional organisations and finding a mentor.
In this article, we’ve provided 9 ways of investing in yourself to maximise your salary, helping you to progress your career and ultimately increase your pay.
Complete a Personal SWOT Analysis
Start by completing a personal SWOT analysis to understand your current strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities to grow, and anything that might be a threat to your career. This will allow you to create an action plan for maximising your salary, highlighting the key skills and knowledge you want to develop based on the direction the industry is currently moving in as well as what employers are looking for.
For example, you might decide that one of your weaknesses is communication. As the Life Science industry is highly collaborative, excellent communication is essential for most jobs, so this could be something you decide to focus on first.
Proactively Learn New Skills
Growing your skillset can help to increase your salary, as the more skills you hold, the more invaluable you become as an employee. Take courses or workshops that will improve your skills in areas relevant to your job, and in areas that are in high demand. This could be anything from learning a new programming language to enrolling in a public speaking course.
Remember to keep evidence of training completed for your brag file, and to reflect on each course by making note of what you gained from it, and how this will improve your performance at work.
Read Widely and Attend Industry Events
Reading books, blogs, and articles on a wide range of topics can help you develop a deeper understanding of the Life Science industry and the world around you. This can help you to bring fresh perspectives to your work and become a more valuable employee. Attending events is also a good way of immersing yourself in industry developments, as you’ll also get the opportunity to learn from industry experts and influencers, and network with your peers. Here are some useful pages you may want to bookmark:
Join Professional Organisations
Joining a professional organisation in your field can provide you with valuable networking opportunities and access to industry-specific resources and training. Examples of professional organisations within the Life Science industry include:
- The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA)
- Royal Society of Biology
- Applied Microbiology International
- British Pharmacological Society
- PM Society
- Royal Pharmaceutical Society
- The Royal Society of Medicine
- Royal Society of Chemistry
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor who has experience in your field can be a valuable source of guidance and advice. They can help you navigate the challenges of your job and provide you with insights that you may not have otherwise considered. They may be able to refer you to training programs, professional organisations, or even to opportunities within their own organisation if they don’t work with you. They can let you know what challenges someone in their position needs to overcome, as well as what is needed to be able to do this.
Take on New Responsibilities
Taking on new responsibilities in your current job can help you develop new skills and show your employer that you can take on more challenging work, which can lead to promotions and salary increases. Don’t burn yourself out by saying yes to everything and taking on as much as possible. Think about the projects you could put yourself forward for that will allow you to learn something new, and the tasks that would take you outside of your usual responsibilities.
Asking for feedback from your manager, colleagues, and clients can help you identify areas where you can improve and demonstrate your commitment to your job and your desire to grow. After every performance review, create a list of actions to work on based on the feedback you’re given. For everything you tick off the list, make sure you’ve got evidence on what you did, how you did it, and the results you produced. You can then bring this up in your next review, as being able to demonstrate how you’ve invested in your growth will stand you in good stead for a pay rise.
Gathering testimonials from colleagues, previous employers and clients is a great way of emphasising your value to your employer. Keep all these in your brag file and try to build up some testimonials on platforms like LinkedIn too. When approaching people for testimonials, try to encourage them to be as specific as possible about how you helped them, as this will provide more context for your current employer.
Take Care of Yourself
Investing in your physical and mental wellbeing can also help you to perform better at work and avoid burnout. This can include things like regular exercise, practising mindfulness and meditation, and taking regular breaks throughout the day. More tips on looking after your mental health at work can be found here.