3 steps to help you find meaning while making money

It’s no secret that we all need to earn a living. No matter who you are or where you come from, you need money to survive. 

And not only that, you might seriously need or want more money than you’re making right now – whether it’s because you’re trying to pay off a mountain of debt, your HVAC unit just went kaput, you have huge goals for your family’s future and your retirement, or dang it, you just want to buy a car that’s newer than your old faithful 2007 Honda Accord. 

But there’s a second part of this equation too. On a deeper level, you want to feel successful and proud of your accomplishments. You want to win at work. Who doesn’t? 

So let’s talk about some practical ways to make more money (and find more meaning in the process). Here are a few different approaches you could take to increase your income.  

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This is great for a short-term situation where you need extra money fast to supplement whatever you’re earning at your current job. Look for the low-hanging fruit where a company just needs someone to do work that doesn’t require a ton of experience or mental energy from you. Whether it’s stocking shelves, driving for Uber or delivering packages with Amazon Flex, do whatever you can to get yourself in a better place financially, and then later you can expand your options. 

Now, I’m not suggesting you change jobs every time you want to increase your income. But if you don’t enjoy your current job because you feel like you’re in the wrong seat on the wrong bus, then a job switch could be the right move for you. 

HOW TO FIND A JOB YOU LOVE IN 2024

That way, you can find different work that’s better suited to who you are and what you do best – plus, starting a new position gives you a new chance to negotiate your salary so you can earn more and enjoy your work more at the same time. 

Let’s be real: If you’re not doing something that lets you operate in your strengths on a daily basis, you’re going to be drained and bored. It’s why less than a quarter of the world’s workplace would say they’re “engaged” at work, according to Gallup’s 2023 “State of the Global Workplace” report. 

Ideally, you want to be in a role where you’re using what you do best to do what you love to produce results you care about. Sure, it might take more time to figure out what that is – especially if you’ve been “working to live” instead of “living to work” for years – but the end result will be worth it. If you need help figuring out how to get there, I’ll talk through that more in a minute. 

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If you feel like you’re on the right bus but in the wrong seat, there are concrete things you can do to get promoted. One way is to take ownership of your professional growth and ask your leader if you can come up with a growth plan together that includes ways you can take on more responsibility and create more value for the company. 

When you’ve been following the growth plan, you’ve been getting positive feedback that your work is making a difference or bringing in more profit, and you’re taking the initiative to grow in your craft as much as possible, then promotions (and raises) are bound to happen. If you’re at a company that values its employees, that is.

But whether you want to grow in your role or completely change to a new line of work, the real key to getting better at your job, increasing your income and getting promoted is self-awareness. That means getting serious clarity on your talents (what you do best), passions (what you love to do) and mission (the results you care deeply about) so you can find the right seat on the bus and climb the ladder to make more money. 

I wrote “Find the Work You’re Wired to Do” – and my team and I developed the Get Clear Career Assessment that goes with it – specifically to help people get that clarity on their talents, passions and mission so they can understand where they are right now and get on the path to winning at work. 

Because you’ll find a lot more success, money and meaning when you’re doing the work that’s the best fit for you.

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