The hourly rate you charge depends on the value you provide to your customer. Most of you are interested in earning a higher hourly rate for the work that you do. However, interest alone is insufficient. You have to demonstrate that you deserve a higher level of pay.
The first step is to calculate your current hourly rate, even if you are paid a salary. An annual salary of $40,000 translates to the following:
- $3,333 per month
- $833 per week
- $19 per hour
Therefore, $80,000 per year equals the following:
- $6,667 per month
- $1,667 per week
- $38 per hour
Now that you have an idea where you stand, you can start taking action to improve your economic status.
#1: Select an organization that rewards top-performers.
Some government employees tell me that increasing their pay is too difficult because the system is rigid and based mostly on years of working experience. If you work for an organization or industry that restricts the pace of raises, I recommend looking for a different career. The approach I am recommending here is to double your hourly rate in a year or two, and not in 40.
#2: Look for opportunities to become an expert in a particular area. In my case, I decided to pursue project management.
The first step was to become a Project Management Professional (PMP). With that credential, I set out to teach others the concepts and theories particular to managing projects. Once you have the credential, you have to take action. The more you become an expert in your field, the more you can control your hourly rate. In other words, you can demand a higher rate because your customers are highly satisfied with the caliber of your work.
#3: Look for opportunities outside your day-to-day employment.
I understand that adding more work to your busy schedule can be demanding. However, your services might be of interest to others, and they might be willing to pay premium rates. For example, a person with the talent to edit videos can charge $80 per hour or more, and an HR consultant may request $100 for services rendered. In essence, company leaders are open to outsourcing work, and they are interested in hiring people with knowledge of industry best practices.
#4: Create one talk or speech you can give to anyone who wants to listen, and who is willing to pay for it.
The point here is that you have something that others consider of value. For example, I once heard Dan Kennedy, a professional speaker and marketing guru, state that he created his $1,000,000 talk. His goal was to deliver that speech until he made one million bucks. While he thought it would take more than five years, he reached the goal in less than two. Interestingly, he had to overcome a noticeable stuttering problem to effectively deliver the talk.
In the calculation above, you set the goal to $38 per hour. By following the strategies mentioned here, you can reach that milestone within a couple of years, if not faster. Once you have momentum, keep using the doubling approach, which means that $38 is your new number. When you double $38, you now are earning $76 per hour, and $76 doubles to $152 per hour. At that pace, your annual salary surpasses the $300,000 mark. The key is to focus on the hourly rate because that is a number you can control.
You will experience challenges along the way, to be sure. Stay committed to improving the service value you provide to your customers. You want to help them improve their bottom line. When you do, they will be happy to share it with you.