Many people dream of having a high-paying job that will take them away from the routine of the everyday working week and put more money in their pocket.

With effort and calculated focus, securing that job may not be out of reach. Here are six tips to consider next time you are seeking to step up in your career.

Shift your thinking

Often people have the perception that to earn the big dollars they must have a university degree.


There's no doubt that many top earners are in fields requiring tertiary education, such as medicine, engineering, legal and other professions. However, there are also jobs such as construction managers, crane operators, IT professionals and air traffic controllers that earn good salaries with no degree required. Bear in mind for many of these roles certification or accreditation is necessary, and so learning and training is still important.

And don't forget — there are many successful people who never went to uni or didn't graduate, like founder of Dell Technologies Michael Dell, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and US comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Do what's different

It's not just about getting out of your comfort zone and working hard. Securing a higher paying role may require relocation — and moving to where the job is, rather than waiting for the job to come to you. Often relocating to rural and remote areas provides new opportunities, particularly in mining, construction and some service industries. In many cases, financial loadings are included in the base salary to attract people to the area.

You're not going to land an air traffic control job with no qualifications, but it's not a gig that needs a six-year uni degree. Photo / News Corp Australia
You're not going to land an air traffic control job with no qualifications, but it's not a gig that needs a six-year uni degree. Photo / News Corp Australia

Find what's scarce

It's the basic economic law of supply and demand. If there are lots of people with the same technical and professional skills and demand is low, wages can be squeezed. In contrast, if you are working in a sector, industry or profession that is in demand and there is a short supply of people to fill those roles you'll have greater bargaining power when it comes to negotiating salary and working conditions.

Establish yourself as the 'go-to' expert

When a person is the expert, the work finds them. As well, we are prepared to pay more for the services and skills of someone who is deemed an expert. An expert is known for something and has often spent considerable time establishing an external brand and reputation, for example, by speaking at industry conferences, hosting or being interviewed on podcasts, blogging on social media or writing a book.

Go freelance

The daily rate for contractors is usually higher than for permanent employees. Yes, this is to account for the fact they don't get sick leave or holiday pay and their work is less stable, but it can result in overall higher take-home pay.

Take calculated risks

Getting a high-paid job may not be about having just one job. It may involve developing a side hustle, that is, a job on the side that brings in additional income. It is often in an area that is unrelated to your day job.

With the advent of digital media and technology, running a successful side gig is easier than it ever has been before. Getting a higher paid job doesn't happen instantaneously, but with planning, focus and hard work you are well on your way.


- Michelle Gibbings is a change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian. Michelle works with leaders and teams to help them accelerate progress. She is the author of Step Up: How To Build Your Influence At Work and Career Leap: How To Reinvent And Liberate Your Career.