We’ve all bought into a myth. We’ve been led to believe since childhood that if we work hard, act with dedication and play by the rules that success and wealth will surely follow. We went through school believing in this dictum and carried it through into further and higher education. We entered the world of work absolutely sure that after putting in all that effort, our hard work was sure to pay off. A lucky few of us were absolutely right… the rest were in for a rude awakening. The sad fact is that very often in a capricious economy where there are literally hundreds of ambitious and hungry graduate level candidates for every job that arises, finding a career that pays what you’re worth can be a real challenge. Indeed, the UK workplace is currently at saturation point with over 50% of graduates in non-graduate jobs as of 2015. It can be soul crushing when the dream of having all your hard work and study rewarded by an edifying and lucrative career crumbles to dust in the face of harsh economic realities. But just because the deck is stacked against you, doesn’t make you powerless.
Here are some ways in which you can turn things around and take control of your finances back…
Try the same thing somewhere else
Depending on where you live, there may be a growing disparity between your salary and the cost of living. Corporate wage repression aside, the living expenses where you hang your hat may be syphoning more of your wages than they should, leaving you with precious little in the way of disposable income. You may well assume that London is where all the jobs are but the increasingly outrageous cost of living in the capital can be prohibitive to many young professionals, especially those who like their space too much to share a small flat with 3 or 4 strangers. Job options in the South West and Bristol can be quite varied while offering all the amenities of a major conurbation. Likewise the north west is showing enormous growth in places like Manchester, especially since the BBC’s move a few years ago. If you have no emotional ties to where you currently live, relocating or transferring can make all the difference.
Start a side hustle
If you have some free time to dedicate to it, you could join the legions of people all over the world who supplement their income with a side hustle. This could be a monetisation of your hobby like your blog or your YouTube channel or selling your art on Etsy, it could be something as low key as starting a neighbourhood dog walking service or it could be a business run from home that snowballs and eventually becomes your full time income.
Find ways to boost your productivity
If your pay is performance related, simply taking steps to boost your productivity can make a huge difference to your pay packet. If you work in sales, for example, coming in a little early every day and allotting set times to the administrative side of your job can make it easier to find the time to get on the phone or out with clients and close deals.
Whatever route you choose, you can regain control of your finances while still managing a semblance of work / life balance.