If you're happy with your current salary, it would be easy to just sit back and enjoy it. But if you want to make sure your earnings keep rising over the long term, you need a strategy to protect against salary plateaus and unemployment.
Experts offer the following tips for maximizing your earnings over the course of your career.
* Watch industry trends carefully.
"If your professional area is vulnerable to economic shifts, don't cling to it just because it is familiar and comfortable," said Libby Pannwitt, principal of the Work Life Design Group, in San Carlos, California. Take a class or even get an advanced deGREe to arm yourself with skills that are more enduring.
加州San Carlos的Work Life Design 集团主席Libby Pannwitt说：“如果你从事的行业容易受到经济转型的影响，就不要因为你熟悉这个行业、感到舒适而死守着不放。”参加培训或取得更高的学历，用那些更经得起时间考验的技能来武装自己吧。
For example, Marianne Adoradio, a recruiter and career counselor in Silicon Valley, said she sees otherwise excellent candidates for human resources positions who don't have global experience -- something that is a requirement for more and more positions. She advises people in the field -- even if they aren't currently job-hunting -- to make sure they're working on projects with a global component. If they aren't, they need to ask their boss how they can gain this experience.
* If you reach a salary plateau, understand the reason.
In many fields, people start out their careers with a succession of rapid salary increases. These increases taper off after a time, though, unless they enter management. Some companies have career paths for non-managers with highly specialized skills, so if you're not interested in management, you may want to pursue one of those.
If the problem is that your field of expertise is no longer in as much demand as it used to be, then you may need to look at a move to a related field.
* Make yourself marketable outside your company as well as inside.
"The most successful people develop themselves to add a lot of value to any company in the industry, not just their company alone," said Steve Levin, principal of Leading Change Consulting & Coaching, in Portola Valley, California. This will give you more leverage in internal negotiations -- and more options if you decide to leave your current company.
Leading Change Consulting & Coaching（位于加州Portola山谷）的主席Steve Levin说：“最成功的人是那些将自己打造为对该行业的任何一家公司都有很大价值的人，而不仅仅是他们所在的公司。”这会让你在同公司谈判待遇时拥有更多砝码，也会让你在决定辞职时有更多选择。
One tip for being marketable across an industry: Try to work for "name-brand companies," Adoradio said. Recruiters often prefer candidates who have worked for industry-leading companies. Having one on your resume will help your long-term career prospects.
* Consider multiple income streams.
Some people branch out from their main job to take on consulting work or teach a course in their field. This may help advance your primary career if the work helps you stay current or showcases your expertise. If your second job is in a different field, the second income will increase your earnings and help shield you from the downturns in your main industry.
* Don't focus too narrowly on money.
"Raises and promotions are given to people who generate trust and demonstrate competence to handle more complexity," Levin said. Focus on this, and the money will likely follow.
And remember that learning new skills in a job can be just as important as the money.
"When that learning stops, when that development stops, it's time to move," said Leslie G. Griffen, managing partner of Career Management Associates, in Overland Park, Kansas.
来自堪萨斯Overland Park职业管理联盟的管理人员Leslie G. Griffen说：“当学习停止、发展停止，就是跳槽的时间了。”