This is the second article of the Money Talks series. In the first article, we covered how to determine your value when you work in sports.

You finally found work in sports. However, as the years go by, you realize your dream job is holding you back. Every time you look at your paycheck, you feel stuck and frustrated.

I put the time in. I am better than this.

When these thoughts arise, you start to disengage. You might even resent your boss and consider quitting.

But before you jump ship, consider trying to earn more in your current role:

Learn New Skills

The best first step is to ask your employer and immediate managers what skills you lack and ask how you can be proactive. Your role might have greater income potential if you earn relevant certifications or take courses.

For example, if you work in sports sales, you can earn certifications such as the following:

  • The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) offers the Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) credential — a six-week online course.
  • Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) offers the Certified Sales Executive (CSE) certification.

In almost every area of work in sports, you can pursue professional development on your own by taking online courses and earning certifications.

Another one of the most dynamic areas is the sports business. Consider earning a Six Sigma Green Belt and project management certifications from Project Management Institute. Seek skills and knowledge that interests you and makes you more successful in your role.  

Ask for More Responsibilities

More pay doesn’t just come to you. Professionals who maximize their earning potential in their current role have a strong work ethic. They earn bigger paychecks by taking on more tasks and responsibilities.

Look for projects you’re interested in and request to get involved. This shows your managers that you’re eager to learn more and add more value to your company. It’s also a great way to explain what interests you outside of your current role.

Look for overtime opportunities as well. This can be especially rewarding if your employer pays overtime wages.

Negotiate for a Raise

At this point, you proved yourself by taking on new responsibilities and expanding your knowledge. Now, it’s time to ask for a raise.

First, consider your timing. If you just completed a new project or earned your certification, you can make a great case by highlighting how you succeeded.

Set up a meeting to approach this subject. Review your specific accomplishments and share information you found about how your current salary compares to the industry and your region. This shows you did your homework and understand your value.  

Then, present your manager with a salary range you would feel comfortable earning. When you present a range instead of a specific number, it shows you’re flexible and open to discussion.

The worst mistake you can make is not using proper etiquette during this conversation. Don’t compare yourself to your co-workers, exude a cocky and entitled attitude, or threaten to quit as an ultimatum.

If your boss says no, follow up with a request to reopen negotiations in a few months. Also, suggest that you want to advance to a higher role, and they can help you determine how to achieve this.

Consider Switching Teams

It might be time to look for other work in sports if you feel undervalued or underutilized in your current role. Here are a few signs that suggest it’s time to join another team:

  • You spend Sunday dreading the workweek
  • Your values are misaligned with your company
  • Your strengths go unnoticed
  • You have a lot of built-up resentment and anger
  • You see no room for advancement
  • You feel stuck on a path that doesn’t align with your mission

But before you write a letter of resignation, you need a job search strategy. Instead of quitting on the spot, stick it out and stay focused on expanding your professional network. This is one of the most valuable actions you can take because it’s a great way to open doors.

In fact, our survey found that 60 percent of employers say they give referred candidates more attention and consideration than other candidates. So as you’re shaking hands, make sure you demonstrate your value and expertise. This will help you earn referrals.

While money isn’t everything, it plays a key role in your professional life. You deserve to feel recognized and valued in your current role. When you earn a paycheck you’re comfortable with; you’re more engaged and better equipped to succeed.

How are you maximizing your salary? Share in the comments below!