Make More Money In 2015 With These Three Career Skills

If you’re like 34 percent of American citizens, you’re working on a money-related New Years Resolution for 2015. As you brainstorm different ways of spending less and saving more, don’t forget another important way to have more money: earn it.

The best way to earn more is to develop new skills that make you more marketable and valuable. New skills help you secure a new job that pays more or positions you for a promotion that increases your paycheck.

Here’s a look at nine top-paying jobs and the valuable skills they have in common that can help you raise your salary in 2015.

Specialize Like Doctors, Lawyers and IT Managers

It’s no surprise that doctor, lawyer and IT manager salaries top the charts every year. But it is surprising what each of these fields have in common. The real earning power in each of these career paths is a person’s ability to specialize. For example, a doctor’s specialization can boost her earning potential from $190,000 to $400,000. And that’s just what you need to do to earn more in your own field.

Boost Your Earning Power In 2015 With Specialized Knowledge

Distinguish yourself from other candidates and employees by ruthlessly pursuing specialized knowledge in a particular aspect of your field through education and volunteer work. If you can afford to invest in your professional development, aim for certifications and degrees that help you specialize your current knowledge. If free and low-cost options are the best for your situation, consider registering with a no-credit, online university program that allows you to take courses for free.

No-credit courses and volunteer experiences won’t give you certifications for your resume; however, each opportunity can translate into a higher paycheck during the negotiation process when you’re able to outline specific examples and processes you can implement because of your advanced knowledge.

Use Soft Skills Just Like Marketing, Sales and Executive Leaders Do

Marketing, sales and executive leadership workers are ringing in 2015 with six-figure salaries, too. While these salaries correlate with each position’s responsibility within the business, each position also requires a very high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), which is comprised of soft skills such as teamwork, verbal communication and prioritization. These are skills that anyone can work on to become a more valuable employee and desirable teammate.

Boost Your Earning Power In 2015 With Soft Skills

Because soft skills are hard to quantify, you need to develop each skill as well as the ability to talk about each skill in a job interview or internal review. To develop your skills, look into free training programs such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success” curriculum to learn what soft skills are and what they look like in the workplace. You can also make use of your current relationships by asking a trusted friend or mentor for honest feedback about how you could improve your soft skills.

When the time comes to outline these skills in an interview, make a point to share concrete examples of teamwork, communication and prioritization. For example, you can discuss the number of people you work with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and how you communicate with them in an efficient way (email, phone, in person, etc.). To showcase your ability to prioritize projects, you can describe the different types of projects and deadlines you’ve worked on and give an example of how you achieved your goals during a particularly busy work season

Embrace Technology Like Tech Industry Professionals

Most of us are far from being professional computer software, systems or applications engineers. But we can all learn something from these high-salary, high-growth jobs in 2015: computers are our friends.

Using computers in the workplace is the norm, and hiring managers love to see candidates who are comfortable using computers on the job. But beyond merely being comfortable with technology, being able to learn, transition between and apply new technologies and systems to your job will allow you to earn even more. The more systems, technologies and the digital applications you can use on the job, the more valuable your knowledge and skills will be.

Boost Your Earning Power In 2015 With Technology

Whether you’re in a limited technology workplace or a tech-friendly, non-engineer workplace, there are many low-cost and free resources you can use to develop your skills and find new uses for technology on the job.

If you can allocate money to your training, start with basic certifications in your company’s technology system, such as different kinds of Apple hardware or Microsoft Office Suite. Understanding these technologies may unearth more efficient ways to use them within your current job.

If official certification isn’t a priority, you can find unlimited free training and information opportunities by performing a web search of the technology of your choice and your job title. For example, the searches “administrative assistant + new technology,” or  “technical writer + emerging technology,” both pull up interesting insight into how people in these fields are integrating new technologies to streamline workflows and increase productivity.

Do you want to increase your salary in 2015? Identify which high-paying career skills best suit your current career path and negotiate your way into a higher-paying job.