Please, for the love of heaven, develop a marketable skill. You won't earn more money until you do.
In my personal life, I know quite a few people who want to earn more money. They jump from job to job and scheme to scheme, looking for just the “right” job that will provide them with a better income and put them on the path to financial success. It's a nice thought, but I think these folks are struggling (beyond the current job climate) because they share a common trait: No marketable skill.
If You Want to Be Paid, You Need to Have Something People Will Pay FOR — A Marketable Skill
Here's a harsh truth for you: If you want to be paid, you need to have something people will pay for. I'm not talking about specific training related to one specific job with one specific company. I'm talking about a marketable skill (or even more than one marketable skill). And, perhaps, some sort of certification that “proves” you have attained a certain level of proficiency in that skill.
Almost anyone can find a low-wage job. It takes a marketable skill — something that someone wants to pay for — to begin making more money. While everyone deserves a living wage, a marketable skill can give you an edge. With a marketable skill, you can demand more money through a raise or promotion. It's also easier to job hop.
You don't even have to develop this marketable skill with the expectation of working for someone else. Look about you, figure out what's in demand, and then develop a marketable skill that allows you to start a home business. Whether you decide to strike out on your own or want a promotion at work or a better-paying job, the key is developing a marketable skill.
You Don't NEED a College Degree to Be Successful
I firmly believe that you don't need a traditional college degree to succeed and develop an in-demand skill. Some associate degrees, certifications, and other professional designations allow you to work toward a successful career and solid finances. A “traditional” four-year degree is not required for your financial success. However, knowledge, ability, and sometimes expertise bring opportunities to earn more money. You need a marketable skill when you are ready to increase your income.
Attend a technical college to receive a certification — and then keep up with changes in your field. Earn a degree (associate, bachelor, professional or advanced) in an area that arms you with various skills, including soft skills. Attend classes that teach you to master a craft so that you can open your own business selling your work. Audit university courses or attend seminars on specific skills, such as presentation, writing, and communication, that you think will benefit you. Learn about the latest best practices in your field so that you can consult.
You don't need a load of student debt to prove that you have accomplished something. It's possible to develop a solid skill set without great expense. Consider where your natural talents lean already and then build on that. Find something you can do well. It may take anywhere from two months to seven years (depending on what you choose to do), but your patience and persistence are more likely to be rewarded when you possess a certification or expertise.
There are a number of paths you can follow. But you need that marketable skill. Figure out what people are willing to pay for, and then build your own skillset. You will command a higher wage, feel more satisfaction in your work, and may even be able to turn your skill into the basis for a home business that allows you greater freedom and financial success.