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What’s the single smartest investment for the New Year? That’s easy. You.

Ask people to nominate their best investment and many will say their home or super. Others will barrack for rental properties or shares. But when it comes to outstanding returns, your ability to land a decent, well-paying job is one of the smartest investments you can make.

Investing in your own skills isn’t just a smart way to boost your pay, it can also lead to greater job satisfaction.

So along with New Year resolutions to get fit or quit a bad habit, ME Bank explains why you should think about adding “invest in myself” to your 2018 bucket list.

So, how to invest in yourself?

It’s no secret that wage growth is creeping along, and not surprisingly, 90% of working Australians say they’d like to earn more, according to ME research.

One possible solution is to approach the boss about a pay rise. Only 12% of people take this tack yet it’s a strategy with a 75% success rate. However, it does hinge on being able to demonstrate you’ve added significant value to the company.

 

Three ways to fatten your pay packet

The thing is, if you really want to grow your income, investing in yourself can fast-track career success and bolster your potential for financial independence over time.

Just as you’d research any other investment you buy into, it’s important to look into the different ways to improve your skill set and value to employers. Here are three possible options to invest in yourself in 2018.

 

1. Investing in education

Improving your skills and qualification can be the key to making headway in the job market. No matter whether it’s a uni degree or TAFE qualifications, additional skills can improve your income earning potential and employability. To discover which skills are in demand, check out the Australian Jobs 2017 report.

 

2. Raise a hand to volunteer

If you’re thinking of a career change to give your pay an uptick, volunteering in a relevant field can be a great way to know if you’re making the right choice. Even better, recruitment experts say 95% of hiring employers regard volunteering as a credible way for job seekers to gain work experience and skills[1]. Head to websites like Volunteering Australia for opportunities.

 

3. Build your own business

Running your own show isn’t just a dream for many Australians, it can also be a great way to earn more money.

Think about what you’re good at, research the market and develop a business plan to give your new venture a road-map. Be prepared to work hard and tap into the wealth of government support available to budding entrepreneurs. While just over one in ten workers have built their own business to boost their income, a whopping 77% say it has worked.

 

With a world of options available, 2018 could be your best ever year to forge ahead, kick financial goals, and add a lot more coin to your pay cheque.

 

This article was brought to you by ME Bank, a bank that is 100% owned by industry super funds, including Vision Super. Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.

 

[1] SEEK media release: https://www.seek.com.au/about/news/almost-half-the-aussie-workforce-is-considering-a-career-change

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