Get Rich without Quitting Your Day Job

by Krantcents · 29 comments

Post image for Get Rich without Quitting Your Day Job

Get rich working for the man!  Before you think I am crazy, think about it.  You work 40-60 hours a week, why not make it pay!  You went to a good college and you received your MBA from a top 25 school.  You should be able to be successful, shouldn’t you?  Are you on your way to millions?  Why not?

Should you work more hours?  What does it take to be successful?  It certainly is not more hours.  When I worked in industry, I came in early and worked late.  Not all the time, but a sixty (60) hour week was normal.  If all it took was to put in hours, one of the people who worked for me should be president by now.  It is much more than hours, it is accomplishments.  It is teamwork, solutions, problem solving and effectiveness.  It doesn’t hurt if they like you either.

1st Clue

Let’s start at the beginning.  You graduated college and worked for a couple years as a staff person.  You perform reasonably and received good reviews, but you want more.  You either take two (2) years to get your MBA or do it part time.  You receive your degree and find a new position appropriate for the new degree.  Where do you see yourself in ten (10) years?  Are you a vice president with stock options and a fat bonus?  If not, why not?

2nd Clue

I am not suggesting that you stay in a corporate job, if you are not successful.  I am suggesting that you find a role that you are successful and reap the rewards.  I know of several people, young and old who had less and are very successful.  The key to success is finding something you love as your career.  If you love what you are doing, you will be good at it.  Either you have the skills or you will learn the skills to be good at it.  Crazy, I know, but if you don’t like what you are doing, you should quit!

3rd Clue

So you love your job and you are good at, now what?  The people in charge need to recognize your accomplishments in order to get promoted.  It starts with social skills!  Social skills are the skills we have to get along with other people.  Little things like smiling, positive attitude, confidence, manners, teamwork, empathy, enthusiasm, good work ethic and conflict resolution to name just a few.  A good team player can be a leader!

4th Clue

Having passion for your career is a good start, but you need to have the skills and knowledge to do the work.  Formal or informal training is very important.  What do you need college and an MBA degree?  In some industries, it is a requirement and yet others it may not matter.  If your ideal role is an electrical engineer, you definitely need a college degree versus a movie director which requires a different skill set. Certain managerial roles with an educated workforce may need an MBA as well.

5th Clue

You have all your education completed, acquired the skills and knowledge, what is next?  You need to start accumulating the experience to make that next step.  In other words you are proving to your bosses that you can do that next job well.  When an opportunity opens, you will be considered.  How do you show your boss that you are ready?  You do all your assigned tasks well and look for opportunities to show you can do the next job well too.  Are you the one your boss thinks of to take over when someone is on vacation?


How do you figure out what to do?  Ask questions of the people who are there.  They will tell you what they did to get there or find a mentor.  A mentor is an influential sponsor or supporter to help you move to the next job or level.  A mentor acts as a counselor or adviser that provides you valuable information.  It is still up to you, but it helps.  You have to look for opportunities to prove yourself, it is not enough to just have the right degree, graduate from the right school or have the skills to do the job.  Your boss wants you to prove you can do the job.

Final Thoughts

You can make millions of dollars working for someone else!  There are executives of public companies that are doing it and you don’t have to be CEO.  You can be there in your thirties and you don’t even have to sell your soul.  Sure you can start your own business, but that requires an investment and mostly likely more work.  Look for opportunities to show your skills and you should be rewarded.  If you are not appreciated at your current company for your skills, you can always quit!  Get rich at your day job!

Photo by:  Enokson

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Lance@MoneyLife&More August 20, 2012 at 6:23 am

You can get rich working for a company just like you can by starting your own business. The key, either way, is hard work and making your own luck. People who hold jobs see owning your business as a get rich quicker with less work route because they see successful business owners but not all of the work it took to get to that point. That is how I see it at least.

Krantcents August 20, 2012 at 6:58 am

You may be right, It appears to be easier, so why not? Starting and running a business is much more complicated and you put in many more hours.

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland August 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Based on this, I don’t think I want to make millions. That life, that ladder, sounds miserable.

Krantcents August 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Really! The job is similar whether you are making millions or not. A Chief Financial Officer has similar responsibilities in a public or private company. The difference is size of company and responsibilities. The other difference is amount of pay!

Darwin's Money August 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I think a big misnomer is the mantra that “you’ll never get rich working for someone else”. Well, OK, maybe you won’t get Mark Zuckerberg rich, but if you had all the time in the world to toil away trying to invent something you wouldn’t be that rich anyway. I know plenty of corporate execs making high six figures, plenty of traders making millions and other “corporate types” who might have a great run on company stock options or other riches secured through working for a traditional large firm. If you put in the time, you network, work hard and you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s not unheard of to be making several hundred thousand a year. I dunno, being in the 1% club seems like you’re “rich” in my book. And you CAN do it working for the man.

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

Of course the numbers are relatively small compared to the overall market, but there are plenty of executives making millions. The CEO of Facebook as one example. Everything dpends on the individual!

DC @ Young Adult Money August 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

You make it sound so simple ;)

As someone who is only a year and a half out of college, I find it hard to tell what differentiates directors from managers. Once you hit the V.P. level and above it seems to essentially come down to who got a gig in M&A or Big 4 Accounting.

Maybe it’s most important to just constantly be aware of your work environment and where you stand compared to others and what opportunities are available?

Who knows…

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 7:05 am

You constantly should be learning the skills of your next position. You need to learn the career path that will take you to your goal

Kim@Eyesonthedollar August 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

“Find something you love as your career and you will be good at it.” If you don’t love it, start looking for an exit strategy now. Life is just too short!

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

If you don’t love it, you probably won’t be good at it. Look for something you will enjoy better and go for it.

Greg@ClubThrifty August 21, 2012 at 4:24 am

I agree with Darwin. You can totally get rich working for somebody else, and you can do it with much less headache than working for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of being the boss, creating my own hours, having other people create wealth for me, etc. However, it just isn’t true that you have to be self-employed to be rich. In fact, your income can be a very powerful source of building wealth…especially if you are debt free.

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 7:07 am

You can still be the boss working for someone else. Executives are the bosses of their departments and have greater influence on company policies and direction.

Gillian @ Money After Graduation August 21, 2012 at 5:22 am

I definitely think that finding your passion is key to being amazing at your job. I am starting to work doing something I love now, and it is already working out well!!

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

Good for you! You will have an enjoyable and successful career.

Savvy Scot August 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

Nice to see someone write about how you can make it rich without a hundred side hustles ;)

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

Thanks! I often wonder why someone would go to college or some other training post secondary and not try to be successful. After all you generally spend 50-60 hours doing the job anyway.

Jason Clayton | frugal habits August 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

This article addresses all the requirements to this goal… Education, career path, loving what you do, mindful of the future – but the real key as mentioned above is people skills. If you have these, you will almost certainly be successful. Maybe not millionaire rich with certainty, but it opens the door.

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

People skills along with soft skills are the key to success, but it doesn’t stop there! You still need knowledge and skills to do your job well.

Brent Pittman August 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

Once you’ve tasted the life of freelancing or being a free agent it is hard to think about having a boss or finding a job that fits your skills.
Sure, you can make a good bit of money working for someone else, but money isn’t everything–it does help of course.

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I agree, but it is easier to say when you have it. Lack of money does funny things to people. The premise is to do something you enjoy for a company that appreciates you and rewards you accordingly.

Buck Inspire August 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Love the breath of fresh air KC! Everyone is scrambling to work for themselves, but working for someone isn’t that bad if you do it the right way. Thanks for the clues!

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

You can be happy working for someone else, but you need to find the right situation!

AverageJoe August 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I think people often fail to realize that it’s what they do every day in their job that can promote them to the next level. People call the “go-getter” a suck up or a brown noser. I call her the person who’s going to eat your lunch.

Krantcents August 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I don’t think you have to sell out to have a good career. It is up to you to make your own success. Why not where you work 50-60 hours aweek?

Dave August 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I left the lucrative career of contract-IT to start my own business and after about 4 years of doing ‘OK’ my bank manager asked me why I was bothering with all the hassle of running a business when I could earn twice as much contracting?

I realised that I actually really enjoy IT development so upgraded my skills and am back at it – I’m back getting a solid income and a pension and loving what I do with a lot less stress.

The best path for me is gaining industry certifications (I can study at work) which increases my hourly rate and re-hire prospects. Sometimes I wonder if I have ‘given up’, but then I think that not everyone has the drive or skills to become a entrepreneur. That’s something I had to work through and accept.

Krantcents August 27, 2012 at 6:59 am

You are taking a different direction and need to re-set your goals. Plenty of people do very well working for others!

Van Beek August 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Keep your job, keep your expenses low, invest your savings wisely, learn how to trade the financial markets profitably with one hour a day and make sure that you do something that makes you happy.

Krantcents August 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

I am suggesting that you make a success of your day job! After all you spend 50-60 hours a week there. The other things you should always do.

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