Income Essentials – What factors affect your income?

“When I grow up, I want to be a _______”.

This post was written by the former Estonian Credit Union, now Northern Birch Credit Union.

Depending on who you are, filling in the blank above can be an exciting, troubling, or outright confusing task. If you happen to be in kindergarten, filling in the blank is awesome, because at that age, dinosaur and superhero are both perfectly viable career options. If you happen to be in high school, filling in the blank can be motivating because it takes all your talents and interests and captures them in a single goal that you can pursue through high school and past graduation day. If you happen to be an adult, filling in the blank can be a little bit terrifying because that could mean you’re now a grown-up (regardless of whether or not you feel like one) and here you are, still secretly looking for ideas.

One of the factors that go into filling in that above statement, is how much money you will make. Let’s see what factors influence your income:

Income essentials - career, education, skills and trends

  1. Your Career

What you do is a big factor in how much money you earn. Your career choice can also effect your lifestyle, including when you work, where you live, your stress level and other factors

Improve your income prospects – Volunteer
To help break into a particular industry or field, look into volunteering at industry organizations or events. This can expand your network and increase your visibility.


2. Your Education 

Your education level has a large effect on your potential income and can increase your access to opportunities within a chosen field. Earning post-secondary degree(s) can be a big investment of time and money, but your lifetime earning potential can also increase significantly. You will have to decide whether it is worth it.

Improve your income prospects – Online Courses
= Augment traditional forms of education with e-learning opportunities. You can add to your skills by learning at your own speed, all from the comfort of your home and on your schedule.


3. Your Skills 

Your income potential, is directly linked to what skills you have and what you’re good at! Your skills will increase and change based on your education, personal interests, natural talents and unique experiences.

Improve your income prospects – Practice
= If you want to learn new skills, you have to work hard to acquire them. Consider workshops and hands-on seminars to push you forward. As they say, practice makes perfect!


4. Economic Trends

The world is always changing, and those changes affect the economy and the job market! Industries rise and fall with new technologies, natural resource constraints, and local and global policies. Think about it: there are successful careers today that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago!

Improve your income prospects – Curiosity 
= Read forward-thinking websites and magazines, and listen to mind-expanding podcasts to help you spot future opportunities.


Want to watch a fun video about how all of these factors combine to affect your income? Check out how Jen and this Mad Scientist figure it out!


Author: NorthernBirchCU

A co-operative financial institution based out of Toronto, Ontario.

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