Earning

How to hack your job to earn more money, from someone who makes over $200,000 a year

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Daniella Flores is the founder of I Like to Dabble.
Photo by Daniella Flores
Key Points
  • "My best advice is to think of your 9-to-5 job as a side hustle to the main career that is your life," writes I Like to Dabble founder Daniella Flores.
  • "Think about it from the angle of what your job can do for you rather than living in that reactive, stressful mode of, 'Am I doing enough?'"
  • "A huge game changer for me was when I started to look for ways to hack my job to get back more of my time."

Working any sort of job shouldn't be just what you can do for the job. It is about what the job can do for you, too.

My best advice is to think of your 9-to-5 job as a side hustle to the main career that is your life. What can you utilize at your job to get you further along to where you want to be in your life? What ways can your job help support your growth outside of that job?

How can you optimize your time at your current job to pay off in the larger picture of your life?

This way of thinking also brings other eye opening questions to light that can help you realize if your job is serving you or not:

  • Is my job affecting my health?
  • Are my team members or management toxic and hurting my growth?
  • Does this job help me get to where I want to go next?
  • Am I making enough at my job to fulfill my goals?

At my first job, I made $30,000. Now I bring in over $200,000. A huge game changer for me was when I started to look for ways to hack my job to get back more of my time, all while increasing my income. Here's how.

I negotiated for full-time remote work 

During the pandemic, I made sure to negotiate for this because I knew eventually we would be asked to come back to the office, and we wanted to move to another state for my wife's job change.

I prepared for this by creating references to various performance metrics I created myself from ticket data, gathering my past experience as a hybrid remote worker at the company, and past experience as a full time remote worker in various roles for other companies.

Then I set up time with my manager while framing the discussion around her job change to discuss for approval and then sent it through their necessary channels for a higher approval until it was finally approved.

I looked for a new team with more room to grow

Later on in this same role, it came time to negotiate a for a leadership role with a raise, as I was doing the work of two people or more and already serving as a lead without the salary to match it. However, my manager had changed and my new manager denied my request, giving the excuse, "We can discuss this throughout the year."

I knew that would get me nowhere.

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Once I realized there wasn't much room for growth in that position, I looked elsewhere internally at the company. I started talking to other folks I was friends with on other teams including looking at their internal job portal.

I found a new role in that next week that I interviewed for. I ended up securing an offer for 25% more pay while keeping my full-time remote worker status.

I made sure to prioritize my time 

I stopped saying yes to everything and started time blocking parts of my calendar for both things I needed to do and so people wouldn't overload my calendar.

I also started denying meetings that should be emails and especially denying all meetings outside of my working hours.

I learned new skills on my company's dime

I started going through online training that I wanted to take for my tech skill "toolbox" and requesting the ones that cost money at the beginning of the year, which is the best time for budget management for your manager. This gets me free education and more skills on their dime. It also gave me time that I could apply to my side hustle and help me raise my income there, too, and build upon after my job.

All of these actions combined completely changed my outlook on how a job can impact your life. 

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You would be thrilled to realize how much of your time you can possibly get back to yourself while increasing your pay and overall income. If can help if you think about it from the angle of what your job can do for you rather than living in that reactive, stressful mode of "am I doing enough?"

You are already doing enough. You are enough. That's why they hired you. And what's all this work at your current job for if it isn't to set yourself up for future success?

Daniella Flores is a software engineer, serial side hustler, and creator of the blog I Like to Dabble. Daniella has grown I Like to Dabble on the side of her full-time job to 100,000 monthly users between the website and social media and is a two-time Plutus Awards finalist who has been featured on Business Insider, Huffington Post, CNBC, Refinery29, LA Times, and more.

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