Building a career takes passion, hard work, and talent. But you have more than one way to go forward in your chosen field, and more than one thing to do with the money that you’ve earned. If you want to maximize your income and grow your wealth (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll want to pay careful attention to the advice below.

We scoured the internet and asked experts at places like Excelsior College for their input. These are the proven methods for maximizing your income.

Find sources of passive income

Your earning power is usually something that we talk about in the context of your chosen career and the positions you can get in your field. But your overall income is about more than just your salary.

If you can find ways to make passive income — money other than your usual salary that comes in steadily with relatively little effort — then you can build your wealth much more quickly.

The classic example is real estate. If you invest in an income property, you’ll be able to earn passive income in the form of rent — provided, of course, that you can land the right tenant and keep up with your responsibilities as a landlord.

Happily, this is made much easier by modern landlord software solutions. These days, you can find software on the internet that will help you draft a property listing, set up rental application, perform a tenant background check, and more — often for free.

Passive income isn’t necessarily out of your reach if you don’t have enough cash to buy an income property. Other possibilities include writing an ebook or buying stocks that earn dividends.

Head back to school

Not earning what you believe you should? Not getting interviews for the jobs you wish you had? Then you should consider making yourself a more competitive candidate by heading back to school, say the professionals at Excelsior College.

If you don’t yet have a college degree, it’s never too late to get one. And if you hold a bachelor’s degree but want to accomplish more, you can always go back to school for a graduate degree. Excelsior College and other online universities make it easier than ever for hard-working professionals to go back to school on their own schedule, on their own budget, and on their own terms.

Weigh your options. Depending on your situation, you may want to choose a part-time program that lets you keep working while you study. Or perhaps you’ll opt for a certificate or other resume booster that doesn’t require a full college environment. Just make sure that the education and resume item that you’re seeking make sense for your field and your dreams. Talk to hiring managers, network with peers, and do your research to make sure that the cost/benefit of your decision makes sense.

Learn on the job

Are you going above and beyond at work? Are you doing the tasks that nobody wants to do and taking every opportunity to learn new skills and take on more responsibilities? If not, experts say, you may be limiting your earning power.

You want to increase your earning power and get a better job. But the job that you have now could be just what you need to get ahead. When you learn new skills on the clock (including ones that are not strictly required for your position), you’re getting training and boosting your resume while getting paid for it. Not bad.

And when you tackle tasks others won’t and expand your responsibilities at work, you’re making yourself indispensable to your current employer while expanding your resume for future positions. With hard work and a proactive attitude toward the possibilities of the position you’re in right now, you could go far.

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