7 years: How I got ahead and trebled my income

7 years: How I got ahead & trebled my income

There are definitely no stats to support this, but I 100% believe that anyone who has managed to triple their income in 7 years is going to be a low as fuck figure. 

image representing low or high income as a choice

This is disappointing and possibly hints at several things:

  1. You lack access to meaningful opportunities
  2. You are unlucky and haven’t got the breaks others have
  3. You are not capable of such dramatic change

Truth is, all three are absolute bollocks, myths that are chiefly perpetrated by people that don’t want to take ownership of their situation or choices.

I climbed from the bottom 20-40% of earners in the UK to being all the way up in the top 10%. 

This wasn’t a fluke, it was the result of f*****g hard work, mindset and gradual self improvement.

Where I Started, Low Income & Lazy: 

I won’t start right at the beginning, that’s a different story. But for the context of this article, this begins at the point I’d just completed my 8th year working in tech support for a private sector software company. 

I was comfortable, but not challenged.  [Does this sound familiar to you?]

I’d sometimes pushed myself & successfully negotiated several pay rises over 8 years. In this company there was no chance of promotions and no scope for role change or significant income jump.

My current income was not going to change (outside of inflation) and here I was at 29 years old, earning £22,500 a year. What a waste [So why did I wait so long? That’s another article]

A wage which my mother never failed to remind me, was “really good”. [You’re kidding, right]

I was engaged, saving for a wedding and was broke, but determined to change and my goal was to achieve meaningful transformation before my 30th birthday.

New Beginnings, or Stupid Risk?

Well, before we get right into it, there’s some more context: 

I was “this” close to leaving my comfortable, yet dead end, £22.5k job for an £18k a year job at my then best friend’s Web Design business. 

More context, I had been retraining myself in my spare time at what I thought was a career with limitless potential (ha ha), web development. 

I was willing to drop my wage to move from a job to what was a shot at an actual career, with my earning progression only limited by my determination, work ethic and imagination. 

My bride-to-be thought I was insane, but I believed in myself and in my ability to progress quickly. 

I even had an interview with the Owner/Director of the Business and gave a good account of myself, considering I was self taught and relatively new. 

But I was ambitious, determined and admittedly, a little desperate to change my situation.

Enter, late night job browsing and alcohol. 

This had become a semi regular activity, in between the day job, online gaming (DOTA2 was my addiction) and learning web dev principles.

I was endlessly searching for better paid jobs in the area I was familiar with, it wasn’t ideal but the bottom line was, I needed more money

Then I found it, a role in the NHS, £26000 a year! 

It was a role I’d never heard of till that day with an employer I’d never even considered. 

The job description definitely sounded doable and my mind was racing (probably beer related) instead of a £4.5k pay drop, go for a £3.5k raise with the built in pay progression and career in a national institution. 

Luckily, I’d been keeping my CV fairly relevant and I was confident (again, beer) that I’d at least get an interview. 

I’d almost given up hope and moved on

I finally heard back, coincidentally just as I was considering actually accepting the low income job offer at my friends Web Design business. 

They offered me an interview slot 2 days before my 30th birthday, this couldn’t be fate, could it?

I had just over a week to prepare for the interview and a presentation required of me. 

Interview day, I was so nervous, I’d never really been in a big city before, in a location unknown to me. 

To an introvert this was my worst nightmare, presenting on a relatively unfamiliar topic and as it turned out, to a panel of 3 strangers. 

I started off visibly and audibly nervous, but I centred myself and grew into the experience. I delivered my presentation with as much confidence as I could muster, the questions sections were a blur but I remember internally feeling it was going better than I’d hoped. 

I left feeling incredibly proud of myself for simply doing the interview, anything positive coming after would be a bonus. 

I got the bus home feeling cautiously optimistic about the future and if nothing else, I’d learnt a new skill in interviewing.  

…..I didn’t wait long to find out. Friday 16th September, my 30th birthday, I was at work and the call came. I GOT THE JOB!

The Blue Touch Paper Had Been Lit, The Self Improvement Years

I hit the ground running despite initially feeling like a complete fish out of water. 

I’d gone from a quiet working environment of 10-14 people tops, to a multi-storey, massive, open layout office with literally hundreds of people.

The work was great, but that wasn’t the best part. It was discovering the access I now had to learning materials and career development funding. It was having access to a line manager who would guide me and keep me accountable.

Over the course of the 7 years I’ve been there, I have completed over 15 industry recognised certifications and exams, costing approx £15k.

I cannot understate the value of investing in your education, there are so many upsides:

image representing self improvement to attain higher income
  • Increased applicable knowledge
    • This is obvious, what you learn, should be applicable to your immediate role
  • Being perceived as willing to learn
    • It looks good to others, including bosses if you’re seen as a good learner, willing student, looking to improve etc
  • Greater promotion prospects
    • As above, you’ll stand out in interviews and paper sifts if you’re seen as a keen self improver
  • Continuous professional development
    • You should never stand still with your career, learning something new when the opportunity arises is a given

There are a few things to note, almost all of the courses/exams I’ve taken, with the exception of 2, have been self-paced E-learning. 

I’m not suggesting that this is how you should do it, but it worked for me. I found group based, instructor led training to be tedious, slow and generally preferred to learn a bit, take a break, then come back.

Self-paced learning requires you to develop several critical skills

  • Self Discipline
    • Seriously, some of the subjects are very dry, have a learning strategy
  • Focus
    • If you are easily distracted you’re going to waste not only your time, but your employers money and likely your reputation will suffer
  • Determination to learn
    • As above, if you think it’ll be easy, take it for granted because you’ve been given time off to learn, you’ll fail and look a prick
  • Growth Mindset
    • You need to remain open minded, some of what you’re being taught might not seem immediately valuable, you may not understand it straight away. Don’t get stuck in a rut of thinking you can’t learn something new. Everybody is capable of learning almost anything.

As I said, I’ve been here over 7 years now. I’ve moved multiple teams and services, I’ve had 3 promotions. Line managed 9 reports and got all of them in a position for promotion, which they all did.

Where Am I Now? Top 10% Income, Baby

My career has culminated in me now working in Cyber Security.

I figured, just before my twins were born, that it would be a good idea to start transitioning to a more interesting career. [stupid, right?]

By happy coincidence, Cyber Security just happens to be well paid.

Again, this was a calculated decision. This does not mean it was easy by any stretch, it required planning and forethought.

image representing top 10 percent income

The point: I don’t want you to take 7 years to triple your income.

With my guidance, support and experience, I can give you the tools, skills and confidence to achieve anything.

  • Mentor you through your career and self improvement journey
  • Recognise & overcome negative habits such as procrastination
  • Ability to grind and thrive through repetition & routine
  • Self discipline & iron will
  • Set meaningful, achievable & appropriate goals
  • Positive growth mindset
  • Find comfort in discomfort
  • Achieve any task & goal
  • Limit the impact of negative self talk

Implement the bullets above and you are guaranteed to succeed at almost anything you want to achieve in your life or career!

It worked for me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top