Become part of the top 10% of any field as a knowledge worker, and money will enter your pockets with relative ease.
The great news is… the people who are part of the top 10% right now, all started at the bottom 10%.
And the most common way to get from the bottom 10% to the top 10% is to land a job (yes, a job) which enables you to dedicate your day developing the necessary skills. A starting position where you can learn from seniors in your field, in a relatively risk-free environment. Salary might be on the lower side when starting out, but the real currency you’re after is knowledge.
Normally, it takes around 5 – 7 years to get from the bottom 10% to the top 10%, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to stay in the same job for 5 – 7 years. On the contrary, you’ll likely grow a more diverse set of skills when you switch work environments every now and then. If you hit a ceiling at one place, take a leap and hop onto the next opportunity. After a couple of years you might even be able to start for yourself!
There is a trap, however.
Thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect you’ll think you’re the best thing since sliced bread after 1 – 2 years.
When this happens, take it as a signal you’re on the right track, but realise that you’re not nearly as close to being an expert as you’ll think you are. This is crucial for your growth. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know it all. Keep looking for new knowledge, particularly knowledge that can’t be found in books, articles and courses.
5 – 7 years sounds like a lot to commit to, but reality is that those years will fly by in an instant, whether you do what you’ve always done, or make an effort to become something more.
Often, all you need is focus, determination and an untamed curiosity for the field you’re looking to advance in. If you’ve got those three, chances are high you’ll succeed.
Looking to land that starter position? This might help: 9 Insights That Will Help You Nail Your Job Interview Every Time.