If you’re like most people, you would probably like a better job.  In this economy, most people consider themselves lucky to be employed at all, but after a while the novelty of holding a job wears off and you start wishing for something better. Luckily, even in the worst economy the nation has seen in decades, there are ways you can get a better paying job. Read on to discover 5 ways that you can boost your earning potential.

1.) Seek an internal promotion. Many companies advertise job openings to employees before the general public. If your employer does this, it’s worth checking out the job listings once in a while to learn of any openings that may suit your skills. If you want to seek an internal opening you may want to keep your interest to yourself or your boss may find ways to undermine your performance to keep you in their department.

2.) Look for a new job while you still have your old one. For whatever reason, people who are currently employed are more attractive applicants. Maximize your job seeking potential by looking for a better position before you are laid off or forced to quit for financial reasons. When you apply, be sure to check no on the box that asks if they can contact your current or previous employer – there’s no reason to let your current boss know you’re testing the waters.

3.) Negotiate with your current job and the interested employer. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating a better salary.  Even in a bad economy it’s possible to get a little bit more money by simply asking for it. Once you’ve reached a reasonable agreement with the new employer, let your old one know that you’re leaving for financial reasons, but that you’ve enjoyed being a part of the team. Don’t be afraid to let them know that your salary is the only reason you are leaving.

If you are a valuable member of the team, your old company may fight to keep you with a higher wage. Don’t attempt this until you are sure you have another job, as your current employer may choose to let you go if you are not seen as being 100% loyal to the company. This is definitely not something to bluff with.

4.) Take on extra responsibilities whenever possible at work. Adding onto your responsibilities will make you look like a better candidate for a raise during your review. However, adding on more responsibilities doesn’t ensure a raise.  Some employers may see your ability to take on more as a positive thing, but they may see your willingness to do so a sign that you don’t need additional pay for your additional work.

5.) Expand on your education. Sometimes, the only thing holding you back from a promotion and a pay raise is your education. Take advantage of employer-sponsored classes or education endorsements to get up to date in your field. The more knowledge you have, the more attractive of an employee you will be. Even if your new knowledge never serves you in your current position, future jobs may benefit from your advanced education.

There are always ways to make more money if you are willing to take advantage of them. Whether it’s getting a new job, going for a promotion or extending your education, you have the tools you need within yourself to make more money. If you want it badly enough, you’ll always find a way.