However, due to a lack of experience and professional confidence, we tend to underestimate our value in the workplace and succumb to fiscal mediocrity.
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For most people, the holiday season evokes images of evergreen trees, twinkling emerald lights and festive garland. What’s easy to ignore is the importance of the green in your wallet: money.

Last year, Americans spent approximately $602 billion on the holiday season alone. It’s no surprise that wintertime festivities reportedly account for nearly 20% of total annual retail sales. With that comes inevitable money-related stress, which unfortunately is about as common as Christmas caroling and drunk grandmas during end-of-the-year celebrations.

Those of us in the world of entry-level employment are no strangers to breaking a sweat when it comes time to pay rent. However, due to a lack of experience and professional confidence, we tend to underestimate our value in the workplace and succumb to fiscal mediocrity.

Instead of suffering through another awkward holiday season of re-gifting and trying your hand at DIY wreath making (and failing), step up your work game and bulk up your wallet. Here’s how to earn that holiday bonus just in time for last minute shopping:

1. Think like a boss.

The fact of the matter is, the backbone of any business is profits. So, if you want to make more money, you must first make your boss more money. This requires seeing dollar signs in nearly every facet of your job, from writing copy to networking at holiday parties.

Change your mindset from “I want to get better at my job,” to “I want to make more money for my company.” This slight change in perspective will put marketing and sales on your radar (even if you work in Human Resources), enabling you to “think like a boss.”

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2. Work harder.

Do so for three reasons: you want to do more than your peers, you want to learn more than your peers and you want to make sure your boss takes notice. It’s simple: you can’t expect to make more money without putting in more effort first.

3. Have a positive attitude.

You know the saying “happiness is contagious”? Well, so is negativity. According to a 2001 Yale University study, emotions are indeed infectious, and pessimism can pervade and influence a group (even more so than optimism).

If you drag yourself to work every day with the attitude of the Grinch, you could pose a threat to workplace productivity and potentially the bottom-line. That means your boss won’t like you. Psychologically impact your office, and subsequently your boss’ impression of you, by being relentlessly positive when you stroll into the office two hours early. See work through the perspective of Buddy the Elf.

4. Go above and beyond.

Look at your newfound work hours with every intention of advancing your career. Spend time every day learning about what your company does and how each person contributes to that effort. Meet your deadlines and deliver more than you promised. Eagerly accept opportunities to help with new projects. Do all of these things with vigor and creativity, and soon enough you’ll be recognized as the top-notch employee you’ve been working to become.

5. Find the holes and provide value.

No company is perfect. As any forward-thinking CEO knows, there is always room for improvement. You’re in particular luck if you work for a start-up or a small company, as they are typically unable to cover as much ground in any one field. Be the employee who shares in this knowledge and actively brainstorms ways to increase the bottom-line.

Once you’ve got your big idea, do your research and present it to your boss with a predicated ROI, enthusiasm and above all, confidence.

Do you have some money making tips and tricks of your own? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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Posted 12.16.2014 - 03:17 pm EDT