I have spent close to 50 years of my life working; 10 Years as a farmhand, 20 years serving our country, and the last 20 years I worked as an accountant.
For 38 years of my working career I supervised and/or managed personnel. I learned from managing people that few are working at their full potential. Why are they working below full potential? The reasons can be numerous. The main reason is they have failed to look at themselves as a business.
A business sells things. What does the individual have to sell? Individuals are selling their time. Time is all that they have to sell. How do they determine what their time is worth? Time by itself is only worth what the employer will pay for it. To make your time more valuable you have to enhance your time. You have to improve your skills and increase the use of your hands and your mind.
Jobs that only require the use of your hand pay the least because your hands are doing all the work. Jobs that require only the use of your hands are unskilled jobs or jobs that require little to no training.
Jobs that require the use of a combination of your hands and mind pay more than jobs only requiring the use of your hands. These are skilled or semi-skilled jobs, they require the individual to get more training in the use of their hand. At the same time the mind must be trained in the best way to use the hands. Many of these jobs are called vocational jobs. The jobs that require the combination of use of the hands and mind can and are normally more rewarding than only those that just require the use of the hands.
If you really want to increase your earning potential you will seek jobs that require more use of the mind than use of the hands. It is jobs that require the use of the mind over the use of the hands that garner the increased salaries. Most of these jobs are called professional jobs and many require training beyond high school, vocational school, or the community colleges.
No matter what type of job you wish to obtain you must sell yourself. If you sell yourself as having certain abilities be sure that you can deliver those abilities because the employer is hiring you for those specific talents.