• Level Up
  • Posts
  • 🤑 $100k+ salary: 5 steps to earn

🤑 $100k+ salary: 5 steps to earn

Stop feeling lost in your career.

Leader's Lens by Jacob Espinoza, a Workweek Friend.

Stop feeling lost in your career.

Start structuring your goals into experiments - and grow your salary.

It just takes 5 simple, repeatable steps. There’s a free PDF worksheet of the 5 steps at the end, so you can take action for your career growth immediately.

Psst: if you want to level up your career fast, develop your leadership skills to stand out. This week’s sponsor can help.


Get Better at Managing in 5 Minutes

A weekly leadership newsletter read by the executives and leaders at some of the biggest companies in the world. Companies include Disney, Google, Zoom, and Nike.

Being a manager is hard. Being a great manager is even harder.

Enter Leader’s Lens, a weekly newsletter written by veteran leadership coach, Jacob Espinoza. For years, he’s worked alongside Fortune 500 CEOs across the country. Now he’s writing a newsletter with action items, leadership deep dives, and a curated list of resources. Sign up today!

Step 1: Research

Imagine you’re the captain of a ship. You tell your crew to go in 1 direction, not knowing you’re off by a few meters.

As your ship sails hundreds of kilometers, you end up way off course.

Have a clear career direction

That’s why it’s so important to research first. You need a clear direction for the ship of your career.

Here are ways you can research:

Step 2: Create a hypothesis

After researching a list of possible careers, you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do next to reach your career goal and target salary.

This isn’t a guarantee - it’s just your best guess (or “hypothesis”). Try to be as precise as possible when creating a hypothesis. Here’s a template:

Based on [research data], I believe [insert what you think you need to do next] will [your prediction of what will happen] by [specific goal].

Create a hypothesis worksheet snippet

Snippet from free PDF worksheet

I recommend having a shorter-term hypothesis you can test in weeks or months first. Then, based on the results you uncover, you can create a longer-term career experiment.

Example: product manager working remotely in the US

Shorter term experiment hypothesis:

Based on my previous research into tech careers I might like, I believe getting experience in product management will help me get clarity on whether I want to pursue this career by helping me discover what I like to do as a product manager.”

Longer term experiment hypothesis:

Based on my previous experiments about my product management career, I believe pursuing a more senior role in product management will impact my salary goals by increasing it to $100k per year.”

According to Glassdoor, the career progression of a Product Manager means you can earn up to $176k salary as a Senior Lead Product Manager.

But pay attention to the specific job descriptions for a Senior Product Manager. What do they all have in common?

  1. Leading a team

  2. Growing and scaling a business

  3. Experience in strategic decision-making

  4. Collaborating with multiple teams and stakeholders

That’s your to-do list for your career. Your hypothesis is that getting the experience listed in the job you want will lead you to landing that high-salary job in the future.

Career hypothesis: more work or project experience means higher salary.

As you can see, we broke it down into smaller tests to run first, which you can learn from quickly. Then, based on the results, you can clearly progress to your longer-term career goals.

What if I don’t know what career to pursue?

Despite narrowing down your options in the research stage, you might still be considering 2-3 careers. In that case, your hypothesis should be centered around learning.

For example, if you’re curious about becoming a data analyst, financial analyst, and product manager, you can hypothesize that after completing a practical, hands-on course on each subject will give you a better idea of what you like and dislike.

That’s why EntryLevel’s programs are very practical. We structure it so you feel like you’re already in a work environment, doing the tasks a real data analyst, financial analyst, or product manager would do.

Simulated work environment: entrylevel's programs

Step 3: Experiment

Now it’s time to test your hypothesis.

Create a step-by-step plan for how you’ll test your hypothesis. Here are questions you can answer to get you started:

  1. What are the steps of your experiment?

  2. How much time will you run this experiment for? (Example: 6 weeks)

  3. How do you know when you have succeeded? Be specific.

Example: “I know I have succeeded when I have completed 3 product management portfolio projects.”

Step 4: Analyze data

Evaluating the results of your experiment will help you know whether you’ve succeeded or not.

You can see if your original hypothesis was correct - and if not, you can uncover what happened.

This is an opportunity to reflect on everything you learned.

Even if you feel like your experiment “failed” - at least you learned something new. For example, maybe you discovered you actually don’t like product management. In that case, you can go back to step 1: researching other potential careers.

Step 5: Report conclusions

After analyzing your data, you need to report on what the results were.

Document your learning somewhere - it can be privately in a journal or publicly on your social media.

This way, you can look back on your career journey and be proud of how far you came.


Scientific method for career growth: research, hypothesis, experiment, analyze, and report. Then repeat.
  1. Research

  2. Create a hypothesis

  3. Experiment

  4. Analyze data

  5. Report conclusions

Free career growth worksheet

Thank you <3

Feeling super grateful this week.

Thank you for your wonderful feedback for my writing - it really means a lot to me. It makes all the effort I put into writing great content for you worth it!

Testimonials for this newsletter screenshotted. People saying the content is worth it and engaging and valuable.