I feel totally underpaid in my position. My competitors are making about a third more money than I do and I find it very frustrating. I've complained to my bosses about this because I think they should know about the pulse of the market. They gave me a very small raise (2%) to make me happy. I appreciate this, but it's still not enough.
I love my co-workers and I don't want to leave the company, but if they don't raise mine and my co-workers compensation, I am going to feel forced into the hands of my competitors. I have two children at home, and at the end of the day, money does matter. Do you have any advice for me? Pay Up Pia
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Dear Pay Up Pia
According to Don Straits, CEO of Corporate Warriors, he believes that most people feel they aren't getting paid what they are worth. From those in Director level positions to minimum wage earners, he believes that the tactics you use to demonstrate your value within your company are similar across the board. Here are six tips to better prepare yourself for "the big talk with the boss."
- Document Your Accomplishments - Begin by breaking them down into three parts: 1. Define the problem, in a couple of sentences. 2. Explain how you solved the problem in an easy to read bullet manner. 3. Conclude with a description of how this has benefited your company.
- Find a Mentor - Having someone on your side that has been at your company for a long time and has proven themselves is really important. I know it sounds hard to find a mentor, but all you really have to do is ask. The right person will feel flattered and valued.
- Continue Your Education - Enroll in a continuing education course, a seminar or a workshop in your field or a brush up course in your area of expertise. No one will ever say that you have "too much education." Then ask your boss for the opportunity to lead an in-house course.
- Perform Beyond Expectations - Rise to the occasion and try to go above and beyond your call of duty. Take initiative and offer your help to others who are very busy. Everyone will take notice.
- Stay Contemporary - It's really important to stay current in your field. If not, someone younger will come in and trade your file folders for computers right in front of you! Keep a well rounded touch on life including on current events, technology and business news. Knowledge is power.
- Ask For The Promotion - Once you feel that you've been doing these steps for some time, it's time to take initiative. No one will just hand you over a bonus and raise; you've got to ask for what you believe is yours. Then, be prepared to continue to work for what you've earned!
It's wonderful that you have goals and dreams. If you stay motivated, continue to work hard, and are realistic about what you are striving for - the sky is the limit. Good luck.