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How To Get Paid What You Feel You're Worth

How To Get Paid What You Feel You're Worth

Dear Sugar
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

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

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.

Join The Conversation
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Hey Tra, I went through that a lot when I first moved back to Portland from NYC. I wasn't dumb enough to believe I would get an NYC salary in Portland, OR but some of the offers were pathetic. GL
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
GL TRA! I feel anyone who feels they are under paid. Im a "Receptionist" but I do Administrative Assitant/ Executive Secretary work. Needless to say I pay over half my check in daycare.. almost not even worth it when you add in gas and lunch for the week. But will I ever get a raise? Nope. There is no room for growth in this company something they made seem like it were possible when I first started.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
tra, Good Luck! :)
tra tra 10 years
This really hits home today! I was offered my dream job yesterday. The fast growing fortune 500 company who is full of young, hip, cutting edge employees (the oldest is 33) knew my current salary...I was honest and didn't add any fluff. I was offered a management position $8k less than what I'm currently making. I felt like that was a slap in the face. My budget can't take that kind of hit! I'm trying to negotiate now...keep your fingers crossed.
Ms_Magnificent1 Ms_Magnificent1 10 years
Wow that was some real good advice...let me take notes!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Cuba is right. They honestly at the end of the day dont care what ur worth. Anything to save them a dime.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Sugars advice was right on. The only thing that I would add is STOP complaining to your bosses. You need to prove to them that you are an asset to the company. Pissing and moaning about what they pay will get you no where it may even get you shown the door.
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