SALARIES / MAY. 06, 2014
version 12, draft 12

How to Get Paid What You Are Worth

Quick question... how much do you think you deserve to earn? Many careerists can't answer this question without hesitation or second-guessing. In a world where material gain is held in high regard, one can't help but get carried away by material ambition at the expense of a meaningful career. In fact, let’s be honest. Salary above all else is the number one factor we put into serious consideration when weighing in job opportunities offered to us. The major challenge, however, is to get paid what we deserve because many careerists feel that they're underpaid. Which begs the question, how do we ensure that we get paid what we're worth?

#1 Highlight and showcase milestones you achieved in past work experience

Many job hunters hate this segment of a job interview. Reason being that most are unsure whether their level of experience on the ground is relevant enough for the job that they aspire to clinch. It should be noted that simply showcasing your documentation and level of experience won't make the cut. It's a much better option to put the icing on the cake by highlighting the milestones you've achieved in the past. For instance, did your idea reap benefits for the company you previously worked for? Were you the employee of the month as a result of your exemplary traits? Such brainstorming queries will help your work experience depict your effectiveness to your potential employer.

#2 Gain favour and Constantly keep tabs on your References

What do your referees say about you when they're called regarding your job application? Is their opinion the factor you've been underestimating? How is your relation with your high school teacher that you use as a reference? Did you graduate on good terms with your school Dean on campus? How about the references you've been putting at the back of your CV? Do they have favourable recommendations to make of you? Many careerists make the mistake of abandoning their academic advisers and mentors once they leave their respective higher educational institutions. Consequently, this affects their recommendations negatively. That might explain why one of your colleagues makes more despite doing the same work as you do. It's thus advisable to be courteous enough to remain in contact with your references.

#3 Establish and Maintain Rapport in the Workplace

The last thing you want is to discover that a grudge with a senior employee in the workplace has been the hindrance behind that salary increase you've been craving for. In fact, I would recommend an attitude of indifference to those you loathe. Yes, it's no secret that we hate some colleagues in the workplace, but indifference will definitely preserve the rapport you've established with friend and foe alike. If the boss loathes you, then find a way to establish a rapport with him or her. Preferably, dedicate more time and effort in the workplace to get noticed in a favourable manner. Who knows, maybe that compliment from your annoying boss might be the key to a salary increase.

#4 Have Realistic and Concrete Expectations

Maybe you're of the opinion that your company deliberately underpays you. But before you start harbouring bitter opinions, do a background check on your company's performance. You might be surprised to find out that your company is in financial difficulty but has still managed to retain its workforce. Maybe the company's funds are being diverted to a more worthy cause like expanding the company's regional operations and maybe, you might end up being promoted to a regional management position. However, this is just one of the many possibilities. It is thus necessary to face reality before coming up with a rough figure of how much you ought to earn.

#5 Improve on your work Effectiveness and Efficiency

It's one thing to determine your worth, but it's a totally different thing to prove your worth by delivering results on the ground. Your concern regarding underpayment might sound justified but ask yourself this. Does your work depict incompetence and inconvenience or is it effective and beneficial to the overall performance of the company? Is your sluggish tempo and poor quality of work to blame for that insufficient salary? Maybe it's company policy that your work should be the major determinant in gauging whether you deserve a salary increase. All in all, besides academic credentials, an individual's overall performance should go hand in hand with what he/she earns.

Everyone wants to earn 'a million dollars' every month. But as a careerist, it is essential to avoid sensationalism and become realistic when determining your worth. Factors such as economic trends, employment levels and standards of living should be considered before coming up with a realistic figure. In the end, only the careerist knows his/her worth when negotiating for a salary raise.

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