Here's one thing we know about money: No matter how much of it you earn, you always want more. Which is what makes it particularly distressing to discover that, perhaps, you're not actually being compensated as well as you should be. How did this happen to a nice person like you? And what can you do about it?
Besides doing your research by comparing your salary (cough-PayScale-cough) to others in your field, geographic area, and experience level, you need to understand how you wound up making less than you should in the first place. This article by Alison Green of Ask a Manager has a great rundown of eight possible reasons you're not earning as much as you could.
Here are the top three reasons you're underpaid:
1. You didn't negotiate well before you got the job. This is a tough one for many people, especially in a down economy. The fear is always that if you ask for too much, you'll price yourself out of the gig. But on the other hand, if you ask for too little, you could wind up resentful -- and less than productive. The key is to research the role before entering into negotiations.
2. You haven't tooted your own horn enough. No one likes a braggart, but if you don't make your accomplishments visible, no one will know what you're done. "Don't be shy about sharing accomplishments with your manager, whether it's glowing feedback from a customer, a tricky problem that you solved before it blew up, or a cost-saving measure you implemented," Green advises.
3. You haven't asked. If you don't ask for a raise, you're unlikely to get one -- or least, unlikely to get the raise you really want.
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Need to Laugh? Listen to Kids Talk About Work [video]
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