The stats tell us that we now spend 47 hours of our week working. Are you getting paid enough for that time?
When I was sixteen years old, I got my first “real” job at Burger King. I was excited that I was getting $5.25 an hour (minimum wage), back then it felt like six figures!
When I was hired, I was told if I worked hard I could get a raise, so I made sure I worked harder than anybody else. My work must have been good because even though I was younger than most of the older coworkers, I was promoted to “crew leader”.
I thought the position came with a raise, (I found out later that I was supposed to get a raise) but I didn’t get one, the store manager gave himself my raise! At that age, I never thought about it, I didn’t have any real bills to worry about. I could spend my money on electronics and things that I wanted.
There was several times, later in life, when I would apply for a certain job and they would ask my wage requirements. I would low-ball the offers to assure myself the job. I did get the jobs. I’m sure I was lower than anybody, some jobs I was practically working for free!
Here’s my question for you: Are you getting paid enough for the work that you do?
Sometimes that’s just the way it is
I realize there are jobs where you really have no control of how much you make, jobs that a union has the pay structure already set up. If you really want that job, you have to be prepared to go along with that system no matter how hard you work. What I’m writing about are jobs where you do have some wiggle room.
Don’t believe the hype
With our economy being so screwed up, we’re afraid that the company could let us go. Yes, things are different. Yes, there isn’t the job security that used to exist. However, good employees are still hard to find.
If you’re reading this I’m going to make a HUGE assumption and assume that you’re a hard worker that provides value for your company. So even though companies have more options, they’re likely to keep you if you ask for a raise. If you’re making the company money, you should be getting paid properly for what you do.
Know your worth
I told you about the jobs I low-balled my offer; I did it because I didn’t know my worth. All I thought about was getting the job. If you work hard you’re very valuable and you should be compensated as such.
There were times when I found out that a co-worker, who didn’t work as hard as I did, was making more than me. It was because they weren’t afraid to ask for more. You can’t be afraid either.
How do you approach it?
If you have been at a company and haven’t received a raise, then it’s time to think about approaching your boss for one. The key is to handle things professionally; you have to go over and beyond.
Put together a presentation that shows what you have done, and how that has helped the company. Schedule a meeting with your boss and prove to him that you’re worth the raise, go into that meeting with a number in mind. What’s the worst that could happen? All he can do is say no. If you handle things professionally, you will be heard.
For too long we have been satisfied, even when we know we deserve more. Know your worth!
This article originally appeared on KimanziConstable.com
Photo: Flickr/ Phil and Pam Gradwell (to