Are you being paid your worth? Years ago, I took a job as a technology trainer. Since it was for a higher salary than my previous, very low paying job, I thought they had made a good offer.
Just by chance, a few months after I started this job, I learned a new trainer was hired at a salary that was several thousand dollars more than mine. He had the same level of experience and not the same level of education (less) than I had… so why was he being paid more? Was it a gender issue? Was it because he made more money at a previous salary?
I wasn’t sure what to do, but I felt like I had to do something. I went to see my manager. Since I didn’t really know the reason, I figured I would just ask. I casually knocked on his office door and asked to speak to him for a moment. I shared that I learned about the new trainer and his salary and asked my manager to explain why the new trainer was being paid so much more.
He stared at me for a long moment and then told me he would get back to me.
Little did I know that this simple question set off a flurry of activity. Within a week, my salary was raised to the same level as the new trainer’s.
If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s usually not what you are asking, but how you are asking. Asking for clarification opened the door to the conversation without making it a confrontational situation. I don’t know if it would have gone as well if I accused him of paying me less because of gender. Sometimes (many times) there is much more decision-making information we are unaware of. I really didn’t know the reason for the salary decision, so asking about it first was a better move.
Speak to the right people. Don’t waste time complaining to a co-worker who can’t resolve the issue. Speaking to the wrong people causes unnecessary negativity. If it is a real issue that needs to be addressed, speak to the person that can help resolve it.
And the biggest lesson…
Know your worth! If I knew my worth, I would have better negotiated when the job was offered. Today, there are many online resources that can help figure out what you are worth. Salaries may vary, based on location and industry, but with some research, all that information can be found as well.
Get paid for the market value of the job.
Photo credits: Pixabay/Kalhh