Who wouldn’t like more money at the end of the month? for some their own self worth is based on what they earn, for some it is a means to buy whatever they desire and for some it is purely a way of being able to provide their families with a lifestyle that they never experienced when growing up themselves.
Below I’ve compiled a list of reasons, based on my own experience, why you might not be being paid what you are worth, or at the very least what you think you are worth.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
#1 You haven’t asked for a pay rise
It’s easy to think that your hard work should be noticed and consequently have that reflected in your pay, unfortunately in my own experience it doesn’t work like that.
If you don’t ask you don’t get, and sometimes even if you do ask you still might not get. At least your employer would have hopefully given you something constructive to take away so next time you ask there is less of a possibility of them being able to say no.
If you are stuck in a position where your requests have constantly been turned down, you have to think whether this is the right employer for you and your long term goals.
Remember that though you might not get the answer you want on your first attempt, you shouldn’t cut your nose off to spite your face, continue to work hard, there might be other opportunities just around the corner in which you might need the support of your boss.
#2 Your skills aren’t up to date
There are people out there that on paper are better qualified than you to do a job that you could no doubt do given the opportunity.
Unfortunately, some employers overlook what experience you have gained and brought to the business in favour of employing someone that has the necessary paper based qualification, though no practical experience.
As frustrating as this is, there is no excuse for not updating your skills and/or qualifications to make yourself stand out. The internet has made learning accessible and whilst I know that attaining some qualifications can be expensive, you have to remember that this is an investment in you.
You won’t believe the amount of times that I have heard someone say that they can’t afford to pay for a course to gain a qualification, but are then happy to spend a large chuck of change on a piece of clothing or technology that either won’t be worn “next season” or will be replaced with minor updates the year after.
#3 You aren’t valued by your employer
In my post, When did employee become a dirty word, I posed the question whether there is anything wrong with being an employee.
Freelance is on the increase and more and more people are seeing the benefits this way of working brings.
It’s a sometimes sad reality that as an employee you aren’t always going to be valued by your employer. You are purely a disposable asset after all.
This is made worst by the fact that in some businesses there is a Negligible’ link between executive pay and firm’s performance.
If you feel that you aren’t valued, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. This is easier said than done I know, but there is nothing worse than feeling that your efforts being overlooked.
#4 You’ve become complacent
You know your job and you enjoy the perks that your job might offer.
Knowing that you have gained knowledge and experience that you think is invaluable is all very well, but being in the same job for a considerable amount of time without any movement might be perceived as stagnation and who would want to hire or give more money to someone that doesn’t have any drive or ambition to climb up the ladder, better themselves and the business.
Even putting yourself on courses surely has to help in showing your intent, maybe not with your current employer but definitely one that is looking for someone with drive.
#5 You don’t know how to blow your own trumpet
As unfair as it seems sometimes those that shout the loudest about achievements, whether they are theirs or not often get ahead.
Cast aside your sensibilities and shout about your achievement from the rooftops.
We have a tendency to overlook what we have achieved because we consider it to be just apart of our job, but if you see yourself like this then when are you ever going to be able to show your worth as an employee and get the pay rise that you believe you deserve.
There is obviously a line between cockiness and being able to convey your successes in a way that isn’t off putting.
Life is to short and we spend too much time of it at work to be sitting on the sidelines while others reap the rewards because of we don’t know how to sell ourselves.
#6 You don’t truly know what do to with your life
When we’re young and asked what we want to be we have no limitations.
You ask a child what they want to be and more than likely they’ll tell you that they want to play their favourite sport professionally and be a vet or doctor or nurse or anything else part time. It is only when we get older we limit ourselves to what we might truly become.
We grow up being told that if you work hard and go to university you will know exactly what you want to do with your life, the thing is life is never that straight forward. I’m sure we all know someone that took that path and are now doing something completely unrelated to their degree.
The thing is, for some, no matter what their age, they are still in doubt as to what they truly want to do.
#7 The Isms
As far as society has come, there are some businesses out there that still subscribe to some if not all of the isms, whether that be sexism, ageism, racism or any other ism you can think of and as a result your potential for a being paid what you’re worth somewhat decreases if you fall into any of the discriminated against categories.
#8 The economy
Whether you’re in the private or public sector, you’re not immune to this excuse.
Business would sometimes would have you believe that they aren’t able to offer pay increases because of the state that the economy and uncertainty.
Whilst I have no reason to doubt this is true for some, you have to ask if this is true in all instances. Red tape and bureaucracy appears to have had a huge impact on SMEs whilst the big boys are able to benefit from loopholes that mean they pay little tax whatsoever or aren’t subject to the same bureaucracy.
As I said at point #3 some CEO’s in these bigger companies are still receiving generous pay not linked to performance.
The UK public sector, our doctors, nurses, firefighters to name a few have seen their pay frozen since 2011-12 because of austerity and being “all in it together”. Though as a result of the general election not going her own way Theresa May was able to grow a magic money tree to enable her to hand over £1 billion to the DUPs 10 MPs for their backing on votes in the House of Commons.
#9 You don’t deserve one
Whether you want to admit it or not, we sometimes want immediate gratification. Whether it be fast food, early adoption of technology or throwaway fashions. This has also manifested itself in the workplace
There are some that will go into the workplace with the expectation that they will quickly climb the corporate ladder and benefit from the financial rewards in doing so without even proving themselves to their employer. Whilst I don’t see anything wrong with ambition I think that it has to be interlaced with reality.
If the shoe was on the other foot and you were your boss would you honestly be able to convince yourself that you have done enough to truly be paid what you think you deserve. Have you constantly exceeded targets, brought in new profitable business, saved the business money or been self motivated enough to sign up to courses in your own time to ensure that you standout in the crowd.
#10 You’re too busy making excuses
While it’s easy to blame someone else for you not being paid what you are worth having a million and one excuses at your disposal, some of which might be included above, will only hold you back.
Take a long hard look at yourself and maybe, just maybe one day you will be paid what you think you’re worth.