Are You Being Paid What You Are Worth?

John Krautzel
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Do you ever wonder if you could be making more money than you actually are? Many American workers collect a paycheck that's less than what it could or should be, but you don't have to be one of them. Find out whether your salary is sufficient and how to get paid what you're worth.

Discovering the Reasons

The job market is on the upswing, unemployment rates are decreasing and workers with special skill sets are worth more. In many industries, there is a greater demand for skilled workers than there are workers themselves. So why doesn't your salary reflect this? Chances are, it's because you're not using the supply and demand to your benefit. According to Glassdoor, approximately 60 percent of employees in the United States accepted the base salary offered when they took a job.

Determining Your Worth

Before you can start negotiating your salary, you have to determine your worth. Glassdoor offers an easy-to-use Know Your Worth tool that helps you calculate your market value as an employee. Simply enter your title, company name, location and experience, and this free personalized salary calculator gives you an estimate of what you should collect annually. Further, this innovative tool compares your salary to the national average, shows the salaries for related positions and provides data charts to make the information easier to digest.

Handling the New-Hire Negotiation

As a job seeker, you have an advantage when it comes to salary negotiations. Arm yourself with the knowledge of your personal Glassdoor market value while you're on the job search. When a potential employer offers you a position, fight the temptation to accept it immediately. Instead, determine how close the offered salary comes to your market value. If, after considering additional perks, such as vacation time, stock options, flexible schedules and bonuses, there's a significant difference, come back with a counteroffer. Ask for the highest salary in your acceptable pay range. While you're not likely to end up there, you have a better chance of falling somewhere within that range. Stay confident throughout the negotiations, and provide proof of your worth to back up your request.

Asking for a Raise

If you're a current employee and you're unhappy with your salary, prepare yourself to tackle the uncomfortable conversation. Schedule time to sit with your boss, and provide the market research to show what competitors are paying similar positions. Provide examples of your work ethic, your loyalty to the organization, your exceptional customer service skills or your job experience to demonstrate to the employer why you deserve the pay increase.

As a loyal and hardworking employee, you deserve to be paid what you're worth. If you determine that your salary isn't up to par, take action to get the compensation that matches your value.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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