Are you receiving compensation that fully reflects your skills, education, experience and ability? If your earnings and your worth aren’t matching up, there are avenues for addressing the situation without damaging your career. Here’s how to ensure you get the raise you deserve.
Crunching the Numbers
Although the Equal Pay Act was passed more than a half-century ago, women are still struggling to earn as much as men in the workplace. According to Glassdoor research, a U.S. woman is paid an average of 75.9 cents for every dollar a man receives. On top of potentially starting at a lower pay rate, taking time off to start a family, for a career sabbatical, to tend to an aging loved one or for other concerns is a more substantial setback to women than men, with the hiccup resulting in reduced wages for women and a lengthier career gap.
Moving Up or Moving On?
Sometimes, improving your situation hinges on changing employers. Whether you maxed out your growth in the current company, stumble onto a better opportunity or are simply ready for a change of scenery, moving on is sometimes the best course of action. In that case, you should review your career-oriented paperwork, especially your cover letter. Give it a refresher, bearing in mind it’s the ideal avenue for drawing attention to your accomplishments and abilities. You can use a cover letter template to create a stellar document. Think of it as a chance to tell potential employers all the things you wish they knew so you can land your dream job.
Positive Image, Positive Impact
If your intention is to remain with your current employer, seek opportunities to impress people of influence. For instance, you can go out of your way to master more bells and whistles of the software your company uses. Another idea is to learn to use a free, online logo-making tool and use it to design a top-notch logo. As Entrepreneur explains, oftentimes companies spend big bucks on a well-designed logo, but by designing it yourself, you can help your company be a standout and boost your career at the same time. Along those same lines, look for ways to up the company’s social media engagement. Raising company image is key to staying strong, and your superiors are sure to be impressed. It’s a great way to put yourself and your employer in the limelight.
Enhance Your Education
When it comes to catching the eye of the powers that be, going above and beyond your employer’s expectations can make a big impact. With that in mind, adding to your education is sometimes just the shot in the arm your career needs. You might elect to take distance learning classes if you never completed your degree, or are ready to add a new level to your education. Another idea is to add a fresh certification to show you’re serious about climbing the ladder, or learn a more advanced skill that benefits your company directly.
Power of Persuasion
Perhaps you reached the conclusion that you’re underpaid in your work and are considering discussing the situation with the appropriate party. Whether you’re in the interview process or revisiting terms with your current employer, Forbes points out that negotiating can be a challenge for women. Preparing can bolster your confidence as well as provide you with more bargaining power. Review your skillset, education and abilities, and be ready to talk not only about what you’re doing and your current pay rate, but also other responsibilities you are ready to embrace. Maybe there are duties someone less qualified could take over so you can reach your full potential to do more advanced work. Think outside the box, and be ready to point out where you are underutilized as well as underpaid or underrated.
Knowing your income doesn’t reflect your value is a tough challenge, but with a handful of smart strategies, you can get the raise you deserve. Evaluate whether it’s time for a change, and if so, make it happen. Draw attention to your assets in a sharp manner and the right doors will open.