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Do You Know What You're Worth

How to ensure you are being properly compensated for your skills.

· Coaching,Career,Salary

With disparities in pay among minorities and women, it’s more important than ever to be sure you’re paid what you’re worth in your career field. Although it would be nice for employers to play fair in determining compensation, unfortunately that’s not always the case.

It’s scary to take the initiative and ask for the pay you’re worth, but if you have the education and/or work experience, you deserve it. If you don’t have a clue what the right amount of money is, here are some ways to find (and ask for) the magic number.

Talk to Colleagues

Money is a taboo subject for many, so it’s probably a bad idea to demand to see a copy of your co-worker’s latest paystub for comparison. A better option is to casually bring it up in conversation.

You may want to mention the range of your own salary, or the estimated salary for your job field in general. If you still can’t get solid answers, reach out to acquaintances in the same industry or members of a professional organization for more insight.

Professional services like EmpowerU Career Coaching can also provide guidance on many aspects of your career including effective resume writing, professional networking and how to figure out your income requirements. Through career mentorship, the team will discuss your work experience and goals to determine what you’re worth, and how to ask for it. Visit the website or visit her Instagram Page for more information!

Do Your Research

Today’s technology makes it easy to find salary estimates. Aside from Google, tools via Glassdoor and Payscale allow you to plug in job titles and location to see how salaries match up.

Remember, cost of living plays a big part in salaries, so the pay for a project manager in New York versus the same job title in Indiana will vary greatly. Still, these are good tools to get a rough estimate of the pay to look for when scouting job prospects.

Track Your Progress

Even with salary calculators and discussion within professional networks, the choice is ultimately up to the employer to pay what they think you’re worth. In this instance, it’s more about your personal performance and track record than cold hard statistics.

To advocate for higher pay, keep a notebook or Excel spreadsheet listing major accomplishments you’ve achieved in your work history. Every time you save or make money for your company or receive praise from high-ranking executives, add that to the list.

When the time comes for annual performance reviews, you’ll have evidence on hand to prove why you deserve to be in the top-tier salary range. As always, be confident and professional, and you’ll be adding dollar signs to your paycheck sooner than you think.

Written by K. Wright, who is a personal finance and lifestyle blogger. She writes about topics including personal development, education, and building generational wealth. See more of her writing on her website or follow her on Instagram.

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