Are You Paid What You're Worth? Here's How to Figure Out What You Should Be Earning
If there's one truth that too many professionals forget while working their way up the ladder (and through glass ceilings) it's this: If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else will. While yes, this includes expressing your opinions and demonstrating your talents, it also means valuing yourself and knowing your worth. Since most of us spend nearly a third of our lives working and building a career, it's incredibly important that our experience and skills are recognized and valued appropriately, says Kate Pretkel, the head of global people programs and North America human resources for EPAM Systems. And to do this, you have to start by understanding your personal market value so you can negotiate and advocate for what you've earned.
From a practical standpoint, it's rather black-and-white: You should be paid fairly and adequately for the work that you do. On a personal and emotional level, knowing your compensation is justified and supported improves your sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and, ultimately, your workplace performance, according to career expert and co-founder of Motto, Ashleigh Hansberger.
"When you're underpaid, you can feel emotionally broke, and this seeps into other areas of your personal and professional life that also fall short, including how motivated you are at work," Hansberger says. "Too often [your] lack of confidence, knowledge gaps, and systems that are stacked against you can hold you back and keep you from growing."
Whether you're up for a raise or promotion, job hunting, or just generally curious (as you always should be), career experts are here to offer advice for determining your value, asking for what's fair, and trailblazing forward in every step of your career.