The 2008 financial crash changed the face of the job market as we knew it. Careers became uncertain, and fear pushed people into lower pay and desperate measures. Now, more than ten years later, we’re still paying for what happened. Most of us are certainly hard-pressed to find financially stable careers which were given for generations before us.
The trouble is that, as soon as you introduce insecurity into jobs, everything becomes uncertain. Employers can offer lower pay because people are desperate for any position they can get. This has led to people finding themselves in imperfect positions and struggling to pay bills.
In fact, upwards of 22 million people in America now feel that they don’t get paid enough. And, whether you took this job in the aftermath of the crash or the years since, there’s every chance that you feel the same.
It’s sad but true to say that it’s now rare to find anyone who’s paid for the quality of their work. The people who work hardest in this world are now paid nowhere near the amount their efforts should warrant. That’s led to a crisis, especially in the healthcare industry where a significant shortage is sweeping the country. If we keep on like this, people simply won’t be able to pay their bills anymore.
If that’s the reality you’re facing, it’s crucial you realize that this isn’t something you should accept. Everyone deserves to feel that their pay is reflective of their efforts. If you don’t feel that way right now, you may find that the following steps can help you to improve things.
Speak to your employer
It seems obvious, but it’s astounding how many of us are afraid to ask our employers about getting more money. The majority of staff members wouldn’t even dream of doing such a thing. But, remember; a manager can’t sack you for asking. They can’t even discriminate against you as a result. As such, what have you got to lose? Of course, you can’t rush into a meeting like this all guns blazing. No manager in their right mind would give you a raise then.
But, by doing your research into what others in your position are earning, you can place your argument on solid footing. It’s also worth writing up a list of everything you do for the company, and why you’re an asset worth paying for. Bear in mind, too, that you should put any request for a pay rise in writing.
Then, ask your manager to sign it if they agree to anything during this discussion. More often than not, you may find that you don’t even need to go for the hard sell. Most times, a manager is aware of the worth of their assets. But, hey; they aren’t exactly going to fork out more if they can get away with it. So, make sure that they can’t!
Gain valuable qualifications
If you don’t feel that you can sell yourself yet, or your management refused your plight, qualifications could be your next port of call. Obviously, you need something which allows you to keep working. But, by seeking online qualifications, you could try again down the line with an altogether more convincing argument.
Even accepting on-the-job training, or embarking on evening courses could help here. Remember that qualifications increase your value. Fact. That’s especially the case if you pay for and pursue them on your own. Let’s go back to our example of nursing, for instance.
A nurse with a DNP behind them like those offered by Regis College can garner a much higher pay rate than, say, a nurse at a basic level. This alone could be the thing which makes healthcare a more viable option. Any manager would be mad to refuse at least some monetary acknowledgment here.
To give them an extra push, remind them of how much it would cost to hire and train someone else to the same standard. You should find that they’re not so hesitant to sign that pay rise then.
Seek competitive pay
While rare, some managers just won’t take any of this pay bait. Sometimes, they don’t value their employees enough. At other times, they’re unable to raise pay themselves because they answer to head office. Either way, gaining a continual no on pay should never stop you from seeking your worth.
Instead, it’s time to stay seeking competitive salary elsewhere. With those qualifications and experiences, you should find that there are positions available which offer much higher levels of pay. You could either apply for this straight off and get higher pay packets that way.
Or, you could take those figures back to your boss and make an ultimatum. Even if head office pulls the strings, the threat of your leaving could push them into fighting your corner up top. And, if not…well, at least you will have found an alternative route to get the pay that you deserve.
Take on extra work
In some circumstances, there are no alternative jobs on which to gain that leverage. Even then, though, all hope is not lost. As a last resort, you may find it worthwhile to take on extra work. This may seem a little against the point but bear with us.
For one, taking on extra hours can supplement your pay packets in the now. Of course, you will need to work more for the privilege, so this isn’t a long-term solution to the issue of worth. However, working those extra hours is a fantastic way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
It’s your chance to shine, as it were. If nothing else, going above and beyond could, at last, see your pay creeping up to a more reasonable amount. At least, that’s the hope.
In an ideal world, worth would reflect work at all times. Sadly, the current market doesn’t indicate that in any way. But, with a little effort, you could ensure your worth gets the recognition it deserves.
How much is your time worth?