How to Get Paid What You're Worth

Talking about money isn’t easy. And it’s certainly not easy to ask for money.

But when you are negotiating a pay raise, it’s important to remember you are not asking for a favor. You are providing something, and you should be compensated fairly. You provide a valuable service to your employer. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting paid what you are worth.

Don’t Underplay Your Accomplishments

Some people have no trouble trumpeting their successes. But for others it can be hard to brag.

When you are negotiating a pay raise, this is not the time to be humble. It’s important to communicate to your boss what you have accomplished since joining the company. Even outside of work events that make you more valuable -- networking events or conferences you attended, presentations or leadership roles you have in other organizations and classes or certifications you are pursuing. Sometimes getting a degree (or another one) can be a good way to demonstrate your increased value -- before you take on student loans, decide if it is financially a good time for you to go back to school. These all add to what you are worth to your current company, so make sure those setting your salary know about them.

Don’t Exaggerate Your Accomplishments

Just be careful not to embellish what you’ve accomplished or your role in big successes.

It’s a good idea to assume that your boss will check with others to make sure you have done what you say you have done. If you were one of a team who completed a project, talk about that project and then the specific role you played.

Be Upfront

If you are looking for a raise, ask for one.

Even if you don’t get a yes, you can still obtain valuable information that can help you eventually reach your goal. It’s a good idea to ask your boss what you can work on in the future to help out the company and get you to the salary you desire.

Try Again in the Future

Don’t let one unsuccessful attempt to get a pay raise stop you from asking again in the future. Try setting a specific time with your boss when you can re-evaluate what you have contributed and discuss your compensation again. This doesn’t mean you should continue to ask for a raise every week, but set a reasonable time (maybe six months or a year) for you to demonstrate your worth … and get rewarded for it.

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