Do you have enough of an argument for better pay? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Do you have enough of an argument for better pay?

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Q: “I feel fairly certain that I’m not being paid what I am worth. When I was hired by this start-up company, the salary offer seemed quite low for someone with a Master’s degree. I only accepted because asking for money makes me very uncomfortable.

“Now I feel even more underpaid because I have been given so many responsibilities. I know that start-up employees are expected to perform a wide range of duties, and I’m certainly gaining valuable experience. Nevertheless, I can’t help resenting my minimal paycheck. How can I correct this?” Below Market

A: Fair or not, when it comes to pay, “squeaky wheels” usually get the bigger bucks. This may be particularly true in start-up companies, where compensation policies tend to be rather flexible. Although your anxiety about asking for money is not unusual, you will need to become more assertive if you hope to rectify this situation.

Before requesting a salary review, arm yourself with information verifying that your pay is indeed below the market level. For data specific to your industry and geographic area, consult your professional association or visit salary comparison websites.

Because confidence sells, you should also explain how your work is adding value for the company. If you get turned down, don’t slink away in embarrassment. Instead, politely ask when you might be considered for an increase, then renew your request at the suggested time. 

Are you uncomfortable discussing money with management? Here's how to go about it: How to Ask for a Raise.

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