How to Get Paid More
I recently read an excerpt of Linda Tirado's Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America and it occurred to me that it's really difficult to get opportunities to grow your money when you have no money!
I think this is a current problem in America and it's a tough pill to swallow. People who live paycheck to paycheck almost never have an opportunity to get ahead. But is it their fault, or the "systems" fault?
It is really easy to say, "save this" or "buy on sale", but what happens if you can't? What if you don't have the luxury of spending the extra $15 dollars on higher quality?
How are you able to actually get ahead?
Find a Way to be Paid More
One of the best ways to do this is to straight up consider asking your employer for more money. To be clear, I'm not recommending you go in and demand money or a raise with an ultimatum, I'm just saying that you should consider how much value you add to your company and ask to be paid accordingly.
Simply sitting down with your employer and explaining your value to their company is a great way to start the conversation. Plus, it will definitely help ease them into understanding your financial needs better than if you were to spew off 10 reasons why you need a raise because everyone has problems in life and would like more money - so start with value instead.
Speaking of Value...
Most employers offer lower than they can actually pay because they want to keep as much money within the business as possible. From a business point of view, it completely makes sense and is understandable, but if you want to make more money, it will be hard for them to turn you away if you can demonstrate three to five ways you are invaluable to the company.
Are you the fastest and most efficient person in your position? This could mean that you bring value to the company by saving money and being highly efficient.
Are you good at spotting problems and coming up with viable solutions that benefit the company? Being a critical-thinker could be helping you add immense value to your company.
Do you embrace change and encourage your co-workers to get onboard, too? Having the ability to boost moral is hugely invaluable.
I don't think anyone has ever been fired for asking for a raise or promotion, but you should be prepared to defend yourself when asking.
Ask What You Could Do To Earn a Raise
Sometimes an immediate raise of promotion just isn't available. That's understandable, but don't give up! Ask them what you could do to earn a raise and when it may be a possibility in the future.
Create a clear list of goals that need to be met and find out if there any job openings in your company at a higher salary. In order to make more (and save more), you must be persistent!
Don't Cut Corners
One of the biggest lessons I took away from Linda's book, Hand to Mouth: Living Bootstrap in America, was to never cut corners.
One of the worst times in her life was when she was working two jobs, and she cut corners on maintenance and ended up having to get her car towed.
She owned up to it being her fault, but the car still ended up costing her money she didn't have.
The tow lot even charged her interest because she couldn't pay the immediate bill and she ended up losing her car.
It didn't stop there though. Because she lost her car, she lost her job. Not only was it a huge setback, but she also lost the opportunity to work towards a promotion she had been going for.
If you can't afford to cut corners or risk something as valuable as your car...DON'T RISK IT! Do what you have to do to make sure you can show up at your job and be reliable. Hindsight being 20/20, she notes that this is one of the few times you must go the long route and not cut corners.
In the end, your job is to make your boss's job easier.
Remember that every day, and remember that in order to get paid more you need to prove your value to the company and be brave.