But are you like me? Do you really hate it when people say stuff like: "If my boss wants me to do X, he darn well needs to pay me more than Y."
I'm fairly confident that at least 90% of the Working Masses have this whole concept absolutely, one-hundred-percent bassackwards. Here, for edification, is how it works in the Real World:
- Do something to earn more money.
- Keep doing that "something." Then add more "somethings."
- Get paid more money.
There. See? It's not the other way around.
So how could one of these oh-so-downtrodden working souls possibly earn more money? Well, there are lots of ways. The one I'm most fond of is:
Make yourself more freakin' valuable to your employer.
As stated above, that means you do the extra work before you get the extra money. Ideas include:
Read some books. Take some classes. Learn new things that will (or even might) be applicable to your job.
Learn things that will make you extremely handy to have around. For instance, if no one in your office knows Excel worth a flip, become the person who knows it inside and out.
Learn things that will make you an extremely difficult employee to lose. (That doesn't mean stalking your boss after-hours so you can see who he's sleeping with that isn't his wife. Although that might work, too.)
Instead of looking for someone on whom you can dumpoff that next boring project, step up and handle it yourself. Better than anyone else could have.
Show up for work early. Leave late. Be noticed doing it.
If your employer suggests that you ought to look into learning "some topic" because it will make your job easier and make you more valuable, then DO IT. DO IT YESTERDAY. (I was in this boat once. My manager was dead-on in his assertion, and my bank accounts are sure glad I listened.)
Stop watching five hours of pointless primetime TV every night. Do something constructive with your time. (See also: read books and take classes.)
Be The Man or The Woman That Everyone Counts On. When extra is asked of you, do it. (Within reason, of course.) Do it energetically. Do it with authority.
Above all, be responsible for your own success. If you're not willing to put forth the extra effort first, why on earth would anyone else be?
But I've Already Done All That!
No, you haven't. If you had, you would already be earning the "more money" you want. (Notice I didn't say "making" more money. Only the Treasury gets to "make" money ... without going to jail, at least.)
No, Really! I've Done All These Things, and Still I'm Getting Dumped On!
Then sit down with your boss and make sure she understands all the "extra" work you've done to make yourself more valuable to her company. Bring reports if you have to, or photographs. Or letters from impressed customers. But make your contributions tangible. Give concrete, specific examples.
If you can't do this, then you still haven't done enough to earn the extra money.
If, at the end, she agrees that you've done the necessary leg- and headwork to earn more money, but then tells you that she can't (or won't) pony up for a commensurate rise in compensation — for whatever reason — then you know the drill:
Be courteous about it, but begin looking for an employer who will pay you what you've earned.