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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Should you be getting paid more for what you do?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38980points) March 12th, 2010

This question isn’t about money – this question is about how much you value your skill set and how well you think you do your job – I don’t need to know your salary or any such information, just want to know if your particular salary and benefits package and the relationship with your direct supervisor (unless you don’t have one) make it worth the stresses, the burn-outs, the negatives of your job.

When I began my job, I felt that my salary was really good given that I’ve never held a full time job before and that I negotiated for a bigger salary (they wanted to pay me 5k less). Now, I’ve been doing it for about 7 months and all the back and forth, the political bs, the simple injustices of the health care system faced by cancer patients that I work with, etc. are really getting to me and for the first time, I am thinking ’seriously, I should be getting paid more for this given certain aspects of the job’. I am grant-funded and I know they can pay me more money (possibly) and I wonder if, when a year rolls around, I should ask for more money. But this isn’t about money – this is about thinking you deserve more for the kind of work you do. Do you ever feel this way?

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22 Answers

Frankie's avatar

With the job I have now, no. I think my compensation is adequate. Ask me again in 3–4 years when I’m a teacher—I’m sure my answer will be quite different.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Frankie Oh, absolutely – I think teachers (esp. if they have a master’s) are seriously underpaid.

davidbetterman's avatar

Nah. I am getting far more than I am worth.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@davidbetterman Why aren’t you working harder?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I work for myself and should pay myself more.I am the worst boss ever. ;)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I get paid way more than I should… for Fluthering.

Nullo's avatar

I feel that compensation should have more to do with a person’s contributions rather than strictly his skill set.
My skill set – semi-skilled labor, some computer skillz, and office work (backed by a BA in Communications with a minor in Marketing) – says that I should be earning 30–40k per year in MO. But my actual job only employs my semi-skilled labor skills (thanks, crappy economy!), and I am compensated accordingly.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Okay, so given your contributions, are you paid fairly?

Jeruba's avatar

At my last job I was overpaid. Not among my peers—I was probably undervalued relative to my peers because editors are not considered to be worth as much as writers. But I think we were generally all overpaid. Salaries in high tech tend to be inflated. Everyone expects that, and it’s competitive—I just think it is disproportionate compared with the rest of the world.

However, I did not say that aloud while I was still working there.

Now I am freelancing part time for a pittance. But having real work that is worth spending my precious time on is part of the compensation. High tech doesn’t give you that, and that’s part of the reason that it’s the way it is.

thriftymaid's avatar

Since I don’t usually charge family and friends, and they are keeping me busy, I guess the answer is yes.

Haleth's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It sounds like no matter how much more they pay you, you won’t really be happy with this job. When you first started the pay was more than you expected, so the money is the one area of this job that isn’t a problem for you. If you add more money to the equation, it won’t make any of the other things like the politics or the injustices any better; you’ll just be better compensated for dealing with it. Getting a raise is a lot more feasible than fixing dysfunctional office politics or taking on the whole health care system, which is probably why you’re asking about it.

If you can, I would seek to take on more responsibility and ask for a raise. If you have more authority at work, maybe you’ll be better able to fix the office politics and the treatment of the patients.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I feel that my pay is fair.

cookieman's avatar

I currently have a full-time job, a part-time job and four freelance clients.

My FT job underpays me by about half, but the hours are very flexible, they’re family-friendly, and I’d probably have to club my boss in the head to lose my job. It’s very stable and I report directly to the owner.

The PT job pays me an obscene amount of money and they practically worship the ground I walk on. It’s actually embarrassing – but the work is very unstable and the folks that run it are very disorganized and flaky.

I’m very happy with what I get paid for freelance work (since I set my own rates), but it’s freelance – so while I’m busy now, that phone could stop ringing any day now.

susanc's avatar

You couldn’t pay me to do the work I’m doing for nothing.

Jeruba's avatar

@susanc, I understand perfectly. I have done volunteer jobs, and one in particular, into which I threw huge amounts of energy, effort, and skill for many long hours over several years. Any sum of money they could have offered me would have been an insult. I could only do a job like that for love and not money.

wildflower's avatar

I have days when I think I deserve more….I know I put in more hours and produce more results in a shorter time than several who get paid same or more than me…...but then again, as long as I get paid what I need, that’s not my motivator. If I have the opportunity to develop and achieve more, that makes me put in the extra effort – and thankfully I do feel my efforts are recognised.
So, yea, would be nice to get paid more for doing more, but as long as I’m able to do something that actually interests me while getting paid enough to live comfortably, it’s all good :)

iphigeneia's avatar

I’m 17, so my hourly wage is several dollars less than an adult’s, because their minimum award doesn’t apply to me. Having had this job for over a year now, which is much longer than most of the other employees, I have a strong set of skills and knowledge related to the work I do, and I am always taking on more responsibilities. It’s not a bad job: the boss gives us cake on our birthdays, and we hardly ever get annoying customers, but when comparing the work I do to what my older friends do, I know I deserve more. Until I turn 18 I’m basically cheap labour.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Haleth I have enough authority – it’s the others who have a problem with it.

J0E's avatar

Considering that my job is sitting on my ass for 4 hours while browsing the web…yes, absolutely.

stevenb's avatar

I think a lot of skilled workers get paid too little. I notice this a lot. You get an electrician or a plumber to work on a house, and they charge $75 to $100 per hour, if you get a deal.
They can do most of their work with $40 in tools or less, and it’s not super detailed or even hard. Next you get a trim carpenter in there. People will balk at paying them $40 per hour, the work is intensely intricate, very hard to do, takes years of skill building, and $3000 worth of tools to do, if not more.

I’ve plumbed houses myself, wired houses myself, an every other trade in a house. The framing and trim carpentry are the hardest, take the most tools, and the most skill to do well, and pay less than almost any other work on the home. I know drywall guys that charge $100 per hour! Blows my mind.

bummer's avatar

No. I’m paid on negotiated commissions. If I need more more money, I seek out more expensive projects. Sometimes I work for almost nothing because I like to see people reach their goals. Money can’t buy that feeling.

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