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Why Your Paycheck Is Low And How To Increase Your Salary

Updated on June 18, 2011

We all want more salary for the work that we do. If you think your salary is low and you would like to earn some more money then this article tells you how. You have to realize that your salary reflects the type of work that you do. If you do simple work like assembling and packaging in a factory then naturally your salary will reflect that.

Why do some jobs have a low salary while other jobs have a high salary? Can't you get some more money for the work that you already do? In this article I'll share some insights on why some work receives a low financial reward while other people seem to get rich without working that much harder. They simply do different type of work for which the company is willing to pay more money.

Money! | Source

Basics of money

Let's start with money: why do we get money for some of the things that we do? Well, if other people like what you do then you get money. If many people like what you do, you get even more money.

If you do difficult or responsible work then you naturally get paid more. If you do a very basic and repetitive job then your pay is low. The only reason you are doing it is because machines are not yet smart enough to do it.

Are you doing responsible and valuable work? Are you the best person to do the job or are there many people out there who could do the work just as well? If you can easily be replaced then many people have the skills that the job requires. This means there is no need for the company to pay you more. If you don't like your salary then they can simply find someone else who can do the same work for your current salary.

How valuable is the work that you do?

In essence your salary reflects the value that you provide to the company. What do we mean by that? In a job like fruit picking you will earn a little bit of money but it won't be much because your skills are not unique, you can easily be replaced and only your boss cares about your performance. If you are the CEO of a company then you will earn a lot of money because few people can do it and the future of the company depends on your work. Being a CEO takes a lot more responsibility than other jobs, that is for sure, and I'll talk a bit more about responsibility soon.

The idea that 'salary = value' also applies to money in general. If you write a book and the book is good then you can find a lot more people to sell the book to and you'll make more money. A famous sports player can make a lot of money from sponsorships and matches because he provides entertainment to millions of people. In short: the more people that you can make happy with what you do, the more money you will earn. There is more to it but that's the shorter version.

This also explains why working as an employee won't make you rich. If you work for one hour then you also get paid for one hour. You can work only so many hours per day so this approach won't make you rich. Even if you work very hard, you will only get an hourly pay. But if you do something that outlasts the time you spent on it, like creating a song, a photo or a book, then you can sell it many times after that. In other words, you get paid multiple times for the same amount of work. Entire books have been written about these ideas but I'll leave that for another article. If you wish to increase your salary then you should look for a job or position that provides a lot of valuable to others.

Solution: find a job or position in which you can provide more value to others.

How responsible is the work that you do?

When things go well then things are easy. When things go wrong then people look for the one responsible for the failure. If you cannot bear to be responsible for the results for a team, a project or a broad aspect of the company (e.g., products, marketing, strategy) then you also won't earn as much money. Companies are looking for people who can take responsibility and who won't shift away the blame: if you do the work well then you are also financially rewarded for the responsibilities that you were willing to take.

A team leader earns more money because his work requires more responsibilities than the work of one team member. If the team is not performing well then the team leader is held responsible for the results. The more responsibility you can take, the more money you can expect to earn.

You can easily check this by looking at the decisions that you need to make on a daily basis. How important are they and how far do their consequences reach? Do your decisions affect only your own work and perhaps a few colleagues? Or do they affect the future of the entire company? If you are trusted to take important decisions then your salary will be a lot higher than the salary of someone whose decisions cannot do much harm (or good for that matter).

Solution: find a job or position with more responsibilities than your current job.

Time for a raise?
Time for a raise? | Source

How to get a raise or promotion

What if you just want more money for the work that you already do? You could write a letter to your boss to see if you can increase your paycheck. If you think you are worth more then you should make that known. They may very well agree but it might also be that you failed to see why you didn't get a raise earlier.

Are you doing your current job well? Are you a good team player, if you work in a team? Can you increase the way you work to be more efficient and to get more done per day? If you cannot do your current position well then why do you expect to get more money or even to be promoted to a better paying position?

You don't need to switch jobs to earn more money. If you are happy with your current job and you think you can negotiate for a better salary then by all means do that. Make sure you clearly present your case: what talents do you bring to the company, what are you doing well in your current job and why do you think the financial reward should be higher than your current salary.

Always increase your ability to earn more money

Some final advice: make sure that you always learn new skills or knowledge which increase your chances of earning more money in the future. Read a book about your field or take courses in public speaking. You may not need these skills now but when you have them, you can start looking for jobs or positions that earn you more money. If you do nothing then you will fall behind compared to people who do something.

This article was written by Simeon Visser. I am earning money online by writing here at Would you like to earn money online as well? Read the success stories and sign up today to get started!


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