We live in a world where money matters but shouldn’t. In other words, we need money to survive, but we somehow are not supposed to ask for it or talk about it. The belief is that your career can be either about passion or about money, but not both. Guess what, both passion and money are part of the Six Pillars to a Thriving Career. Let’s look at how they are related.
Money is energy.
If you look at money as a compensation or the reward for the hard work you put out there, it’s hard to think of money as evil. We all want reward. It feels good to receive it and it allows us the opportunity to give it to someone else for the goods and services they provide. In other words, it creates a positive flow of energy.
On the flipside, lack of money will often make you feel drained and overspent. Every time you give your best, your energy needs to be replenished so you can continue giving your best. Being paid what you’re worth keeps your enthusiasm and energy up. You get energized, excited and motivated to do your best. And it makes you feel good to see the results and receive your well earned reward.
Underearning breeds resentment.
You may feel fine in the beginning about earning less when you are starting out and looking to gain knowledge and experience. Money may not even be a priority during that stage. In fact, you may not even know that you are getting underpaid. However, after a period of time, low pay will affect your attitude and your performance.
If you are a strong believer in work ethic, you may still perform your job duties diligently. However, when you find out that other people get paid more for same type of work you do, it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about your job. You may still work hard, but it’s hard to be happy. Companies who are known to pay their employees less are often also known for poor work environment.
When you accept lower pay, you are lowering your value.
Most employers expect their employees to put in hard work, regardless of how much they are being paid. You can’t really justify putting in less effort by the fact that you are underpaid. But unfortunately, it’s hard not to give less when you feel undervalued and frustrated with your employer.
The problem is, when you put in less work, you are also undervaluing yourself. You stop reaching out to your full potential and therefore stop growing. And this also affects the results. Your results and achievements become less impressive and so does your resume.
So when you know you are not getting paid as much as you think you deserve, you may ask, what’s the best thing to do? Continue putting in your best efforts and strive to achieve great results. And once the impressive results show up, it’s the best time to approach your boss about a raise. And if you don’t get the raise and your current salary makes you unhappy, it’s time to look for another job.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.