The Most Common Traits of People Who are Vastly Underpaid

people who are vastly underpaid

People who are vastly underpaid probably know that they are being underpaid. They likely know that they are worth more, their time is worth more and their effort is worth more, but they do nothing to negotiate a higher salary more worthy of their time and efforts. It’s a very common occurrence, particularly when it applies to men and women in the United States. For some strange reason, those people who are vastly underpaid seem to fear asking for a higher salary, and eventually begin to convince themselves that they are not, in fact, worth more. To be fair, it’s not easy to ask for more money, and I’m sure that applies to the way most everyone feels. We were raised to believe that discussing finances and money is tawdry and we avoid conversations that discuss money as a result.

People who are vastly underpaid have a number of very similar personality traits and beliefs, and it’s interesting to see that they are so much alike yet so different. If you believe you are someone who is underpaid, perhaps now is a good time to focus on the issues at hand by figuring out what it is about your personality (and not just your cheap boss) that’s keeping you in the “people who are vastly underpaid,” category. It’s almost a New Year, which means that there might be a new you emerging in the coming days, so why not start with your salary negotiations?

Barbara Stanny, author of the book Secrets of Six Figure Women, has offered up a few tips and vital pieces of information in her new book. It’s her belief, after doing the research, that the people who are vastly underpaid share the same very common beliefs and characteristics, and it’s holding you back.

  • You undervalue your worth – One of the most common traits shared by both men and women who fall into the people who are vastly underpaid category is the tendency to undervalue your worth. It’s as if somewhere along the way you forget that you are actually worth more than you are being paid and you have more to offer to your boss, your job and your position within a company.
  • Your negotiating skills are not on points – For the most part, those people who are vastly underpaid tend to forget that they can negotiate their salaries, and they should do so. Those who fall into this category tend to fear the art of negotiation, they are not good at it, and they are not able to do it out of fear of what might happen once the moment is over.
  • You work for free – It’s a nice thing to work for free in some instances (we all love charitable givers), but your job is not one of those times. You do not work free for a boss doing things that everyone else is being paid for. If you take on another role in the company and the expectation and workload is significantly more than what you are used to yet you are not compensated, you’re working for free.
  • You tolerate low pay – The people who are vastly underpaid seem to have a tolerance for low pay. You feel as if you are worth more but you’re not going to make more, so you just ignore the fact that you are not making more. In fact, you probably don’t even try to come up with an excuse as to why you are not making more; you just accept it as fact and go to work day in and day out.
  • Wealth snobbery – One way that many people who are vastly underpaid tend to make excuses for their lack of earning power is to use reverse snobbery. You might sit back and see those who are being paid more living lives that are more exciting and more fun and think that being wealthy is something that you wouldn’t want to experience since it comes at a high price that you are not willing to pay.
  • Poverty is acceptable – Finally, the last belief that many people who are vastly underpaid share is that being someone without much money is a nobility of sorts. Perhaps you believe that driving a cheaper car makes you wiser than coworkers with luxury vehicles. Perhaps you justify raising your three kids in a two bedroom house as teaching them to be modest and thankful for what they have rather than dreaming of a larger home with bedrooms for everyone and a large yard as that might make you become a person you are not (there’s that wealth snobbery).

Do you recognize any of the common traits people who are vastly underpaid typically share? Do you feel as if one or more of them apply to you and your life? It does happen that many people feel at least one or two of these at any given point in their career, and it’s not uncommon. It’s not good; but it’s also not uncommon. You are not alone in your fear of salary negotiations and making more money. If you feel as if you are a person with these particular issues, most notably by being one of the people who are vastly underpaid by their company, now is the time to start asking for a raise; and we have a few pieces of advice that might make that a bit easier for you.

Overcoming your belief in these common traits of people who are vastly underpaid is not always an easy task. It’s actually quite intimidating to consider that you might be the reason you are being held back in the workforce, and that’s why we want you to get over these inaccurate beliefs.

To begin with, you need to know your worth and start valuing it yourself. Make a list of all the things that you do at work, all the qualities that you have, all the pluses that would go into the ‘good job’ category and write them down. Look at them. Take your yearly evaluations and check them out to see what others had to say about you and where you stand with the company, and stop undervaluing your work simply because you are not being paid well for it.

Next, stop working for free. If you are given the job of a second person when that person leaves the company, ask to be compensated for it. This happened to my husband many years ago, and he was sufficiently compensated for his new job doing two jobs. He was no longer doing only the job he had, but the job of a second person; he actually had two job titles at that point, and he asked for a raise to accommodate the fact that he was now working twice as hard and twice as much to make up for all the additional work on his plate, and he was given the raise he asked for as a result.

Get Over Yourself

One of the most important things we can tell any of the people who are vastly underpaid is this: Get over yourself. You are the biggest obstacle in your own way right now. You are worth more, so get more. Get over yourself. Stop talking yourself into accepting low pay by making excuses for it. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy unless you decide to also change your own personality when you become wealthier. There is also nothing wrong with not wanting to live in poverty. There is nothing wrong with working hard to have nice things, and to go on nice vacations and to experience a nice life. Get over yourself. You are not a bad person because a pay raise puts you in a new tax bracket. Get over it. The only change you will see in your life when you make more money is the change you allow to occur. You can be the exact same person you are right now if you make another couple grand a year, just with more money in the bank.

Be Brave

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Just take a page out of the handbook of those who do make more than you, and don’t be afraid. Here’s the deal; what are you afraid of? The worst your boss can say to you is no. “No, you cannot have that raise. No, we cannot afford to provide you with more money for your job at this time,” and the best case is that you get what you asked for and are now being paid more of what you are worth. Usually, however, you will fall somewhere in the middle of that with a raise that might not be what you wanted, but is still more than what you were making.

So, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of hearing no for an answer? Or are you afraid your boss might look at you and tell you that you are one of the people who are vastly underpaid because you are lousy at your job and not worth more to the company? He’s not going to fire you for asking for more money, and he’s not going to keep you in your position if you’re not good at it. Additionally, he’s also not going to think less of you for asking for more money; chances are, he’s been in your shoes and he knows it’s not easy.

Know Your Stuff

There is no big secret here; you cannot walk into your boss’ office and expect to negotiate a higher salary if you do not have the facts straight. You have to know what you are talking about. This means being able to list facts about your job, facts about your performance and compelling reasons as to why you feel as if you deserve to make more money than you are currently making. If you are truly someone who is vastly underpaid, you probably have very little issue proving that using basic statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their job information.

Additionally, when you walk into an office confident in your beliefs and your understanding that you are worth more than you are being paid, you stand a much higher chance of successfully negotiating a higher salary than those who are timid, nervous and willing to cave at the first sign than the answer might be no.

Consider Your Options

If you really are one of the people who are vastly underpaid and you know it but asking for a raise isn’t helping you at all, you have to consider your options. You always have options. There might be other companies out there willing to pay you more for the job that you do. If you are really underpaid or unhappy where you are, now is as good a time as any to get out and start looking for a new job with a new company. When it comes time to let your boss know you are considering another job with another company, you can tell him or her that you’ve been offered more money, more benefits or whatever, and that you’re going to take the job unless he or she can make you an offer that inspires you to stay where you are. A good approach to this one is to tell your boss that while you love the company and would love to stay where you are, you have to think about the rising cost of living, the cost of raising your kids, the cost of health insurance and whatnot.

You might be surprised just how much you can accomplish as far as your salary is concerned when you take the time to negotiate and put yourself out there. If you are one of the many people who are vastly underpaid, as so many are, now is the time to recognize your personal character flaws and kick them to the curb so that you can improve your life and prepare for a great New Year.

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