Did you know, that women, on average, earn less than men in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio?
So what should you do? Build your transferrable toolkit that is in demand by employers.
Constantly add new skills, technology, software and supervisory experience. Consciously create a career path with target dates at your current employer. Do not sit in the same role for more than a couple of years. Remember, skill building and technology is rewarded, not loyalty with stale skills. People who change jobs every 2-3 years make 50% more than their more stable counterparts. They are more aggressively building their transferrable toolkit.
Here are some of our best foundational tips for moving forward with a salary increase strategy:
Never use the term work/life balance
It’s dead. In a global economy that has pitted 150M working Americans against 2B new entrants to the world economy, work life balance is a vestige of the last time any of us received raises – 1999. I don’t know about you but I haven’t gotten an actual raise without taking on essentially another whole job in addition to my current job in 17 years.
Stop trying to find your bliss
Jobs aren’t bliss. It’s an economic exchange of time and energy and results for money and just as important, healthcare and paid time off. It’s that simple. If you want to have your work give you joy, start your own company on the side. In a world with skyrocketing housing and healthcare costs, self employment and entrepreneurship are very risky and legitimately too scary for the average person.
Don’t scare your boss
If you are doing a good job, your manager doesn’t want you to move. They might even block your attempts at moving up or getting promoted. It means more work for them. You may need to groom your replacement for a year to get them comfortable with you getting a promotion and raise. You could also add responsibilities and ask for a significant increase in compensation to cover this change, which will still be far cheaper than the organization hiring a new person.
Have a career plan
In the last several years married women with kids have the longest tenure at jobs. They have the most to lose and are motivated by their families. Not a bad thing until after 15 years they are 40k below market on compensation and over 45. Try making up that gap in the job market with rampant age discrimination.
Job Hopping and Tenure: Men vs. Women
Just staying in a job because it’s convenient and your manager isn’t a monster, is not a plan. I constantly hear women saying, “It could be much worse.” That’s not a strategy. That’s an excuse. If you are in the job market, then really be in the market. Meaning stay on top of what the market rate is for your job. Just go to www.glassdoor.com to check out salaries at competitors. Or www.salary.com. Stay informed. It’s not your company’s job to manage your career. It’s yours.
Let me say that again. It’s your job to build your skills and toolkit. It’s your responsibility to get retrained constantly. You need to know your worth. And work harder and smarter.
Mika Brzesinski’s story is a wonderful example of a woman who discovered her co-worker getting paid substantially more than her (14 times more!) and took action. From HuffingtonPost:
“I lay out the numbers,” she said. ‘I lay out the disparities across the board. But the book is about the things we can control. We’ve got to stop apologizing. We’ve got to stop scrambling and feeling so grateful to be there.
It’s on you.