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Secrets and Myths About Salary Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know

This article was written by in Career and Work, Salaries. 7 comments.


Jeanne Sahadi over at CNN Money is spilling the beans again, and this time it’s about salary. Your managers know these precious pieces of info, but you might not. Armed with this knowledge, you could be better poised to tip the scale in your favor next time you negotiate. Here’s the summary.

1. Secret: Your pay doesn’t necessarily reflect performance and seniority. If new hires are getting paid as much as you with your extensive experience, it might be time to mention this and push for a realignment.

2. Secret: There’s more raise where that came from. Your managers will tell you there’s only so much cash available, but they’re usually lying. There is a reserve for those who the company does not want to lose. If you’re one of those people, use it to your advantage.

3. Secret: When you’re told they can’t pay you more now, budget may not be the issue. Your boss may not think you’re worth that much, he may not have tha uthority to make the decision, or you’re already at the top of the pay scale.

4. Myth: Your pay is all about you. Compensation is determined by consultants and surveys. At my company, a “market reference range” is established for each position which describes a range that includes the middle 50% of people working at that position, supposedly.

5. Myth: Bosses pay more if they like you. It’s not that their admiration is the reason for a higher pay. The qualities that allow someone to be paid more are the same qualities that the boss likes.

6. Myth: You can’t negotiate severance. If the company needs something from you, like your knowledge, before you leave, you are in a good position to ask for more than the standard severance package (if there is one).

I’ve been at my current position now for six months, and I started at a salary lower than I thought I deserved because I was a little anxious to get to a better mental state. I’ve continuously added responsibilities and I’ve received good feedback; perhaps I should start putting the right thoughts in my manager’s mind well before the annual review at the beginning of 2007.

Published or updated November 6, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Emma

This is an interesting post. I know that I am paid more than people that have been at the company longer. I had a few advantages in getting there though.

1) I started part-time in a position that management had to be convinced was needed. Then, I was hired.
2) A year later, with an ever increasing work load, I was offered a fulltime position. I could keep my part-time status if I wanted, but they wanted to see if I would be willing to do it.
3) Because they really needed someone fulltime, and I knew the ins-and-outs, I was able to stand firmly on an amount I felt was fair. Even though my asking price was higher than what others in my department were making (some had been there 2 years or longer before me).

I was told by my manager to keep it on the down low. I understand completely, but I just don’t make it a habit to discuss my income with people.

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avatar Matt

If you have proof of your added responsibilities and the fact that you’ve been able to do all that and more then you should most definitely put the bug in your bosses ear.

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avatar PiggyBank Raider

I am definitely underpaid in my position: I’m almost sure every one else who holds a similar one within my company is getting paid a lot more, although I don’t know for absolute certain (we don’t talk salaries). Also, I’m chicken when it comes to asking for a raise. Any advice for someone who doesn’t know how to negotiate for a better salary?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,386 (Platinum)

I’ve posted about negotiation a bit, you can browse through my salaries category.

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avatar Dimes

If you think you’re worth it, by all means, push for a raise! What’s the worst they can do? Say no? They won’t punish you for asking, I’m sure.

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avatar Nagel

Always good information to know, especially if you do not like your job.

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avatar SickOfNoPay

I left a good paying job to start at a marketing company – male dominated and just unfair really as I was promised so many things when i first started – including commissions etc. It is now 3 months since I haven’t been paid a single dime. How do I tackle this? Nothing has been put on paper despite my continous pleas and efforts to my boss – he’s just bullying me! I’m a hardworker and when I started he made double of what he expected from the project I was handed, I was commended on good work, but nothing in terms of money? hello? help?

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