Salary Tune-up

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That mean green! Some people got to have it! Oh, sorry…I was starting to get carried away with those song lyrics. Well, if we don’t work we don’t eat. But why are some people in the same job eating so much better than others? It’s because most likely you need a salary check-up. You make sure your body is still functioning with a wellness exam. We even take our cars for tune-ups…so why is it so out of the realm of normalcy to check in on our paychecks?

Here’s how you can perform a self-salary check:

  • Research - You must know what you’re supposed to be earning. Perhaps you looked a long time ago…but I encourage you to take another peek. It doesn’t matter if you are currently working or unemployed. Having the right salary targets in our sights can help us to bypass the whole situation of being underpaid. I suggest referencing three (3) data points to find where the data overlaps:


  • Self-evaluate your performance - Do you even deserve a bump in pay? This sounds harsh, but more money is not a right. It must be earned.  Just because you’ve been doing the job for 30 years doesn’t mean you’re still doing a great job. Either way, start now creating and documenting your major wins, new skills, and credentials. Prove that you deserve more (if they don’t already know it).


  • Ask these Questions:
  1. Have you recently taken on more responsibility?
  2. Have you relocated from a lower-cost-of-living area?
  3. Do more people report to you now?
  4. Did your boss agree to revisit your pay following a probationary period? Has that time come?         
  5. Is your income congruent with the work you’re doing, the value you’re bringing, and the revenue you’re generating (or retaining)?
  6. Do you have other amazing benefits that may be compensating for a lower-than-average salary?

If you’ve reached the conclusion that your salary is well aligned, good job! If not, it’s time to have that conversation with your boss. It may sound something like…”I’ve conducted some research and it turns out there is a gap between my current salary and the industry standard for this function. What can I do to demonstrate that I deserve to be closer to $____ by _____date? Or What can be done internally to move the needle?”

If you need help with your conversation, consider a Salary Negotiation Session.  Click here to schedule a consultation with me and get your raise in motion.

Written by Brenda M. Cunningham: The one who will tell you like it is and help you get to where you want to be in your career.  To learn more about our career services, visit us at