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February 18, 2022

Should you be making more money at your job?

Hold off screaming “Yes! God, yes!” at the above title for a second, and let’s think this one through.

Istockphoto_7777651-pay-day Because, asking a Canadian worker if they should be making more money would be like asking Toronto’s right-wingers if they love Rob Ford right now: it’s kind of a loaded question.

But a more important, more direct follow-up query is this – what are you going to do about it?

Indeed, while everyone may harp about how they’re underpaid, getting that raise is never really as simple as it sounds. The advice of, “Buck up, march into that office and tell Mr. Swanson just how much you’re worth to the company,” I imagine, only pays off if you’re Billy Mays or something. How often can a sell-job like that actually work?

Fortunately, though, you can get that raise in other ways. Penelope Trunk, the noted career blogger, recently offered a few not-so-generic tips on how to do so.

According to PayScale, Trunk says, pay for men tops out at around age 45 while salaries for women peak at age 38. What’s this mean? Two things:

1) For women, go where the men are. We’ve talked ad nauseum about how women make only a fraction of what men do – perhaps because of low-paying industries like social work being traditionally dominated by females – so the path of best pay for women is to chase down a better-paying career before they hit their peak earnings age. “For example, skip human resources and go to supply chain management,” Trunk writes.

2) Make sure your résumé reflects your accomplishments, not your responsibilities. When in line for a new job or promotion, don’t just highlight what your day-to-day job consisted of but play up specific achievements you reached at work. Advertise a certain project that was well-received or an initiative that brought your company an X percentage increase in revenue in lieu of a non-descript résumé line like, “Managed office itinerary and displayed interpersonal skills with clients and colleagues.”

Have you ever negotiated for a raise? If so, what’s the best way to go about it?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...