Will You Be Underpaid? Can Your Personality Affect Your Salary & What Can You Do About It?

By Shoya

Take a quick look at the options below.  Choose one from each set of statements.  At least 51% of the time, do you tend to be more:

__tactful and diplomatic or __direct and frank?
__apt to avoid conflict where possible or __apt to meet conflict head on?
__empathetic or __analytical?
__accepting at first or __skeptical at first?
__apt to take things personally or __objective about criticism?

If you’ve chosen more items from the left column, research shows there is a high probability you will be underpaid by at least 25% of your true value.  This is not because you lack drive, skills, commitment or talent.  Chances are you are simply not asking for your due. When first interviewed, you probably liked the job and/or found compatibility with your future boss and colleagues.  So when a reasonable number was offered, you accepted it rather than creating conflict by pushing the envelope and asking for more.  Later, at review time, you also were less likely to be aggressive about demanding a robust raise.  Companies need to focus on the bottom line and will offer the minimum.  It is easy to accept the offer to maintain harmonious work relations. After all money is not everything!  But this does not have to be your ongoing fate!

You need to learn from those who choose more items from the right column.  These individuals are typically paid more, often not because they produce superior work, but because they know their worth and demand to be properly compensated.

So if you are in the group on the left, which makes up 50% of the population, and 65% of women, what can you do about it?

  1. Research Your Position.  Search salary websites, and talk to people who are in similar jobs.
  2. Determine Your Priorities. Salary, bonus, vacation, health benefits, technologically advanced equipment, a supportive boss, freedom, and meaningful work are all priorities that are individually sensitive.  Perhaps you cannot push on the salary, but you can increase the value of the overall package.
  3. Get Organized.  Make a written list of your skills and achievements. This will give you the confidence to present these in a coherent way and to highlight your past contributions.
  4. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse.  You know the old saying, “Practice makes perfect.”  The confidence gained through rehearsal will decrease your anxiety and allow you to remain confident and focused.  As a result, you will be less likely to fold early on in the salary negotiation process.

Avoid the costly mistake of starting your career being underpaid.  Know your worth and demand to be properly compensated.  Your future career and financial success depend on it.

Your approach to money and salary is one of many factors covered in Shoya Zichy’s Color Q Model and new book, Career Match: Connecting Who You Are With What You’ll Love to Do.  Others factors include your work-related strengths, ideal work environment and boss, range of suitable careers, entrepreneurial style and interview and job search style.  For further information, visit www.ColorQPersonalities.com.


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