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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    DC
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    48

    You are paid what you are WORTH

    I recently got into a disagreement with a friend when I made this statement, "You are paid what you are worth." I was fighting for my life during the next few minutes, but the rest of my thought process was, "... do not get held back by being upset with what you're earning now. An employed person has a much easier time finding better employment than someone on the dole, dodging collections calls. You may make more in the future and have a better job/career, but right now this is where you are, and have no worries about that. It does not define you unless you let it define you."

    I have friends who are underemployed (like much of America right now) and who I am afraid that the mentality of, "I am better than this," is poisoning their attitudes and will make it difficult for them to function.

    What's good advice to give to someone who may have an advanced degree (but no experience), who is grinding away in an entry-level job?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    On an island
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    15,839
    I find it very rare that even those of us who have been working with no gaps for years, feel we make what we are worth.

    You can't put a price tag on many jobs.

    You have to weigh the pros and cons though........are your bills paid? Do you have money left over to save? Does your job allow for flexibility? Offer benefits? Family friendly? Are you gaining experience and networking contacts?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Oregon Trail
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    42,345
    Worth is very, very subjective.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  4. #4
    It's important not to confuse your "worth" as a person or even the intangible worth of your work with your monetary worth to your workplace. The latter is just your potential for bringing money into your company (or school, govt office, whatever) compared with others, who might work for more or less. That's what your pay is based on, in most cases. It doesn't always work out fairly or reflect your potential or education or worth to society. I suppose it's a frustrating idea to consider because people want to consider the whole package in evaluating their own worth, not just their monetary contribution. Someone with a PhD isn't going to bring any more revenue into Starbucks than a barista with a GED. And sometimes it's just unfair -- a teacher who works hard every night and develops innovative methods is not going to bring any more tax revenue into her school as a teacher who is lazy and works just hard enough to help her students pass the required tests.

    I guess what's important is just not taking your current situation or pay personally. It's not a reflection on your total worth or potential to contribute to society, just market demands for your services and the amount of revenue you are able to generate in your current position.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Right Behind You
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    It could be argued that you are paid partially by your DEMAND but not your worth.

    There's a big difference. Water is something we all need. It's WORTH to us is much more than many many things. Without it, we couldn't survive. It's DEMAND though is lower because of supply. Diamonds are much more expensive (well...due to artificial supply) but when it comes to survival, it's not really worth anything to us.

    It can be a similar thing with jobs. Some jobs we NEED people to do (high worth) but may be paid less due to supply (lots of people willing to do it for cheaper to compete) and vice versa.
    Scott

    If practice makes perfect, and nobody's ever perfect, why practice?

  6. #6
    No job can ever pay you entirely what you're worth. If you want to unleash your full potential, you got to work for yourself. A job is just pigeon holing you to a specific role, no matter how high paying it is.

  7. #7
    I've never heard of people being paid what they are worth. In Henderson I've been hearing stories of people who have Master's and Bachelor's degrees taking minimum wage jobs because they have no choice. I would guess the employed personis getting a job easier because they have immediate experience. It might explain why I haven't gotten a job yet. I've had this one guy tell me that I should be looking for something more than just a minimum wage job because of the degree I had. Somedays it feels like it doesn't matter though.

    I heard somewhere that the credit score might give people problems in getting the job they want. As for self-worth, I guess that kind of makes sense. If you have little self worth, you won't look your best and you won't get the better paying job. It's part of selling yourself to the employer.
    Last edited by Tony Luciani; 07-02-2011 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Thought of something new to add.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    California
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    1,319
    I just watched this movie on Netflix, "The Company Men". It's a film starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones about corporate downsizing in the mid-2000s due to the crumbling economy. It does a good job of humanizing CEO's and other executives who get laid off. When they first get fired, they automatically assume that they can find a new job quickly with their "skills" in the $100,000+ range. As the months go by, they quickly realize that they aren't "worth" that much money to anyone. Affleck ends up taking a job hanging drywall for his brother-in-law just so he can pay some bills.

    Its a good film, especially since your first instinct is to say "who gives a shit" when a rich guy loses a job, but after a while you start to feel bad for them.

    If you are replaceable or expendable, you are not truly worth your salary to your company.
    "Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard, take me back to the start"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Telemachus View Post
    If you are replaceable or expendable, you are not truly worth your salary to your company.
    There is a world of difference between being "replaceable" and being "expendable." Even the Pope can be replaced. We can assume that the principle here is that the more difficult you are to replace, the higher your pay tends to be.

    If your job is so pointless that it can be completely eliminated (ie, it doesn't even need to be replaced, which does actually happen), then yeah, you aren't worth your salary.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    48

    Worth

    Quote Originally Posted by Telemachus View Post
    I just watched this movie on Netflix, "The Company Men". It's a film starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones about corporate downsizing in the mid-2000s due to the crumbling economy. It does a good job of humanizing CEO's and other executives who get laid off. When they first get fired, they automatically assume that they can find a new job quickly with their "skills" in the $100,000+ range. As the months go by, they quickly realize that they aren't "worth" that much money to anyone. Affleck ends up taking a job hanging drywall for his brother-in-law just so he can pay some bills.

    Its a good film, especially since your first instinct is to say "who gives a shit" when a rich guy loses a job, but after a while you start to feel bad for them.

    If you are replaceable or expendable, you are not truly worth your salary to your company.

    Telemachus, I froze when I saw this preview for the first time. It's exactly what I'm trying to say. The highly educated that are struggling to find a job? That degree isn't worth much at that point. The person who's working in their study field and doing well? That degree is worth a lot. That former $100k person who can't find someone willing to pay them half that, or anything at all (unemployed) has a resume that isn't worth much.

    I don't mean this as a knock to anyone, I am talking about myself. I have been on a rollercoaster these past 3 years, but it's finally starting to brighten up.

    Worth is a dangerous word. But it comes up every time I speak to someone about what they feel they should be getting paid, what they are "worth."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    KCMO
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    229
    It's not about being paid "what your worth"...humans are worth much more conceptually than their salaries. You are paid based on how well you can monetize your skills. And you monetize your skills through not just based on the skill itself, but through leverage, luck, hard work, determination, and various other factors.

    A guy who works really hard at building houses may not be able to monetize this skill as well as someone who never lays a hand on a tool but can consistently generate revenue for his company by engaging in stock trading for two or three hours a day. The first guy works a lot harder, but the second guy knows how to best convert his skill into money.
    Last edited by urban_achiever; 07-28-2011 at 08:22 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    48

    Base

    You expounded my point that I made to my friend, that even with all of those factors, your pay is what you are worth. Until you free yourself from your pay. However, the true underlying reason for my post is that salaries are meaningless, but for those who are searching, and looking for validation (and the ability to pay their bills!) the level of income/recognition/rewards is crucial.

    In my opinion, when you are able to make enough to take away the stress of money, you are truly free. And it doesn't matter how much that is, as long as money isn't the main focus of why you wake up and go to work every day.

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