Thursday, May 8, 2008

Moms Are Not Getting Paid What They're Worth...and Neither Are A Lot of Other People

Are you getting paid what you're worth?

According to, I sure as heck am not. Let me repeat: I'm not getting paid what I'm worth.

In it's annual Mom survey, it has been determined that "the time mothers spend performing the 10 most popular 'Mom Job' functions would equate to an annual salary of $116, 805 for a Stay-at-Home Mom and $68,405 for a Working Mom."

The report says the job titles that best matched a mom’s definition of her work are (in order of hours spent per week): housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, laundry machine operator, computer operator, psychologist, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and janitor. (At my house, that's just what I do before 9 a.m.)

So, I'm not getting paid what I'm worth as a Mom, and I'm not getting paid what I'm worth as a freelance writer and author. Why is this? Part of it has to do with the lousy economy. Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm a woman and am just now learning how to ASK for the things I want instead of just waiting for them to happen. And part of it has to do the fact that I need to quit giving away so much stuff for free.

While many of us job hop in order to get more money, I know of one incident where someone learned a co-worker doing the same work and was making quite a bit more money. He went straight to the boss with it, and immediately received a raise that put him on equal footing.

Will this always work? If you're not doing a great job, no. But if you're really adding value, then there's no reason to just take what you get. Even in this tough economy, employers are willing to pay for talent to keep them ahead of the pack.

Here are three things you need to do today in order to get a raise you deserve:
* Pinpoint specific things you did to earn your company money. Maybe you spotted an error that everyone missed and saved the company money and/or time.
* Find out what everyone else is making. Call some employment agencies, check with your alumni group, Twitter, ask a professional association -- just get a good handle on whether you're making what you're worth.
* Get a mentor. Quit putting it off and think of someone you can ask to coach you and help you grow enough in confidence and skills so that the boss would be a complete fool not to give you a raise.

Do you feel you're getting paid what you're worth? Why or why not?


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Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! All the more reason for me to be excited about the mentoring program I just embarked on. No I don't feel I am paid what I am worth. But more importantly I don't feel valued for what I do. Money is important but so is respect and placing value on your employees. If more companies realized this and treated employees as adults and with the respect they deserve there would be a lot less turnover = less costs on training new employees = more money for current employees.

Anita said...

You've really hit on an important point: feeling valued. That is absolutely a key point, and I'm so glad you made it!

Anonymous said...

Anita -
These are great points. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get paid for parenting! (I would add "negotiator" to the list of job titles.)

I've often been asked about the issue of "free advice" and why I offer so much information on my blog, gratis.

A friend I respect a lot is a big believer in "giving it away." She thinks that it always comes back to you somehow. For example, spending a ton of time volunteering may put you in contact with your next client or boss. You may meet someone who can offer you your next great lead.

Writing my blog not only allows me to dialogue with a great online community of smart writers and thinkers, it gives potential clients an opportunity to sample the value I offer them. I hope the message is, "If you think I write well and have good ideas on my blog, think how I could help you as your coach and resume writer."

Thank you, Anita, for "giving it away for free" on your blog! If the universe's accounting system is working, the value you offer should come your way in spades!

Miriam Salpeter
Keppie Careers

Anita said...

Thank you for such encouraging words, especially on a day like today where after 19 straight days of working, I'm a mental zombie! You have learned an important lesson: That good blogging can boost your career and your business. And the community you build through shared knowledge is a benefit that will last a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Great info! Thanks!