Four effective ways to earn your worth

Break the underearning cycle and increase your income.

Do you earn what you are worth? On a percentage basis, a woman earns only 79 percent of what a man earns, according to a U. S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Report in 2016. This is known as the “gender earnings ratio.” The 21 percent difference between earnings means that women are paid less than $4 for every $5 paid to men. But it’s not only a gender issue. What can you do to make a change if you feel you are in this situation?

Under-earning is the pattern of earning below your potential by consistently underselling your worth. It’s unrelated to underworking or underachieving. The founder of the Women’s Earnings Institute has these suggestions for conquering your potential:

  1. Identify a pattern. Did you negotiate your initial salary? Avoid asking for a raise? Fail to market yourself? Stay in one position too long? Do you have a career plan? These are other active and passive behaviors that could indicate you are under earning.
  2. Explore your fears. Are you afraid of giving something up, like time? Or do you have the fear of having the money taken away by family members if your income increases? Are you worried about managing more money? Or afraid to leave your comfort zone? Another fear is not thinking you deserve to earn more.
  3. Create an earnings plan. Break down your monthly expenses, debt payments and savings, plus periodic expenses on a monthly basis. Add your income tax bracket. The total is the salary you need to earn.
  4. Empower yourself. Research what your position should pay at to determine the range and where you qualify. What is special about you and what are your accomplishments? This information should empower you to have a positive conversation about a raise. This can also help you visualize where you see yourself in five years, rather than as a “resentment number”.      

It’s important to focus on the future and have a career plan tied to your spending plan. This shows your sense of control and willingness make the right career moves for the future. Employment and financial planning take time, patience and discipline. Find more information about financial management at

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