What is the Number on Your Paycheck? | DCR Workforce Blog

What is the Number on Your Paycheck?

paycheckAcross time zones, the whole world is entranced by what is happening in Brazil, watching the teams at the FIFA World Cup 2014 – while fighting to stay awake. Everything and anything related to the teams is grist to the mill, as people catch the World Cup fever, irrespective of age and nationality.

It was really interesting to read the analysis by Christina Settimi for Forbes; where she presented the argument that Germany’s team has a better chance of winning their match over the US team – because the top three players in Germany’s team take home a paycheck which is more than what the whole American team earns!

What is the number on your paycheck?

Definitely not a question one would ask even their own brother! But one we need to ask ourselves, repeatedly. People talk about their commitment to quality, productivity and even perfectionism in their work but when it comes to talking about the revenues they generate, they find themselves facing huge mental blocks which do not allow them to link these two aspects. Is it only a CEO who really contributes to the bottom line?

It is time each of us asked ourselves: Am I earning enough? Am I charging my clients/employers enough for the services I render them? Are they forcing me to charge less or paying me less? Or, am I doing this to myself, voluntarily, for some unfathomable reason? How many of you were actually told by your own clients that you charge them too little or could charge more – not that they are complaining?!

What makes anyone shortchange themselves?

  1. It could be a lack of confidence, a tendency to worry about future prospects and opportunities (whether as an employee or as a service provider), or a deep distrust in the state of the economy, which keeps blowing hot and cold.
  2. It could also be a sheer lack of awareness of what their work is actually worth or the value they add to a process.
  3. Their efforts are not measurable or quantifiable; or there is no opportunity to do a comparative analysis with the competition. Perhaps the person does not know how to attract the market’s notice or win its respect.

Experienced professionals I know, like doctors, never offer any free advice. This is mainly because they have learned through experience that the patient discounts them and their advice so deeply that they prefer to seek expensive consultation from another doctor – rather than follow their advice. If you really consider it, the very fact that a particular lawyer or doctor charges an excessive rate seems to be a validation of their caliber. Everyone knows that they get monkeys to work for them, if they offer to pay peanuts!

Of course it does not mean that we should make exorbitant demands from a market which is neither ready nor willing to pay our high prices. It is just that we should know that we get our rightful dues. So, think seriously if you want to continue working for that low pay – or strike out on your own as an independent contractor and win customers who offer your just dues. Venturing out as an independent contractor requires certain efforts, precautions and safeguards. To do so, you will need to:

  1. Know your strengths and how they compare with the market.
  2. Recognize that to be successful as an independent contractor, you must augment your technical skills with selling and business management capabilities.
  3. Learn how to market yourself and attract customer interest by networking both online and offline.
  4. If you need to improve your current skills or learn new ones to ensure your success, be prepared to do so.
  5. Be prepared to simultaneously sell your next engagement while delivering on your current one.

Whatever path you choose to take, keep in mind that the days of lifetime employment with one company are over. You are responsible for marketing yourself. In doing so, remember the four ‘P’s: product (your skills and capabilities), place, promotion AND PRICE.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.