Author Topic: How to you determine your worth at work?  (Read 1547 times)

kandj

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How to you determine your worth at work?
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:27:47 PM »
This has been stumping me for awhile. How do you determine your worth at work, especially when you don't specifically do one job?

I've been with my current company for 5 years. I started out my last semester in college managing their one ecommerce website, 2 static websites, and prepping them for their first tradeshow. I felt like I was starting out at a decent wage (compared to my part time jobs) and they gave me 2-3 few dollar raises over the next couple years. 2.5 years ago they gave me a 10k raise plus salaried me, and since then I have only gotten a cost of living raise. This April we finally got a work health insurance plan, which is kind of like a raise as it is saving me over a hundred a month on health insurance costs, but everybody else got that same "raise".

It's a small business, 8 total employees, and I have increasingly been handed more and more jobs to do. I quickly became the go to tech guru, I've been handling all tradeshow aspects since I started, arranging travel and designing all the graphics and marketing materials. Mailing out brochures. Email marketing and advertising online. A couple years ago they asked me to start managing the shipping department, training our shipping staff, and also slipped ordering those supplies into my regular job. I don't know why I did not ask for or was not given a raise for taking on that job. My boss and his wife are slowly starting to retire and are now pushing more and more onto me that their son, who is taking over the company, can't be bothered to do. I'm running shipping, marketing, website, supplies, inventories, and now administrative office work is creeping in. They asked me last week to start doing minor bookkeeping and manage mail, all of my bosses emails, plus other small items before taking off on spring break. Eventually they want me to handle all bookkeeping/payroll, etc.

I have no issue with taking on more work as I am bored at times, but there was no mention of a raise and they did not give me time to comment or ask for one before taking off (and I realize I must have set a precedent where they expect me to take on new jobs for no compensation). They are the most wonderful and flexible people to work for, but I am not sure it will be the same under their son. I'm not even sure how to title my job because they are very adverse to job titles. I've heard them tell people I handle Marketing, I'm the Shipping Manager, and more recently Internet Sales, whatever that is. I've begun browsing new job listings to see if I can find a description matching what I do or if something new peaks my interest. All I am finding out is that small businesses must not be advertising jobs for people who handle a bit of everything, and jobs I may be interested in would be a decline in what I make. Maybe they do pay me very well? Operations Manager seems like it might fit as a job title, but I'm totally not qualified to apply for that position at a large company so I'm not sure it fits.

I just hit making 50k this year with my 2% raise. Is asking for 10k to take on more of this administrative work too much? I'm just a little lost trying to determine handling this when they get back next week. I'm sure their reaction will be shock, and that they will negotiate down, but they also tell me ALL THE TIME that I am the single most valuable employee to them and they would be lost if I left. I feel more and more awkward about this every day!

Gronnie

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 02:32:27 PM »
I'd be asking for closer to $100k for all that work, holy crap. You might as well start your own business, what the hell do you need them for?

kandj

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 02:42:38 PM »
My dad keeps encouraging me to BUY their business when they retire/if their son cops out, but I don't want to! It's a laser cutting/welding shop with a couple of our own product lines and it is filthy work. Interesting, but I'm 26 and I don't want to be tied here forever! The more I think about this the more I feel like I am just worrying too much and that I really DO deserve more...but still have no idea what kind of job title I should ask for. Preppin' that resume?

Jouer

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 02:57:31 PM »
You are worth what someone is willing to pay you. The best way to find your worth is to see what someone else is willing to pay you. Early career is a great time for large raises...but often time you need to move companies to make it happen.

JLee

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 03:02:35 PM »
You are worth what someone is willing to pay you. The best way to find your worth is to see what someone else is willing to pay you. Early career is a great time for large raises...but often time you need to move companies to make it happen.

Yep.  Start job shopping and see what offers you can get.

CNM

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2018, 04:29:45 PM »
My dad keeps encouraging me to BUY their business when they retire/if their son cops out, but I don't want to! It's a laser cutting/welding shop with a couple of our own product lines and it is filthy work. Interesting, but I'm 26 and I don't want to be tied here forever! The more I think about this the more I feel like I am just worrying too much and that I really DO deserve more...but still have no idea what kind of job title I should ask for. Preppin' that resume?

I wouldn't worry too much about the particular title - small businesses aren't usually that regimented.  I would put a generic title on your resume, but then explain all of your duties and skills. 

Like so:
Welding Company, Tech and Admin Staff
- Website builder
   ~ skill
   ~ skill
   ~ skill
- Bookkeeper
   ~ skill
   ~ skill
- Project Manager

etc/

Also, I'd start looking for new work and ask for a significant (like $15K or more) raise from where you are.  In your pitch, you can explain essentially what you explained here (the chronology of your duties and salary) and you can even try to find out the average hourly rates or salaries of people doing these various jobs in your area as a comparison.

jlcnuke

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Re: How to you determine your worth at work?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 01:23:29 PM »
I start with my primary job (what you do "most" of the day). Go the the BLS website and see what the government says people in your industry are paid for that job. Then break that down based on location to get a more accurate idea of the "median" pay for such a position.

This is your "primary" responsibility, and thus should be the primary consideration for your compensation. Decide how close/far you think you are from "median" in that career experience wise (at 5 years you'd likely be under median pay for most jobs, though not all), and see where your compensation fits relative to the objective data. Feel free to check other online sources for salary info but self-reported info isn't quite as reliable as the BLS data imo.

If you're overall time split between positions is significant, repeat the above for each "job" you do, then weight each (if you do 30 hours/week in a job with a median pay of $60k/year and 10 hours/week in a job with a median pay of $40k/year you'd have a weighted median salary of $55k between the two for instance). Then adjust for how long you've been doing the job vs median (few years experience would be under median generally and decades of experience would be above median generally).

Then, adjust for cost of living (if you didn't get the numbers based on location from the BLS). Higher cost of living areas will have a "slightly" higher expected pay (it generally does not match up with the increase in cost of living however) and lower cost of living areas will generally have a lower expected pay (which tends to slightly exaggerate the change in cost of living).

That should give you a decent idea of what you are "worth" objectively, then you can use that to try and make a case to them for paying you more (if the numbers back it up, they often don't match what people think they deserve though). IF they won't, then you can try and get someone else to pay you more (though the odds that someone else is going to be looking for someone doing the same menagerie of jobs is unlikely, so it probably won't be an "apples to apples" comparison even then).