A step-by-step guide to getting paid what you deserve

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, knowing what to ask for when it comes to compensation is tricky. You don’t want to seem entitled, you don’t want to lose out to someone else who asked for less, and you don’t want to have that awkward conversation about money in the first place.

But the truth is that money is a form of power. When you settle for less than you deserve, you are giving some of that power away. You always need to strike a balance between being fair, staying competitive in the market, and getting paid top rates for your expertise. That balance isn’t always easy.

Here are six things to consider when you’re deciding what you deserve.

1. Do your research

Talk to people in similar roles or who manage people in similar roles to see what they’re getting paid. You might be leaning toward asking for less so you can be competitive, but you should actually be in line with your peers and competitors — if you come in drastically lower, that might raise doubts about the quality of your work.

2. Make your case based on what you deserve, not what you need

If you need to justify to

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