‘Act your wage’, a trend gaining popularity on Tik Tok, sees Gen Z workers in particular not doing more work than they’re actually paid to do. It is similar to ‘quiet quitting’ in many ways as both involve sticking to the job description and refusing to go above and beyond.
Lots of employers have benefited financially from pushing workers to do extra work without compensation. This new trend is a response to “hustle culture”, which refers to the mentality that workers have to be switched on, work longer hours and be available at all times to achieve success at work. Essentially, ‘acting your wage’ is about setting boundaries and asking for the rewards that you deserve.
If you’re consistently being asked to manage or lead projects, without the salary or title to match, for example, ‘acting your wage’ would mean letting your manager know that this is outside of your job description and you’ll only do it once you have the pay that reflects the job. However, this could backfire as some contracts do include clauses where you can be asked to do some things that may be outside your remit.
However, if you’re unhappy about the pay you’re on, and feel like you deserve a pay rise then here are five of my top tips to help get you that salary you deserve:
1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Asking for a pay rise from your employer will always be slightly uncomfortable but employers cannot read your mind and know that you feel underpaid. Open communication is the key. You’ll need to be transparent and honest with your employer about what your expectations are and why you feel you deserve a pay rise, along with evidence of your accomplishments to back that up.
2. Do your research
You need to come prepared to these meetings and arm yourself with knowledge about your industry. You can research the average salary of your particular job title across different job sites; such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Having this knowledge shows that you’re attuned to the current job climate and will give you leverage when starting pay negotiations. It will also give you a baseline of where to start negotiations.
3. Show your value to your employer
This is your time to shine, you will want to provide evidence of all that you’ve accomplished since your time at the company. Whether it be taking on more responsibility and receiving positive feedback or undertaking training and/or holding training sessions etc. At this point you should take your boss through the goals you’ve made along with examples of what you’ve done to accomplish them so far and how that has impacted positively on the business.
4. Associate your accomplishments to added value
This is extremely important as this demonstrates how you are an asset to the company, and why they should recognise and reward your efforts. Here you should be providing specific examples of your work or strategies that you’ve implemented, and how this has provided a ROI. Some examples could be whether one of your strategies have encouraged repeat business, if you have saved the company money or your work has directly resulted in an increase in sales.
5. Ensure the timing is right
Timing is paramount when it comes to asking for or negotiating a pay rise. Performance reviews, yearly reviews or at the end of the financial calendar year are usually a really good time to ask for a pay rise, as businesses are already assessing results, making forecasts and monitoring the state of the current market. Being proactive is key, you need to make sure that you’re ready, prepared and have any loose ends tied up before these meetings.