Date: 6/2/2012

Here are some ideas to help people who are not earning enough income and would like to increase it...

1) The bottom line is to believe in your self worth.  If you undervalue yourself, others will, too! 

One way to begin to change your self image is to write down some of your attributes and carry them around with you. Get in the habit of looking at them at least 2 or 3 times a day as well as any time you feel you need affirmation.

Another consideration is why you undervalue yourself.   Many people base their self worth on how much money they make.  Remember that your true self worth is not determined by how much money you earn.  Some criminals make a lot of money--but no one thinks of them as great people.   Teaching is one of the most important jobs and pays relatively little.   And parents get paid nothing at all!

 Here are some bad habits that you may have formed as a result of undervaluing yourself--and how to correct them:

--Overvolunteering: It is okay to volunteer once in a while, especially to get some initial exposure.   However, after you have been doing something for a while you deserve to get paid for it. You can tell people who ask you to donate your services for free that when you first starting working you volunteered quite often.  Now, after working X number of years you charge a fee for your services.  Don't feel quilty about doing this.  Remember:  you deserve it and they will benefit from it!

--Undercharging:   Do some research and find out what the going rate is and charge that (more or less).   You can throw in a couple of extras to make yourself more appealing--but you still received what you deserved.  In some circumstances you may decide to give someone a discount, but they will relate to you differently than if you simply undercharge up front.

People who undercharge usually believe that more people will buy their product or service if it is cheap.  However, often just the opposite is true!  In fact, by charging less money people may actually refrain from buying your products or services. Consider this:  A house that real estate agents appraise at $150,000  is on the market for $145,000.  Many people would probably consider it a "good deal".   The same house priced at $100,000 would make people suspicious that something is wrong with it and customers would hesitate to buy it. 

If you getting paid a fixed salary don't just settle for less than you really deserve to be paid.  Respectfully point out what other people are getting paid for doing this kind of work.  

--Public Image:  Definitely avoid speaking about yourself in a self-defeating way! This is pretty common and many people are unaware that they do it!   One way to give a realistic description of yourself is to think up an exagerrated way of describing yourself in the most wonderful fashion. Actually practise saying the description outloud (in a place no one can hear you!).  Then at the interview come back to the middle and describe yourself truthfully. 

2) When looking for new opportunities don't follow every single lead.  That will probably just exhaust and frustrate you.  Choose wisely and put your efforts where they may bear fruit. 

Also, learn to hear the "no"   After someone turns you away a number of times consider carefully if you want to put more time and energy in pursuing that lead.  Even it the offer seems enticing, it may be better to move on to the next one.

3) Find ways to show your boss that you are making a difference at work.  Don't assume that your boss notices what you are doing for the business or school because he or she is very busy and does not necessarily notice how much you are contributing.  

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