It can be difficult to recall all the positive things you did over the last year to increase your value to your organization. Personally, I do a horrible job of keeping track of the many positive things I do to increase my value to the organization. Like most quality practitioners, I don’t spend enough time making the case for “me.” In general, we are humble servants who would rather focus our attention on how “we as a team” made a difference and how “what we did” adds value. We seldom take enough credit for our own accomplishments. We don’t bang our own drum enough with regard to our own personal contributions and, consequently, we often are shorted when it comes to raises and advancement.
Rather Underemployed than Unemployed
There are times when we must be content with what we have and even settle for less. Being underemployed is far better than the alternative: being unemployed. The 2012 Salary Survey seems to support the fact that we quality professionals, on average, earned less last year than in previous years. It’s currently a buyers market; that is, there seems to be more unemployed and/or underemployed quality professionals out there than in previous years and personnel managers are able to hire a lot of professionals for relatively little money. In these difficult times, when it seems we must accept lesser employment or otherwise be unemployed, we may be overlooking our options. Many of us absolutely do have other options.
Give Yourself a Raise
One such option is to give yourself a raise. Unless you are self-employed, your employer has control over the paycheck you earn at your 9 to 5 job. However, you have control over your free time and how it is spent. You can sit on your couch after work and wish your organization would recognize your contribution one day and give you a raise or you can use this time to give yourself a raise. As quality professionals, we have other options. We can teach a course in quality at our local community college. We can hold an occasional seminar on our favorite quality tool. These and other means of generating income are great ways we quality professionals can give ourselves a raise. Do we ask for a raise from our employer when money is tight and our case may be weak or do we look at creative ways of giving ourselves a raise?