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Figuring out how much you’re worth

Denis Beaumont /

Denis Beaumont /

Feel like your salary no longer reflects your growing list of responsibilities? To determine whether your suspicions are justified, you’ve got to do a little research.

1. Find out what people with similar jobs are making
The Government and professional associations publish salary reports online. You can also find good information in specialized magazines and job postings. “Even when the salary is not mentioned, you might find clues that give you an idea. Generally, supervisors are paid less than directors,” says Pierre Charbonneau, a consultant and associate at Raymond Chabot Human Resources Inc.

2. Compare compensation packages
We sometimes forget that a salary plus a retirement plan and health insurance is better than the same salary offered elsewhere without benefits.

3. Make a list of your accomplishments
Handled any difficult situations recently? Contribute to important projects? “What you’re worth depends on how much you contribute to the company. An employee who works well but doesn’t go above the call of duty is not as valuable to the employer as someone with ideas, someone who is keen to participate in committees or someone who is willing to do overtime,” explains Mr. Charbonneau.

4. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Mr. Charbonneau suggests that you ask co-workers who know you well what their impressions are of you. This will give you a better idea of any tendencies you might have that harm your professional image. For example, some workers are loath to accept new ideas, while others are so unpleasant that their behaviour overshadows the quality of their work.

5. Consider all the angles
“If the going salary is $45,000 but your contribution is integral to the company’s success, you’re worth more,” says Mr. Charbonneau. It’s also important to note that a counsellor at your local employment office can answer any questions you may have.