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5 Actions You Can Take When Your Salary is Too Low

The moment of discovery comes in many forms, but once you learn your salary is too low, it’s nearly impossible to forget. 

And, left unchecked, this aha moment can fester into a sense of injustice that taints work relationships and impacts your performance. 

So before outrage leads you in the wrong direction, channel this energy into a clear action plan. Here are the top five actions you can take to boost your salary. 

Action #1: Conduct Market Research

How do you know your salary is too low? Where’s your proof? Before you speak to your employer, conduct market research and gather the data. You’ll need to support your case with facts.

Match your job title with the appropriate salary commensurate with your skills, years of experience, and responsibilities. You may also need to consider your geographic region.

You may want to start your research with recruiters — especially those in speciality industries. They may have the most up-to-date salary data. If you’re looking online, check out these resources:

As you collect salary data, evaluate your overall compensation package. If you receive benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, stock options, and other perks, these non-salary benefits should be included in total compensation.

Community Sourced Salary Information


If you’re not finding the data you need, some community organizations publish salary information collected from their members. For example, Superpath, a community for content marketers, publishes an annual
salary report.

For sales roles, RepVue is a good resource for salary information. If you work in revenue operations, RevOps CoOp offers a salary repository where members share their salary information in exchange for access to a compensation trends report.

Women in Revenue (WIR), a community network supporting women in sales, marketing, customer success, and revenue operations, also provides critical compensation support in many forms. Access the 2024 Definitive State of Women in Revenue Report for valuable insights on compensation equity.

There’s likely a community that supports your particular profession. Find your people.

“I recommend saying, ‘Here are all the responsibilities I'm doing and here's the job they most closely align with, and here's what that role typically pays. Can we start the conversation surrounding how we can get my compensation to a level commensurate with my experience and job duties?’ This approach is less threatening to your supervisor.”

Action #2: Evaluate Your Job Performance

Armed with your salary data, your next step is to assess your performance and contributions to the company. If your particular role involves goals and metrics, compile the data to show you are meeting and/or exceeding expectations.

Where relevant, make a list of:

  • Achievements
  • Additional responsibilities taken on
  • Positive feedback received from customers or coworkers
  • Sales or revenue growth
  • Productivity
  • Innovations
  • Client acquisitions
  • Leadership
  • Professional development
  • Cost savings
  • Operational improvements
  • Contributions to a positive workplace culture

By documenting your achievements, you now have clear, quantifiable results. These accomplishments demonstrate your positive impact on the company. Plus, they provide strong evidence for why you deserve a salary increase.

“What happens when you discover that your salary is too low for your job role? First, always be open to conversations with head hunters and colleagues to get external benchmarks—even if you’re not looking. Discussions with data tend to go better. Second, have a structured conversation with your manager about your compensation. Don't just say, ‘I am underpaid.’ Instead say, ‘I’ve been assessing my role in the broader market and have found that people with my role are paid more given my experience and skills.’ If your manager suggests a ‘wait and see’ approach, then come to an agreement where the goal line is. Then, there is no question whether you will get a raise when you blow those goals out of the water.”

Action #3: Practice Negotiation Skills

Before you meet with your boss, practice negotiating. Be prepared to discuss your research, your list of accomplishments, and anything else that adds value to your role. 

Consider practicing your presentation with a friend or mentor to get an external perspective. You will feel more confident if you rehearse your talking points.

Additionally, you may want to explore job opportunities outside the company to see other organizations offer higher salaries. Then, you can use an external offer as leverage in salary negotiations. However, this approach should be applied carefully. If you truly want to keep your current job, consider if this action will strain the relationship with your employer.

If a raise isn’t possible, think about negotiating for non-salary benefits. Ask for things like:

  • Additional vacation days
  • Flexible working hours
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Performance bonus

“Ask for a raise. Evaluate the magnitude of the impact you've had on the org. And, express it in economic terms. Has it been in revenue, through efficiencies or awareness...how have you created value? Before your meeting, prepare 5-10 bullets that demonstrate how you've moved the dial.”

Action #4: Request a Meeting & Present Your Case

It’s time to request a meeting with your manager and discuss your salary concerns. So first, choose the right time. This discussion is perfect for a performance review, however, if you’re too far from that date, meet soon after a project is complete. 

Come prepared with a compelling argument for why you deserve a raise, supported by your research and data. Approach the conversation with confidence, but remain professional and respectful. Above all, your focus should be your positive contributions — not your personal financial needs. 

Know the exact amount or percentage increase you’re asking for. It will help your case to frame your request in a way that aligns with the company’s goals. Show how your work contributes to these objectives.

Action #5: Follow Up & Stay Professional

After you’ve completed actions one through four, you hopefully received your desired salary increase. After all, according to the  Indeed 2024 Global Research study, three in four women who ask for a raise, receive a pay increase.

If the answer was “not now,” come to an agreement on specific performance targets or milestones. Then, set a timeline for revisiting the discussion.

Whether your request is approved or denied, maintain a positive attitude and continue to perform at your best.

Last, keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and be open to opportunities. They will come. 

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews

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