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What’s your #1 pet peeve at work? If you’re currently looking for a new job, there’s a pretty decent chance the thing that annoys you the most is related to your paycheck. If it’s not the top thing, it’s in the top three.

I’ve learned through working with clients that most people aren’t seeking to make the absolute most money for their position. But, they do want to be paid fairly. In the past, we might never realize if we were being paid differently than our coworkers. But, sites like and offer these figures for free at the click of a button.

My Career Corner column this week speaks directly to employers who are messing with their employees’ money. This issue is so common that it’s become my pet peeve too.

Here are a few of the common money messing scenarios:

  1. Your company doesn’t pay you on time. You work someplace small and your boss swears the check is in the mail. But, somehow it just doesn’t show up, day after day.
  2. You did an awesome job this year, and you got a 3% raise. Your boss gave you a stellar performance evaluation. Then, he expected you to be excited when you learned about the measly 3% increase he was “giving” you for your great work.
  3. You did an awesome job this year, and didn’t get your projected bonus. You’ve been working your tail off to exceed your goals. Along with your 3% increase, you’re not getting the targeted annual bonus you were expecting.
  4. You got a pay cut. For reasons outside of your control (like your company is struggling), you were given a pay cut. The worst part is, you’re pretty sure the top executives (with much more room to spare) did not receive the same kind of cut.
  5. You got a promotion, sort of. In an effort to save money, your company is giving you a 10% pay increase to do your boss’ old job. The thing is, your old boss made twice what you make. It’s tough to tell if they really value your skills or respect you at all.
  6. You learn that you’re not making anything near market rate for your position. Maybe you were just starting out or wanted to get your foot in the door. Whatever the scenario, a little research led you to realize that your peers greatly exceed you – and that you’re not being paid fairly for your work.

If you find yourself in one of these scenarios today, you might very well be just as fired up as I am.

But, being angry isn’t going to change your current situation. One solution is to try to renegotiate with your company. This can be a slippery slope however, given that you already committed to do your current job for your current pay.

Another solution is to begin to look for a job at another company. Frankly, most companies put the most financial benefit into switching, as they are giving tiny raises to internal employees. Finding a new company will ensure the company respect you – and it gives you a chance to push the reset button on your salary.

If you suspect you may be underpaid, check sites like, for a chance to see how much others in your industry are making for the very same work. If you’re not happy with what you find, it may be time to come up with a new plan of action.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

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