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5 Better Solutions Than A More Competitive Minimum Wage

An increased minimum wage supported by the White House is the subject of an ongoing national debate.  The minimum wage should be going up in most states over the next few years whether a new national minimum is established or not.  Earning competitive pay is part of the American Dream.  Wouldn’t it be great if the national minimum wage was higher?  Not necessarily; there are better solutions.  I will discuss a few of them in this post.

Why Would an Increased Minimum Wage Not Be the best Solution?

Unless you plan to exist on minimum wage for many years, an increase in the minimum wage would be a negative factor for you.  If the minimum wage increased as your experience increased, then you will continue to earn the minimum for a longer period of time.  You should only work for minimum wage for a short period of time at the entry level.  Furthermore, minimum wage earners will continue to be the lowest paid employees even after a minimum wage increase.  Although they are making more money, the buying power of minimum wage earners will remain what it was due to price increases to cover the additional cost of these wages.  Wear as, if you get an individual raise and minimum wage stays constant, you will have more buying power.

1. Get a Pay Raise

If after three to six months of working at minimum wage, a higher wage has not been offered for the work you are doing, then consider changing something in your situation.  It is not normal to be at a fixed income at the entry level.  This would be a good time to evaluate what you could be doing differently to receive a higher wage.

You should only work for minimum wage for a few initial months until you prove your worth and start getting better wages for the position or identify a higher paying position to move into.  The employer has at that point, invested in you as a new employee.  There might be uniform expenses he has paid as well as training and on-boarding expenses.  Once he has recouped these expenses, you are now more valuable as compared to replacing you.  If he does not compensate you better than minimum, you could take your new experience and training to a different employer that would be willing to pay more.  The three to six-month time frame is the time to start investigating which track to take.  Either approach the employer and seek a raise or start the hunt for your next position.

2. Move Into a Higher Paying Position

Being promoted to a better paying position has the added benefit of more responsibility and more job satisfaction.  Moving up the rungs of the corporate ladder instills a feeling of dignity.  It is surprising how many people resist the opportunity for more responsibility.  They assess the benefits of having responsibility are outweighed by its liabilities.  That is shocking to me as I have always pursued the opportunity to take on more responsibility.  From my experience, I can tell you that the rewards by far outweigh the liabilities!

From the day you start a new position, you will want to continually seek the next higher job.  Work toward mastering the current position as well as skills of the next higher rank.  Set measurable goals that will get you into that higher paying position.  There should be a period of time that you perform at the next higher position before you reap the rewards of it.  You will want to prove your worth before expecting the employer to promote you for a short period of time. Read More →