Money isn’t everything. Time, knowledge, happiness, autonomy, geography and output are all currencies that can be measured and prioritized in different ways. When job hunting, you look at more than just the salary – how much time you’ll get to spend with your kids, how far away it is, how much you’ll be able to learn and grow, what autonomy you’ll have and what you’ll be able to build. Sometimes, money is the most important and necessary thing to you. Other times, you might be willing to make a salary sacrifice to learn something specific or work closer to a place you call home. What matters most to you now? How does that affect your decisions? I find it useful to rank the currencies that matter at this moment. Do you need time more than money now? Do you want social outings more than the number of books read? Do you want a job that constantly teaches you new things or do you want an easy commute? Write it all out. Prioritize your life and make important decisions accordingly.
How much are you worth? How much money do you deserve to make? The only official frame of reference for that question is minimum wage. And I’m pretty sure you’re worth more than that.
But how much more? The average person is not comfortable discussing income with others. And some companies require employees to keep salaries confidential, for fear they might expect more, do less or leave for better. But why not hold our bosses accountable? We should share our numbers – at the very least with peers of the same age and industry – to frame how well we are being compensated for our work.
Getting paid more than peers? Great, appreciate your job more. Getting paid less? If you think you deserve the difference, knowing your friends make more should boost your confidence to ask for a raise or better negotiate future offers.
Aside from union stipulations, Hollywood is all over the map with compensation. Talented harder-working people can make as little as $100 per day while entitled fools make $5,000 per day filling the same position. And you wonder why Hollywood is wrought with ego?
Know where you fit. Earn what you deserve.