Obviously, everyone wants to get a raise. After all, more money can’t hurt right? Well, that’s true as long as there are no strings attached. However, usually we find strings attached. A new salary usually means a new job or at least new responsibilities. Sometimes, they aren’t worth the raise. So, make sure that you consider these myths about salary increase before you accept.
Myth: A Higher Salary Makes You Happier
This is one of the most prevalent myths about salary increase opportunities. If someone asks you, “do you want a higher salary,” will you automatically answer yes. If so, then chances are that you’ve bought into this particular myth. You assume that more money means that you’ll be happier – either in general or at work specifically.
There are two problems with this myth:
- More money isn’t correlated with happiness. Well, it is up to a certain point. However, if you’re already earning enough to live a good life, then more money usually doesn’t add more happiness.
- You will keep the same or higher level of happiness at work. However, you’re probably getting a new job and/or new responsibilities with this higher salary. If you love the new work, that’s great. However, if you hate it, then you’ve lost out, even with the increase in pay. Think about this carefully before accepting any raise.
Other Myths About Salary Increase
Here are some of the other most common myths about salary increase:
- A higher salary means a better job. It might mean a higher-level job but is it truly a better job for you? Maybe, maybe not.
- A higher salary means you’ll make more money. This sounds like a fact. However, look closely. If you have to work more hours for the higher salary then you might actually earn less per hour. If the new salary bumps you into a higher tax bracket, then you might actually take home less money. Consider these factors. In some instances, a new job even requires you to spend more (on new work clothes, for example).
- A higher salary means you’ll have more money. If you do make more, then you’ll have more, right? Not necessarily. Even if you take home more, you might do what many people do: spend more. If you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself with just as little in your savings account as before and less time because you’re working harder!
Are You Owed a Salary Increase?
The above myths about salary increase are all about making sure that a new job is right for you before you take one just for the money. You might want that raise. However, you always want to make conscious choices.
That said, there are some other salary myths out there. These have to do with mistaken beliefs many people hold about the laws and rules around pay raises at their jobs. People often mistakenly believe:
- They’re owed annual raises. Unfortunately, this isn’t a law.
- Promised promotions will always come through. Until contracts are signed, employers aren’t required to promote you or increase your pay.
- Your boss will tell you when it’s time for your raise. Don’t leave it up to them. Learn how to approach your boss, work with them, and negotiate a higher salary if you think you’re ready for one.
Don’t let salary myths hold you back from getting higher pay. However, also don’t let the temptation of higher pay seduce you into a job that isn’t really better for you.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .