Because if you could command more, you would demand it. And if the buyer/employer believed you, you’d get it.
Having been both an entrepreneur and a corporate guy, I find the notion of somebody being underpaid a laughable gripe.
“Those clowns are completely underpaying me! I could get twice as much somewhere else!” is a common lament among many.
My response to them is “Start up your own shop to sell the same service and see what people are willing to pay. Then you’ll know exactly what you’re really worth.”
(Hint…actually a lot more but so few are willing to take the chance that those who do make out like rock stars.)
People who are paid more always deserve to be paid more. They’ve generally worked harder, have been more creative, and have risked failure to learn more. Executives are paid large amounts of money. And they deserve it. The common complaint is that they are privy to a select cadre of associates, and that they are where they are because of the people they know. Some perhaps. Every company has to sell. If the people they know can buy more, any company would be smart to pay for access to those customers. Your network is your net-worth after all. More often than not, executives worked their asses off to get to where they are and was cognizant of branding themselves as opposed to some other guy who only knew how to work hard. Selling yourself requires just as much talent as any other skill, if not more, as evidenced by the existence of starving artists.
Everybody preaches free-market capitalism except when it comes to their salaries. Suddenly, people want equality and fair distribution. Minimum wage laws and so-called ‘market rates’ for similar job positions have already destroyed the notion of a truly talent-driven workforce. For a people who love to wear our free-market capitalism on our sleeves, we sure love our safety-nets.
All people in all economies function within the bell-curve. Excluding extreme luck or lack thereof, people to the right of us on the curve have probably worked harder, smarter and promoted themselves better. The true outliers got there because they consistently do more than the rest of us – the little bit extra that makes them extraordinary that most of us don’t bother to do or find excuses not to do. Luck certainly helps but the successful rarely count on it as a strategy in their business plans.
So you don’t think you’re being paid enough? There’s a solution for that.
Work harder to be 10% better then sell yourself as being 50% better.
If you can’t, don’t begrudge the guy who can.