Over the years, one of the most common reasons people never get the kind of take home pay that will be able to take them home is not because there is no potential to earn more or that the company is not willing to pay more. The real reason is that the people involved have sincerely and sometimes ignorantly refused to increase their capacity to earn more.
There is no amount of industrial action against your employer if you are a government worker or if you work for a small private company that can help you earn more in some cases if you simply refuse to earn more. I have heard of several cases where people get into a company as office assistants and they rise to the top. The only reason some of them rise to the top in some cases is because while they were office assistants, they were also developing themselves. Some of them went back to school and some of them who could not go to school full time were taking some short term trainings.
In one of the organizations where I once worked, there was a young man who spent twelve years in that organization before he left. He got into the organization as a front desk executive and later became the assistant communications coordinator. From there he moved on to another position as opportunities opened up. You have to keep learning. You have to keep improving. You must never stay on the same spot. In the same organization I know of another person who got in there as front desk and was also supposed to do some communications work but later moved to another department when there was an opening. As she moved up by just one step she got a higher pay.
You need to know that some organizations are willing to pay you as much as you want so long as you are willing to develop yourself. You need to be real. What additional skill have you acquired in over five years? Have you taken any training either on short term or long term? Have you gone to any seminar or conference just to brush up your knowledge? What have you done differently since you got into the organization? It’s really easy for people to say that they want more pay and they bring up so many issues that are, at best, can be referred to as sentiments. We are even in the days of internet and there are so many things you can learn over the internet. Take for instance, you can learn from websites like http://www.alison.com and there are different things there for you to learn. You cannot just hope that the more you stay in an organization the more you will earn.
Even if you work in an organization as an office assistant, you can watch what other people are doing in the organization and show interest. You can move closely and learn from them. After a while you can ask them to give you a chance to try out what they are doing. Once you have succeeded in doing what they are doing then you can just wait for a vacancy in that area or another company might just need someone who has the skills you have learnt. I remember that Steve Harris, a Nigerian management consultant, as he always says in his story was an office assistant in Fela Durotoye’s company (Visible Impact). He would follow the consultants in the office to some of the trainings they used to do then. He had in him the innate ability to be a trainer but had dropped out of school twice. Since he got that chance to be an office assistant, he learnt all that he needed to learnt until one day when Fela Durotoye, the owner of the company had to train two banks on the same day and all other consultants were too busy to help him out with one.
Because Steve had always watched what the consultants who were taking the trainings and occasionally got a chance to speak in those meetings, he told Fela that he would go and take the second bank training. It was a big risk but Fela was willing to take that risk. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Steve Harris trains in nearly all the banks we have in Nigeria and has published two good books.
If you are truly going to earn more then you must be willing to learn more! When your organization sees that you have learnt more and what you have learnt can solve problems for the organization then they will be willing to pay more.
Your take home pay can definitely take you home but if it will, then you have to bring more relevant skills to the desk in order to solve more problems for the organization.