If you are going to work, shouldn't you be paid what you're worth?

My philosophy about remuneration is simple. If you are going to work - you should be paid what you are worth.

That is not to say that women have to work in organisations and know how to negotiate for their salary and play the 'corporate game'. Many people (male and female) choose to work in a variety of ways to provide themselves with flexibility and different life options.

(Although even if you are working for yourself knowing your value and what you should charge is still important).

Nor do I think that the 'salary gap' between men and women that we all hear about is because the guys doing exactly the same job are being paid more than women.

A report just published in Australia by CommSec reported that the gender pay difference is the widest it has been for 28 years - with female wages at 82.5% of male wages.

There's no doubt the reasons are complex - Helen Conway, Director of the Australian Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) is reported as saying,

"While the causes of the gap are many and complex, she cited “feminised” industries such as child care and aged care as examples of industries women dominate and which often pay poor wages because women’s skills are undervalued by both society and employers. Many women also work part-time, which further depresses their wages. Even in large enterprises, however, women often receive lower wages than male counterparts.

A lack of education and training is another factor that keeps women’s wages low, often because women who return to the workforce after caring for children find themselves lagging in terms of professional development compared to men who enjoy unbroken careers. Fewer women tend to work in industries that offer discretionary pay or bonuses, another factor that contributes to lower earnings."

She's right about one thing. The reason for the pay gap are complex.

The issue for each of us is learning the skills to make sure that individually we are paid what we are worth.

Whether you are male or female, one of the best ways to do this is to learn the skills to negotiate and then apply these skills to the negotiations we have on our own behalf. I don't think it's necessarily about learning how to work in a man's world. (I know plenty of guys who are just as perplexed as Chicks about to negotiate to be paid what they're worth). I think it's about understanding the environment where you work, being skilled and applying those skills for yourself.

Be interested in your thoughts?

Thanks for the Chat

- Karen

P.S. You might be interested in this extract from the chapter of "Hot Tips for Career Chicks" on the subject of 'Earn What You're Worth'.

The Two Most Powerful Words in Business

Imagine my delight when I received this delicious thank you card in the mail this morning.

A lovely reminder that the two most powerful words in business are "Thank" and "You" (actually they work pretty well in most situations!)

Dictionary.com gives the definition of 'thank' as "to express gratitude, appreciation or acknowledgment" and 'you' as "the person/s being addressed."

Which is why (apart from this being a chocolate version ) it is so nice to receive a thank you.

It is reinforcement that what you have done has been valued, acknowledged and is appreciated.

Nice to receive.

And easy to give.

Thank you for reading my blog!

- Karen

P.S. Thank you Julia for my chocolate!

Carrie Underwood: A Career Chick Who Loves Her Work

I love it when you see someone who really loves their work!

Check out this video of Carrie Underwood's duet with Steven Tyler at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards - at 5 min 24 seconds Carrie is having such a great time that she's singing along when it's not her turn.

Most of us are not as famous as Carrie Underwood (nor likely to get the chance to sing with Steven Tyler) but it's something to celebrate if you have parts of your work that make you feel good and want to join in - even when it's not your bit.

Hoping you have something to sing about today!

P.S. Don't just watch 5:24 - the whole performance is great - I just love it! - Karen

5 Motivating Quotes

Sometimes the right quote strikes a chord. Gives you some inspiration. Something to think about. A fresh perspective. Reinforces that you are on the right track.

Here are 5 quotes that I really like:

1. "Today, knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement"

- Peter Drucker

2. "The future depends on what we do in the present"

- Mahatma Gandi

3. "The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook."

- William James

4. "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom"

- Aristotle

And my personal favorite at the moment,

5. "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid"

- Albert Einstein

Hope they give you something to chat or think about...

Are you an Effective Communicator? Free online Webinar.

Communication is how we exchange information.

We use words, gestures and expressions to convey facts and ask questions. Whether face-to-face, on the phone or in writing by text, email or reports every communication we have with someone shapes their opinion about us.

These many communication events add up to influence our credibility, impact our ability to 'get things done' and ultimately form our professional reputation.

This week I am conducting a free online webinar for Network Central in their Business Masterclass series. The topic: "Are you an effective communicator?"

It's on this Thursday August 18 at 13:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 20:00 Pacific Time on Wednesday August 17 for folks in the United States.

You don't need to be a member and it would be great to have a chat!

Click here to register.

Chat with you soon!


The work conversations not to have in a cafe...

Who is listening to your conservations?

include the one that I overheard this morning.

It started with a discussion of colleagues who were known to keep prizes that were meant to be given away to customers and then progressed to a detailed criticism of their Human Resources department and how 'unfair' it was that they had imposed a process where they had to 'share' the free gifts and goodies they were given as part of their job. Where was the incentive to do their job and cultivate contacts they complained?

I didn't know the people they talked about. But I might have. Pretty careless conversation for a couple of journalists.

A good reminder to me - that as great as casual coffee networking is for your career - there are just some subjects that shouldn't be discussed in front of strangers!

Where men learn how to manage their careers

I saw this magazine on the airport news stand as I was flying back into Sydney earlier in the week.

In amongst the how to "Fast Track Your 6 Pack" and "The Big Arms Workout" was the standout headline, "Turbocharge Your Career!"

Meanwhile in the women's magazine's section the headlines were babies, weddings, gossip, fashion and diets. All topics I love to read about. But there was nothing I could see about career advice...

Where do men learn about managing their careers?


They talk, read, watch and learn.

Learning career management skills is not cheating. It's what we need to do. And it makes sense if we want to do well we need to chat about this stuff too...

Chat soon!

- Karen

Careers bloom with the right care

My nieces Lily (aged 8) and Arabella (almost 6) are in charge of keeping these flowers not only alive but looking beautiful whilst they are on holidays in Australia.

This requires daily watering, caterpillar removal and the disposal of any dead flowers.

But they're pretty busy girls. There are bikes to ride, a dog to play with and cookies to be eaten.

So they keep the tools they need to tend their flowers close at hand.

Clever really.

They're ready to flick a caterpillar away or sprinkle a can of water as they walk past.

No time out of their busy schedule and the flowers are blooming!

It made me think about looking after a career. We can get so busy doing what we have to that we don't have the time to ensure that it stays not only alive - but healthy.

If you can put some actions in place so that you can look after your career as you go about your life it can make things so much easier.

Have regular meetings with your mentors and favourite people in your network booked into your diary.

Conversations with these people who support you are like a sprinkle of water to your career. They're also helpful if you have any nasty caterpillars or bugs come your way that need to be flicked away.

Subscribe to relevant blogs, newsletters and magazines so that you have a flow of relevant information passing by you. It will be there when you have time to peruse and sometimes a relevant headline will make you take the time.

Put the next three actions in your career plan as a note in your smart phone with a daily alarm or stuck to the fridge under a magnet - have them close at hand to think (or even better do) something about when you see them!

Just a couple of ideas to help you give your career the right care so it will bloom!

Thanks for the chat. Lily and Arabella have some cookies and milk waiting for me.

- Karen

P.S. If you are looking for a relevant blog to subscribe to there's always this one!!