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  • John Macedo


Updated: 3 days ago

Workers get paid for something else. Find out what

More skill/experience means that you may be able to carry your responsibilities in a more effective/efficient manner.

When you ask for a pay rise based on skill, the skill doesn't mean anything, but what matters is what you can do with it. In this case, what it means is that you should be accountable for greater production, therefore, more responsibility.

Responsibility and Trust are the only things that pay. Find more about it here


You have gained lots of skill in the job and now you can clean faster/better.

For that reason you asked for a pay rise. If your boss says yes, he/she would implicitly be holding you accountable for a greater standard (faster or better quality).

Considering that you have already acquired the skill and because you are asking for a pay rise and you're already delivering more than when you just started, your boss may simply update his/her level of expectation to your current level of skill.

In other words:

When you’ve just started you were cleaning 1 room per hour. The boss was happy.

You gained skill and got faster, and now you clean 2 rooms per hour. You asked for a fair pay rise and you’ve got it.

Now your boss expects 2 rooms per hour and he's pretty happy about it


Negotiation is the Key to Success

As a suggestion, before you make your move asking for a pay rise based on your skill improvements, gather the data that supports your improvements.

If you could do X and now you do 2 times X, let your boss know that. If there was activities that you didn't perform but now you do perform, make sure your boss know that too.

The goal is to be fair:

Your boss may argue that he accounted for improvements and even invested on your training from the start (This may be a fair statement or not). When negotiating, your outcome is to do the right thing by you and for the company. Be ready do make a point and be ready do understand the company's side.

Learn some tricks about negotiation here

If it fails, negotiate more

Let's consider that the tide didnt turn in your favour this time. Use this opportunity to clarify with the company manager what are the levels of performance would justify a pay rise. (you may have to assume more responsibilities as well). This will give you a clear career plan that you can follow and also a metric to evaluate your achievements.

The fire trap

A common but unfortunate scenario is a worker gaining more skills and asking for a pay rise, followed closely by the boss denying him of the raise, some workers might be forced to DROP their performance to what is seen to be fair for the current pay rate. In situations where that a worker cannot unlearn a skill, they can only drop their performance by slacking at work. As a consequence, the boss notices that the worker is not working at his/her peak, which can be distressing.

On the other hand, the employee does not feel valued by the management and gets upset too. Usually this problem leads to a stressful encounter for both ends.

The employee wants more money in order to raise his performance and the Boss wants more performance (now even more than the before, to compensate for the slacking), to justify a pay rise. As you may guess, this trap usually gets someone fired.

The solo problem here is poor communication, meaning: no negotiation. As a worker, or boss, do the best that you can to keep the communication line open and clearly state what you expect as pay/performance. Do not let yourself fall into the fire trap.

Don't rush and do not fear.

Don't fear negotiating the acquiring of a new skill or gaining new responsibilities with your boss. Remember it's good for him too!


When I was a labourer working for the piling companies was considering becoming a truck driver and I actually negotiated it with the bosses at the time. The deal was: I was going to get myself a truck diver license (from my own pocket) and the company would allow me to drive the trucks for training.

Turns out that I wouldn't be able to get the pay rise until I was, at least, a decent driver, meaning that I would have to drive at a decent speed, load and unload the truck in a proper and safe manner, not getting fined by state polices and definitely not crashing. I considered what they’ve set as a standard and I estimated that it would take me about 6 months to complete it*.

After I did a fair bit of reflection and research, based on the price he gave me as payment, I ended up not pursuing the truck driving path. If I had negotiated a better pay raise for truck driving maybe things would have turned out differently. A “way leads to another”, so who knows?

*Maybe you don't want to wait that long. Consider negotiating a smaller raise in 3 months on some less ambitious goals. Or maybe you’re going for the big pot in a year-long project. It's up to you to draw your own strategy.


Always make sure you pursue goals that you are happy about and make sure you don't fight the battles that you gain nothing by winning.

Learn more about ambition here

Hope this article gave you a good insight and inspire on taking action.