Are You an Underearner?

Posted by: Michelle Conlin on June 13, 2008

Underearner Picture.bmp

This week’s story in the Wall Street Journal about the debtors’ culture new answer—Debtors Anonymous—got me thinking about the underside of overspending: underearning.

As if you needed another problem. Or diagnosis. But for every obscenely piggish ceo pay package, there’s legions of underearners crawling all over Corporate America.

Here are a few telltale signs, courtesy of Mari Geasair from the godfather of underearners Jerrold Mundis and his book Earn What You Deserve.

Underearners:

Believe their jobs won’t give them more money.

Get praised for excellent work but rarely get the requisite monetary recogtion.

Have an unsteady work rhythm. They may work too hard and not take care of themselves, work in cycles of excess and collapse, or don’t want to work at all.

Frequently think there is spiritual or political virtue in not having money. They find virtue in struggle and are often proud of their ability to make do with little. They may believe that people only get wealthy by exploiting others or giving up on their own commitment to creativity and integrity.

Know that things must change, but feel personally powerless to create the change. Secretly feel that eventually something will happen to make things better (the sale of a house, winning a lawsuit, finding a benefactor, winning the lottery, etc.).

Tend to over-commit and fill free time with endless little tasks and chores as well as things they feel they should or must do for others.

Are usually terrified of financial risk such as investing, finding a better job, or spending money on their own financial intelligence. At the same time they react to built-up financial stress by taking poorly thought out financial risks (“get rich quick” schemes).

Believe more money would cure all of their problems. Believe if they just made more money they would be free to never think about money again.

Are uncomfortable asking for money. May find themselves asking for less than they know they deserve or feeling embarrassed when they must remind someone to pay them for work they have already done.

Sound familiar?

Reader Comments

sanspeur

June 14, 2008 9:15 PM

You've got to be kidding me. Corporate America is one of the biggest screw-off playgrounds. Most people can hardly get to work on time and then everyone is an expert at getting time off. If the one guy theory holds true and a CEO can turn that crap around and not put up with the Affirmative Action/Female underperformance crapola, then he deserves a HUGE PAYDAY. You know it and I know it.

Squeezebox

June 27, 2008 1:49 PM

@Sanspeur: watch your mouth you sexist pig! Women work just as hard as men and usually are the ones getting underpaid.

Mari

March 8, 2010 9:48 PM

So- to bring matters to a higher level here:
It is not a gender issue per-se it is an issue that can affect either men or women. It does happen that many women are Underearners but that is not the point.

The point is how do you ETHICALLY learn to earn more money and not shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to finances. There are many good books and articles on the topic. For some great FREE resources go to my site at http://www.authenticprosperityclub.com
If you surf to the articles page you will find free audio recordings and written lessons.

And yes I am the Mari mentioned in the article.

Enjoy!

Mari G

March 8, 2010 9:51 PM

So- to bring matters to a higher level here:
It is not a gender issue per-se it is an issue that can affect either men or women. It does happen that many women are Underearners but that is not the point.

The point is how do you ETHICALLY learn to earn more money and not shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to finances. There are many good books and articles on the topic. For some great FREE resources go to my site at http://www.authenticprosperityclub.com
If you surf to the articles page you will find free audio recordings and written lessons.

And yes I am the Mari mentioned in the article.

Enjoy!

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