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What is your job worth?

Assuming that you're not independently wealthy and just working as a hobby, your salary is the reason to wake up every morning to head to work.

The nagging question for many 9-to-5ers, however, is whether they could be making more.

The Web can be a gold mine of information for salary comparisons, but all you'll really get is an average. Assuming that your own research can be more valuable than any statistical report, the old rule applies, "it's not what you know, but who." Acquaint yourself with anyone in a similar position to inquire after their salary range. It may be well worth the time and effort.

Also note that salary isn't all about the figure that is dangled before you. If you think you're being low-balled seek out what job benefits and perks that may come along with the position. It might just change your attitude.

Beyond the obvious that also includes flexible hours, distance from home, transportation costs to and from, the availability of a company cafeteria or cheap eats nearby, and other factors.

And, finally, don't think that just because it's not an executive position that YOU, too, can't learn to negotiate a salary with the best of them. Prove your worth to the company and you could walk away with a higher salary and new-found confidence in your negotiating skills. (For more on this train of thought, see Job Star's Salary IQ.)

Elsewhere around the Web, click around below for general and specific info on wage earning in the U.S., along with salary trends and labor statistics, recent reports, economic forecasts and tips on wrangling for that big raise...

More about job salaries around the Web:

 

Monster Advice : Salary & Benefits - Check out expert tips from Monster.com.

Bureau of Labor Statistics - Wages, Earnings and Benefits - A motherlode of U.S. stats on wages, earnings and benefits by industry, occupation and geographical, data broken down by state, county and city.

5 Things You Must Know Before Asking for that Raise - Excellent 'tough love' advice on the realities of office life, including the three-word rule of thumb: "Quantify your value."

 

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