Illustration: Patrick George/Getty Images

3 of 5
Don't Talk Yourself Out of What You're Worth
Angela works for an educational travel company, leading trips to China. While she loves her work, it pays just $2,500 a month, and she is an independent contractor, which means she isn't eligible for most benefits. But she was also quick to tell me that the firm is a small start-up in a tough economy, and she couldn't see how the company could afford to pay her more. Talk about self-sabotage. I explained to Angela that it is not her job to worry about the company's finances. A $30,000 salary is not enough. She knows it, and I know it. But Angela still lacks the courage to ask for what she needs. That has to change. How to ask for a raise.