Everyone goes to work for one reason: money. The more money you get, the better. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who feel overworked and underpaid – and the question is, are you one of them? Before you quit your job and decide to look for a position elsewhere, you need to be certain you’re not getting what you deserve or, at least, what everyone else is getting.
Are you underpaid? Is your monthly salary fair? Here are a couple of ways you can find out if you should go back to work or walk out the door.
Find Out How the Competition Is Doing
Making the same amount your coworkers do is not the same as getting paid enough money. Your company might have a rough time or is simply cheap when it comes to salary. That’s why you need a broader sample.
Your company’s competition is the perfect place for that. If you work at Burger King, cross the street and ask the employees at McDonald’s how things are doing money-wise. Remember, not everyone is willing to talk about their income – but someone eventually will!
You can also contact your local Bureau of Workers Compensation if there’s one in your area. You can also contact the rival companies themselves (instead of employees), but not all of them will be willing to disclose workers’ compensation – especially if they are not paying the right amount.
Get in Touch With Recruiters From Similar Companies
If you don’t have enough information after looking into your company and a few others, you can check how the job market is doing.
Your first step should be talking to recruiters. If you don’t know any, simply act as if you’d be looking for a job in your current position. Having a LinkedIn profile will help you with this.
Human Resources don’t talk about salary until they’re ready to hire you. You’ll have to ask point-blank about it. Or, at least, ask them to ballpark a figure.
Check Local Ads to See What They Offer
If recruiters aren’t helpful or you’re not sure they are giving you accurate information, go one step ahead. Read local ads and look into job boards.
Are you feeling like an overworked, underpaid guy? You should check if you’re in high demand before you make any assumptions. No ads and no job boards for your position means you might be getting the right amount of money – because there’s no demand for what you do.
There’s a reason you might be getting little money: companies aren’t hiring. If that’s the case, you need to think twice about trying to go elsewhere – an underpaid job is better than no job.
Do Your Own Research Online
An easy way to get most of the information you need is to look for it online. There’s a downside, though. It’s not something you can completely rely on. You can find outdated information, lies, and everything in-between.
What you should do is get as much information as you can before you go online. Get it from coworkers, recruiters, job boards, anywhere you can. Then, compare it to your online research.
Figure Out How Much Your Coworkers Make
There’s no faster way to find out if you’re underpaid other than asking your colleagues. All you have to do is turn around and ask!
You may think everyone earns the same money if they’re working the same position – but, sometimes, that’s not the case. Keep in mind some people don’t feel comfortable sharing that number, and that’s okay.
Remember to take seniority and specific job titles into account:
- If you’re earning less than someone who has been working for longer than you, that’s not bad.
- If you earn less than newcomers, there’s no doubt you’re underpaid.
- If you’re all earning the same, this does not mean you’re not underpaid. This could mean you’re all underpaid at work. That’s why you need to keep looking.
Compare the Data – And Be Honest About It
The meaning of underpayment is getting less money for the same work.
If you find out other people are getting more money, but they also have a better education or more responsibilities, you’re not underpaid. Then again, you could find out you’re equal in everything but income – that’s when you can say “I am underpaid” without a doubt.
There’s a catch: you could be looking at salaries alone. If you’re in sales, the biggest part of your income doesn’t come from salary but incentive pay. That could be the reason behind the income difference.
You should also take other benefits into account (free car, free apartment, gym memberships, and anything that your company pays for you). If you’re getting 10% less but your boss pays your rent, you’re definitely not underpaid!
Make Sure Inflation Isn’t Eating Away Your Income
Inflation is making a comeback. After the 2008 crisis, stagnation was on everyone’s mind. Once that was settled, inflation became an issue.
You might wonder what inflation has to do with you being underpaid. Well, everything. If you’ve been at your job for long enough, inflation might be the reason you’re underpaid.
Let’s say you’ve been working for 10 years and received a 1% bump in your salary every year. American inflation is between 1.2% and 1.5% per year. That means you lost close to 0.5% of your real salary every year, that’s 5% in ten years!
Is Your Income Enough?
At the end of the day, being underpaid is relative to your needs. If you’re the best-paid man at what you do, but still need more money to survive, you’re underpaid – at least in your world!
Maybe the nature of your work leads to being underpaid. Some jobs pay better than others, that’s nothing but the truth. If you’re not getting enough money from what you’re doing right now, it might be time for a career change.
You can also update your resume and see if you can land a better position elsewhere. Or try to go up the corporate ladder in your company!
There’s more than one way to fix the issue of being underpaid. All you have to do is figure out your own.