I stumbled upon a Reddit post today, where the commenter stated that he’s just making $1.5 per hour more than a new hire. We often wonder if we Are making too little from our jobs. Most of us feel we should get more pay, and it’s normal.
In times when companies are running for more profit and more revenue the employees should also run for more pay. Problem is, often we don’t know if we are getting less salary. As a society, we are reluctant to discuss our earnings in front of others. The question that can change lives is left undiscussed. We feel embarrassed to disclose our salary.
But in social media, we can freely discuss, especially because we do not know the persons who are reading our comments. This is a sense of security that allows us to discuss freely and openly.
Now, coming back to the original context, We should and we must discuss our paycheck with like-minded people. This helps us realize where we stand. Only when we discuss we know if we are sufficiently being paid.
You should ask this question to yourself first, am I making too little from my job?
How do you know you’re making too little
- First check with other’s if they’re willing to discuss, preferably from the same job location as yours.
- Check the job posting sites for salary at an equivalent job
- Look at sites like Glassdoor, where you can get a glimpse into what others are making(or expected to make) at your current employer and current position.
If you’re at your company for too long, high chances that you’ll come at the lower range than what’s being offered, or, what others are making.
This is natural, companies spend more to attract talent than they are doing to retain their existing talent.
What to do when you’re making too little from your job
You have only two options
- Work harder, be more productive and take up additional part-time assignments to earn more, or
- Move on to another job. The best way to move up is to move out. Too often, it is the only way
The second is easier, although people generally go for option one. Change is a bit scary and people like stability and comfort. The unknowns from the change are what keep people away from it.
I’m always conflicted about this too. It’s easier to stay at a current job if they are offering to match, which can be good, but looking forward does this mean they will only offer you more money when at risk of losing you?
I’d rather be receiving raises and promotions based on my merit and, not just because I wanted to leave.
Moreover, with option one, the potential longer-term growth is limited. Even if you can get a small raise, that may not be sustainable in the long run.
I’d suggest you go for the second option. Start applying for a new position in the same company or similar position at a different company.
Have your family come along in this decision. Their lives may also get changed because of the potential job-related moves you need to make. Take their opinion if your low salary is big reason enough for all of you to move.
Your spouse’s job might be affected and so maybe your children’s schooling. Have an open talk in your family and get them along in the decision.
Ask for a raise, and be prepared to move out
While you’re still in dilemma to choose between staying put and moving on, you should still ask for a raise. Don’t just ask for a raise for the sake of it. Do the groundwork and be prepared to defend your ask.
If you try to fix this at your current employer, chances are less than 50% that you’ll get a raise, just because you asked.
On top of it, management may get upset at you. And you can’t afford to be in a management bad book.
What always works, rather, is you offering to resign for a better offer and your current employer offers you a matching or better package.
Regardless, talk to your immediate manager and get his/her opinion about your chances.
Don’t just say that XYZ makes more money than you, rather discuss how your contributions deserve more pay.
State your unhappiness and if you’re vital and if they feel threatened, they’ll come back with at least a promise of future pay raise.
If nothing comes along, start your skill-building. Take up courses and get external certifications. Make yourself most knowledgable at your job.
If you demand to get a raise wasn’t appreciated by the management, then you must be ready for any eventuality.
Start building your skills and acquire a perspective of your overall contribution to the company’s objectives.
Tune-up your resume and seek professional help. Also, appear in as many interviews as you can. Practice will make you perfect. Eventually, you’ll succeed.
Every unsuccessful interview should be a lesson to do better at the next. If you are intelligent, knowledgable and hardworking you deserve a higher paycheck.
When you get that new job and your current employer asks you to stay and gives you a counter offer, you should still move out. Counter offer recipients generally have less chance to go up the ladder one day.
What you should get back from reading this
1. Do the homework to determine if you’re making too little from your job
2. If you’re making less than you deserve, immediately start taking self-improvement and knowledge acquiring actions
3. Talk to your manager and explain your ask and the reasons behind it.
4. Start applying for outside jobs, you’ll succeed at the nth time. The success will come at some point if you keep applying.
5. Even if you get a matching offer from your current employer, it’s better to move on.
Readers, do share your stories of getting a raise or changing jobs for better pay.