With the recession not quite behind us yet, many people feel that they’re lucky to have a job — even if they aren’t being paid what they’re worth. But being overworked and underpaid takes a real toll. It places undue stress on your work environment as well as your family and personal life, and can quickly lead to burnout or even serious health problems.
How do you know if you’re underpaid? If you suspect your salary is lower than it should be, you probably don’t want to start asking around the office about how much everyone else is making. Fortunately, there are more covert ways to find out what your salary range should be:
- Try a salary calculator: Many career-focused websites such as Salary.com provide aggregate data on salary ranges for a variety of different careers. If you’re looking for a rough estimate, this is a quick and easy way to find it — but remember these sites may not calculate education, experience, certifications, job locations, and other factors that can influence salaries.
- Browse job boards: Looking at recent listings for positions similar to yours on sites such as Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com can also give you general idea of the expected salary. You may find listings that match your experience and location. However, you might have to scour a lot of listings to find numbers, since many employers describe salary offers as simply “competitive” or “depending on experience.”
- Ask a recruiter: A recruiter’s job is to match candidates with positions and “sell” them at the highest possible price. Recruiters are valuable sources of information when it comes to salary, because they know exactly how much employers are paying for a given position and have worked with candidates at several levels of education and experience.
If it turns out that your current salary is lacking, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation and start earning what you’re worth.
Ask for a raise
The fastest route to getting the salary you should have is to ask for it. Once you’ve researched your position, you’ll have evidence of the fair market value you should expect to receive, and you can present it to your boss when you make your case for a raise. But if your manager or supervisor is unapproachable or refuses to consider it, you have more options.
Ask for equity
If you’re underpaid and working for a small or startup company, you may be able to make up the difference with equity. Talk to the owner about the possibility of sharing ownership — perhaps a 10 or 15 percent interest in a rising business would make it worth temporarily working for less. Stock options are another possibility for gaining equity and increasing the value of your work.
Resign from the job
Barring a raise, shared ownership, or any effort to address your underpaid status, it may be time to say “take this job and shove it.” You can be polite in your resignation and give proper notice — but if there’s no chance you’ll realize a fair salary any time soon, your days at your underpaid job should be numbered.
Sign on with a recruiter
Looking for a new job can be a long and difficult slog, especially if you resign because you’re underpaid. Recruiters can make your job search process faster and easier, and ensure that you receive the highest possible salary for your skills and experience.
Once you leave an underpaid position, you don’t want to wait around too long to find a job that pays what you’re worth. Working with a recruiter gives you more options and a faster path to a job you’ll love.
Want to know more about how a recruiter can help you get what you’re worth? Contact The Armada Group today.