8 Signs You Should Be Earning More
You’ve always felt like you should be earning more, but you never knew if you were right. Wonder no longer. Here are 8 telltale signs that you are not earning as much money as you should be.
1. You’re earning below the industry average
In the modern age of technology, it’s pretty easy to find out what other people in similar positions are making. Internet search tools such as Glassdoor.com’s salary search allow you to input your job title, company, and geographical location to determine where your salary falls (or falls short). You can even filter your results by industry, company size, and years of experience to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. This information is incredibly valuable—if you have statistical proof that your salary isn’t up to par, you can use this data to help negotiate a raise.
2. Someone lets it slip
Although it’s historically been frowned upon (although it is not illegal) for employees to discuss their salaries with one another, sometimes the truth slips out. If you discover a coworker doing basically the same job as you is making more—and there are no notable gaps in skills or experience—chances are you’re being underpaid. But be careful how you proceed with this “confidential” information. The important thing is, now you know. You don’t have to throw your coworker under the bus to do something about it.
3. You can’t make ends meet
If you’re in a full-time job that requires skill and hard work, you shouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck. No one should have to choose between paying their electric bill or making their car payment if they’re gainfully employed. If that’s the situation you’re in, it’s time to make the means satisfy the ends.
4. You haven’t gotten a raise in ages
Some employers give automatic raises every year. Others base their salary upgrades on experience, proficiency, and/or length of employment. As long as you’re a valued, hard-working employee, there is no reason you should not be given a raise at least once a year. There might be exceptions if the company is struggling or the economy is down. However if you’ve been contributing to your organization’s success consistently, and you haven’t received a raise in years, this is definitely a sign you should be earning more.
5. You’ve been there too long
Loyalty is a valuable quality. However, if it is not being rewarded, it can work against you. According to Business Insider, some experts believe if you stay at your job more than two years, you’re cheating yourself out of a higher salary. This is because many companies today value new employees with contemporary skill sets more than long-term employees who have nothing new to offer. Therefore, they often pay higher salaries to the newbies, neglecting to reward the loyalty of the veterans. If you’re experiencing this phenomenon, it could be time to take a stand or move on.
6. You started in the hole
Did you accept the first offer when you took the job? If so, you probably started off with a salary below what you should have been making. That’s a mistake that can be difficult to recover from. Even if you get annual raises, your pay will remain substandard because you’re digging yourself out of a hole—not building on a sturdy foundation. If so, it may be to your benefit to start over somewhere else—but this time, negotiate a good starting salary or you’ll find yourself in the same predicament.
7. You can’t afford to dress for the job
Have you ever looked around the office and noticed everyone else is wearing designer suits while you’re still buying off the bargain rack? Do you spend half your paycheck just trying to look like you belong? If you answered yes, you’re not earning enough money for the job you’re doing. Figure out why that is, and do something about it.
8. The company is notorious for underpaying
If your organization has a reputation for being low on the salary scale, it’s unlikely you’re an exception to the rule. Take the rumors seriously and refuse to settle for less than you are worth.
No one wants to feel like they are undervalued. If any of these red flags apply to you, it’s time to take steps to ensure you are getting paid what you deserve. Whether that means asking for a raise or moving onward and upward, you will find great personal satisfaction knowing your true value is acknowledged and rewarded.