- Your salary is less than the average of the online data
- Your responsibilities at work have increased but not your salary
- You have fewer benefits than your colleagues
- You never negotiated a higher salary
- Similar designations at your company are being paid more
- A recruiter indicates that you’re underpaid
- Your salary doesn’t account for inflation
- Your salary is the same despite your company’s growth
- Recent hires are being paid more
- What to do if you’re being underpaid?
As human beings, we are prepared to earn our living right from our childhood.
This is why our parents invest in our education and help us pave our path.
Even the ones that aren’t able to educate their children to pass on the knowledge of skills they possess for their children to earn their bread once they grow up.
At the end of it all, it comes down to acquiring skills, education or traits to earn a decent living and hopefully do the same for future generations.
In the modern world of corporations and organizations, what you earn is decided upon your qualifications and experience.
While there are industry standards to quantify your experience and qualifications, you might be in a job where you’re underpaid as per the same standards.
A lot of us do not recognize what our salaries should be based on our qualifications.
So, how do you know if YOU are underpaid?
In this piece, I’ll be sharing some of the signs that can give a hint at whether you’re correctly salaried at your current organization or not.
Let’s get cracking!
Your salary is less than the average of the online data
The first and biggest sign that you’re underpaid is when your salary is lower than the average salary in your profession.
Log onto websites like AmbitionBox where you can check on the average salary of your designation. This will give you an idea of whether you’re underpaid or not.
If your salary is less than the average of what the online data suggests then you’re probably underpaid.
Your responsibilities at work have increased but not your salary
Another crucial sign that can indicate that you’re underpaid is piling responsibilities without any raise.
If your duties since you joined a company have increased without any increment in your salary then you’re most likely underpaid.
You need to understand that an increase in responsibility should be fairly compensated by your company. So, if you have noticed an increase in the responsibilities then you deserve a raise as well.
You have fewer benefits than your colleagues
All employees get certain benefits from the company they work for. This may include paid time off, travel allowance, etc. depending upon the company policies.
If you find yourself having fewer benefits than your colleagues then you’re most likely underpaid.
A lot of times these things may get overlooked because of similar salaries. But, if your benefits are less, then it still makes you underpaid compared to your colleagues.
You never negotiated a higher salary
This one is a no-brainer but still can be overlooked at times.
If you have been working at a company for some time but never tried to negotiate for a higher salary than you think you deserve then obviously you’re underpaid.
Many times, certain companies may not take the initiative to give an appraisal or even try to have a conversation about a raise. This generally happens in small to midsize companies where policies are not well established.
However, it’s still possible. So, initiating an open dialogue from your end may change it for you.
Similar designations at your company are being paid more
If you have colleagues that come from the same educational background and experience but are paid more than you do then you’re likely to be underpaid.
Sometimes similar designations to yours may require the same amount of experience and education at your company.
However, this doesn’t mean that just because they’re different for namesake, that you should be paid less for it.
So, if this is the case then you’re underpaid and should have a dialogue with your employer for the same.
A recruiter indicates that you’re underpaid
Sometimes the truth is right in your face and we don’t believe it.
If a recruiter from a consultancy or company calls you regarding a job opportunity and indicates to you that you can be paid a lot more than what you’re earning, then you’re underpaid.
But if the salary they’re offering is too good to be true then it may also be a scam or a fraud. Be aware of that, read more about it here - How to Avoid Job Search Scams.
You might be enjoying your role at your company and may not think that your employer is underpaying you but if a recruiter of any kind indicates it, it’s most likely true.
Your salary doesn’t account for inflation
Inflation is something no company should forget about, especially when deciding someone’s salary.
So, your salary should account for inflation. If you feel your increment in salary overtime is not significant it may be because it doesn’t account for inflation, which means you might be underpaid.
Make sure that your salary increments account for inflation wherever you’re working.
Your salary is the same despite your company’s growth
If you’re at a job where your salary is the same for some time but your company is reaching milestones after milestones in terms of revenue and growth then you’re underpaid.
A growing company or a company that’s exponentially increasing its revenue should also reward its employees with raises or bonuses. If you see your company is growing and your salary is not then you’re being underpaid.
Recent hires are being paid more
If you notice that new hires are being appointed to fill existing positions on higher packages then you’re most likely being underpaid for your contributions at your company.
What to do if you’re being underpaid?
If you feel you’re being underpaid based on the signs that I have mentioned in this piece then the first step you should take is to be sure of how much you’re underpaid.
Do some research and find out how much you’re underpaid by taking into account your education and qualifications. You may check online websites to compare your salary with the salary data shared online.
Once you’re sure that you’re underpaid and the salary you should be getting, you can do the following:
Talk to your employer: Have a calm and cool conversation with your employer. State the facts you have found during your research. Present the facts which indicate that you’re underpaid for the level of experience and education you have. Also, try to highlight your contributions at work.
Look for another job: If having a conversation with your employer doesn’t lead to a raise then you should look for another job. Search for better companies and opportunities that will pay you the salary you deserve and leave your current company once you find the right job.
In conclusion, your salary should be as per standards set by the industry you work in and should be based upon your level of experience and education.
If you see any of the signs mentioned in this piece then make sure to have a dialogue with your employer about your salary. Make sure you gather the data to back your claim that you’re being underpaid.