I have female clients that come to me very disturbed after finding out male colleague with the same position and similar years of work experience are paid more, sometimes significantly. It’s a really serious blow especially if you have been dedicated to a company and given 100 percent to your job. There’s so much data at your fingertips. If you do the research and educate yourself, you can determine if you are well paid for your job.
Not Being Well Paid Can Lead to Dissatisfaction
Your relationship with your manager is typically found to be one of the main factors for job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It’s very important in determining how you view your job and if you feel valued. Believe it or not, money is generally not number one if you look at the enormous amount of data regarding motivation and job satisfaction. There are circumstances in which money becomes extremely important and that is if you feel you are not paid fairly. If you feel that way, it can have a significant impact on how you view your company. For many, it’s a matter of trust and can make you doubt that you are valued.
There are a number of resources for researching salary information and determining if you are well paid. Sites like Glassdoor have extensive salary information by company. You may be able to pull up some information about your company specifically. You can also look at like positions in other companies. PayScale offers free salary information. It’s important that you search by your location as well as your role. Geography is extremely important in determining compensation. In addition, you may stay in touch with colleagues that have left the company and they may be willing to share what they were making. You may be surprised at how much information you can find by doing some detective work.
Let’s face it, we all want to make a seven figure salary but that’s not realistic for most. Keeping that in mind, we must be practical and objective when conducting our research. It’s important to make sure it’s a like position within the same geographic area and if possible, based on similar years of work experience. That last criteria may be a bit trickier to find. If you have done your homework and can say, I am not well paid, then what’s your plan?
Have The Conversation
If your research shows you are underpaid and you would like to discuss it, then have the conversation with your manager. It can be a bit awkward no doubt, but putting it simply, don’t ask don’t get. I was fortunate to have mentors early on in my career that encouraged me to negotiate and helped me develop my strategy. If you want to address it, then show them your data and present the accomplishments you are most proud of. Advise your boss that you are below market value by x percent, then pause and give your boss an opportunity to respond. If your boss says they will have to get back to you, suggest a meeting the following week.
There’s no guarantee you will get a raise, but if you’ve started the conversation, the ball is in your boss’s court. How they handle the situation will help you figure out your next step. Best of luck!