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Are You Getting Paid What You Are Worth?

How do you know if you are getting paid what you are worth?

Peanuts?
Peanuts?

 

Today I’m going to talk about a computer systems analyst that I once worked with that was making a quarter of the salary that I was making, even though he graduated from a prestigious private college and achieved much better grades than I.

The employee that I worked with (let’s call him Tooshy) was brilliant, worked long hours and was very productive.  For 10 years, Tooshy told me that he worked for less than $40,000 at an Ad company, never questioning his salary, and happy to get the raises that he was getting.

Flashback 10 years prior, he consider himself lucky when he got an internship while he was still in college since there were a lot of applicants completing to get selected for the internship at the fairly large local company.  He said of the over 80 applicants that applied from his small but prestigious college, he was one of two that was selected.  I could read in his face that he was (and still is) proud of being selected from such a high number of qualified student.  He had an edge though, his grades were at the top of the heap, he had the highest GPA of the group that applied, and since that was the determining criteria for the hiring company, he naturally got selected.

The Financial Mistake of Not Looking At Other Opportunities

Tooshy, while a brilliant student and computer analyst, wasn’t aware of what other comparable computer analysts were getting paid to do for the same work.  So for nine years he just kept spinning like the good little computer analysts gear that he was, accepting less money the entire time.  Now in his defense, he was single and the amount of money he was getting still seemed like a pretty decent chunk of change to him.  He rented a room from a friend at an extremely cheap price so he said he was always flushed with cash, or so he believed.  This obviously was a huge financial mistake, and one that he deeply regrets and is quite bitter about, even to this day!

Tooshy’s problem was that he wasn’t really focused on the money aspect of his job, and the other computer science students that he hung with in class weren’t really focus on the money element either.  Mostly, they learned to create computer systems, and were coding the majority of the time, especially Tooshy because he spent a lot of time producing some of the best code in his computer classes.

Once Tooshy realized that he was getting grossly underpaid, he confronted his boss about it.  His boss realizing Tooshy’s worth agree and tried to get him a raise.  Well, upper management only agreed to a $10,000 one time bump increase.  By 1 time bump increase, they meant that they would give him the $10,000 increase in pay instantly, but the raise next year would be the a normal 2 to 5% raise.

4 Steps to Make Sure You Are Getting Paid What You Are Worth

  1. Don’t be shy, ask friend that are in similar positions if they make more than x, or directly what the make!
  2. Go the site www.salary.com and check out what other in your position may be making
  3. Interested in what the employees make at a certain company that you are interested in check out this site www.glassdoor.com.  I have found that this site has some great information on salary and work conditions for decent sized companies.
  4. Try to work with friends!  If you have a cliché where you work, you have more clout…
  5. Use google for searches on your profession and salary…

Please, don’t go through your work career like Tooshy.  He worked long hours for below average rates for too long (although I’m sure he is doing okay now that he is aware of his worth).  In the future, there is a good chance that salary pay might not increase like it has in the past, especially with global competition and a government where country pay/wage inequalities exists.  In other words, get the money while it’s on the table!!!

Readers, do you know if you are getting paid what you are worth?  If not, please check out the links in my 4 steps above.

Here’s wishing you the best!

MR

23 Responses to Are You Getting Paid What You Are Worth?

  1. This is a traumatic issue to face at times, especiall when you realise that you have negotiated hard enough for more money and see your peers out-earning you.

    You do get what you settle for, whether being employed or running your own business. You have to admire people that continually strive for more.

    • Yeah, I felt bad for the guy I use to work with. He’s very smart, nerdy but smart. I think he just didn’t like to think about money. But after realizing how underpaid he was, he was very upset…

  2. It is definitely important to check what you are worth and check regularly too, to make sure the compensation is in line with the general market. I also found out (the hard way) that the first job pretty much decides how much we make subsequently. It is possible to have a big jump when we change but it makes it a lot more difficult.

  3. He should have changed job more often if he is getting underpaid. Staying in one job/company is not a good career move these days. It’s tough to find out the market rate for your job. Thanks for the links.

  4. I am always in the loop when it comes to salaries and glad to report that I am very well paid for my job right now. Keep an eye out as well ans jumping ship is usually the best way to increase one’s salary substantially!

    • That’s great, because really money is why we work for another. Now if you’re self-employed, you’re working for yourself of course…

      Good to hear you are up on it. I should reach out to guy I was talking about above and see what he’s up to now.

  5. Great story, there’s always someone out there being underpaid. Its always good to have a feel for what other people are getting paid. I remember my first job, everyone got paid$10/hour,except for this 1 girl that got paid $12 even though she had the same credentials and same duties as everyone else.

  6. Are You Getting Paid What You Are Worth?…

    In this article tools are listed to help you determine if you are getting paid what you should be getting paid. This is a great way to get an idea of what you should accept as a salary or not!…

  7. Tooshy, although he is book smart, he is not street smart. Your advice “Don’t be shy, ask friend that are in similar positions if they make more than x, or directly what the make!” is key. You have to ask others or else you will become like Tooshy. Also shame on the company for financially taking advantage of him like that.