Why Am I Being Paid Less than my Actual Salary Value?

Why Am I Being Paid Less than my Actual Salary Value?

Salary value is one of the most important factors when it comes to finding a new job. It can also be one of the most divisive.

There are so many reasons why people quit their jobs, but one of the most common is because they feel underpaid. Some people even take it as far as leaving an employer if they aren’t getting paid what they feel they’re worth. The fundamental question that remains is: how much should you be getting paid?

Before you give up hope of ever being paid what you’re worth, figure out why your present salary is sitting in the bottom percentiles.

Here are a few possibilities to consider:


1st – Your Job Title Doesn’t Match your Salary Value

For several reasons, job names and descriptions may be incompatible. One is a role that changes with time. This occurs when you start at a corporation with one position and gradually gain responsibilities until you’re performing at a higher level without receiving better pay. Your pay may appear enough for your position, but you’re doing more than you’re paid to do.

Another option is that your firm is overly concerned with titles. It may appear that having that sparkling title on your resume is a good thing, but when it comes time to find a new job, you’ll have a hard time articulating exactly what you were doing, and why you should be paid well for what you’ll be doing at your new employer.

Both of these concerns boil down to the same thing: if your job title doesn’t match your skills, you’ll be comparing apples to oranges when determining salary. The best practice is to compare your job against others based on your duties.

While you’re interviewing, don’t lie about your job title. You could lose a job offer with just one background check due to a disparity between what you reported and what HR would tell the hiring manager.

Instead, Dawn Rasmussen of Careerealism recommends using a title equivalent to explain your position on a resume. Her example:

Actual Job Title of Record (Title equivalent), Month/Year – Month/Year

Example: Business Development Director (Vice President equivalent), 6/2003–7/2009


2nd – Instead of Looking at Statistics, you’re Listening to Word-of- Mouth

Only 45% of respondents who classified themselves as underpaid earned less than market rates, according to PayScale research. To put it another way, many people who believe they are underpaid are probably not.

It’s partly because you’re relying on anecdotes rather than data.

The problem is that when people talk about salary, they don’t include all of the relevant information, such as their talents and experience, their company’s financial situation and compensation policy, etc.

Furthermore, a few isolated stories do not constitute a pattern. Utilize a tool like Slected.me, which provides a compensation range based on hundreds of thousands of anonymous survey responses to estimate salary.


3rd – You Are a Victim of a Low Salary History

One major probability is that you started your job with a lower salary value than you could have gotten if you’d been able to ask for more. Salary values are usually computed as a percentage of your current earnings so your future compensation will be determined by that first low salary.

Avoid providing a salary history if at all possible; but, if the employer asks, don’t lie about the facts.

“If it were me and if I was seriously interested in the position, I would provide the employer with my current salary,” says Alison Doyle, The Balance’s job search expert and founder and CEO of Career Tool Belt. “I wouldn’t want the company to get the impression I was trying to hide my salary history if I was seriously interested in the job. Also, the company may be able to obtain the information anyway as part of a background check.”

Instead of refusing to give information, refocus negotiations around work responsibilities rather than salary history. If you can demonstrate that your accomplishments were worth more than what you were paid, you may be able to negotiate a better salary for your next position. If you’re being paid significantly less than the market rate, chances are it’s because of one of the reasons listed above.


To Wrap Things up!

In the end, it’s worth asking why you’re being paid less than your true value. Are you not negotiating hard enough? Is there something about your work that makes you seem less valuable to the company? If these are issues for you, then it may be time to consider salary negotiation tactics and tools.

Slected.me helps you in analyzing what companies are paying for a specific job at a particular location. In addition to location, other factors also influence your pay range, including the industry in which you are working, size of the organization, company size, industry in which your employer does business, and geography. Slected provides you with the salary data based on all the factors mentioned above. With countless user data, you can individually know what other measures you can take to increase your salary value.

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