How to Measure Whether You’re Paying (or Being Paid) Fairly
Whether you’re an employee who’s actively looking for a job (or considering doing so), or an employer that’s hiring for a position that hasn’t been vacant in a while, the salary question is one that can cause plenty of stress. It’s hard to move past perception — what you think a position or profession is worth — and focus on the reality of the actual, research-proven numbers, so you can make a smart, well-informed decision. Here are a few ways to get a little guidance when it comes to that all-important money question:
Go online. A number of online salary calculators and estimators are very good but require signing up for a site or service (sometimes at a fee). One that doesn’t is PayScale.com; it gives you the ability to look up the median salary for your field, for free. Obviously, it doesn’t account for a variety of specific factors, as each company is different, but it’s a useful starting point.
Evaluate your current situation. How long have you been at your job? If it’s been a while, particularly 5-plus years — and especially if you haven’t been looking for a job — it’s possible you could be making under the average, especially if you haven’t received significant raises beyond standard cost-of-life increases. Also, think back to your initial offer. Did you negotiate, or just accept the first number? If the latter applies, that might be another clue that you could be doing better. Beyond just looking at your own situation, take stock of what you’ve observed others say about salaries, both in person or on job review sites. It’s a touchy subject to discuss actual salaries with coworkers, it may be easier to discuss whether the company generally pays well or poorly.
Enlist a search firm. Too many people try to figure out what they should be making, while they’re on a job search. This could lead to underestimating your salary requirements and settling for a job that pays too little. Especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, it’s useful to sit down with someone and talk about the full range of options available to you, before trying to take on the search yourself. The same applies if you’re an employer, hiring in a field for the first time in a while (or if you just want to confirm that you’re in the right number range).
That’s where we at MJMorgan Group come in. We can crunch the numbers so all you have to worry about is finding (or hiring for) the perfect position.