Are you getting what you deserve?
Money isn't everything. However, being paid appropriately for your skills and job title is crucial. Whilst it's utterly British to keep silent about finances, it's time we broke the rules and had a quick talk.
Ensuring that your salary sits comfortably within the market is a basic rule. Fair is fair, after all.
The first step is getting an understanding of what professionals in your field are getting paid and seeing how your current salary measures up. The national average salary across all full-time roles in the UK is £31,461, according to the Office of National Statistics. But it's important to remember that salaries vary greatly depending on the sector, your level of experience and your education. Put simply, it's unlikely that you will reach this average salary straight out of university. However, after some years in your chosen field, it's a decent goal to set for yourself. If you reach a senior-level position, you will likely exceed this average.
Is this making you concerned about how your current salary measures up? In this guide, we outline some of the signs that you're not getting what you're worth.
You've never had a pay rise, like ever
If you've been working in the same role for a number of years, it may be high time for a pay rise. It's important to understand that raises are not a legal requirement, so whether you get one will depend on the company you work for. Public sector jobs ‒ such as teaching and working for the NHS ‒ have bands and regular pay reviews, for example.
Whilst you may have come in on a decent salary for your skill set, time passes quickly. If your company has never given you a pay rise, there's a chance that you may not be earning enough now. As you gain both experience and expertise, your income should climb to reflect that. If that hasn't happened, you may want to question why.
Your pay rises have been very small
Sometimes, simply having a pay rise is not enough. If you came on board on a strikingly low salary, small, incremental raises are unlikely to make a big impact on your finances. For example, if you have a pay rise of around three per cent, you're not going to see much of a difference in your salary each month. Consider how much you are worth to the business and take a moment to see if it all adds up. You may find that you need to speak to your boss directly and start a dialogue about how much you should be getting paid.
You're earning less than others in your role
One of the smartest ways you can see whether you're earning enough is to check your wage against other professionals in your field. Luckily, there are free tools you can use online that will help you do just that. You can try the Hays Salary Checker or the Glassdoor salary tool, for example. These databases allow you to quickly and easily see what other professionals at your level are getting. You can even use filters, such as your location and education level, to get a super accurate understanding.
You've seen other jobs offering more
When was the last time you took a sneak peek at job sites? Figuring out whether your salary is high enough could be as easy as a quick search. Take a look for your job title on a site like Indeed and even LinkedIn during the job search to take stock of the salaries being offered for roles like yours. Whilst some job postings don't disclose the offered salary or state that it's dependent on experience, many of them do.
When you know how other people with your job get paid, you can discern whether or not you should be paid more.
The company you work for is doing well
If it's been a while since your last pay increase, take a moment to look around you. How is the company doing? Has the business reached its annual goals? Is it winning new clients left, right and centre? Can you see that business is flourishing?
If it appears the company you work for is doing financially well and you're not benefiting, that could be a red flag. This is especially true if you have been with the company from the start (or whilst it was small) and it's expanded over time; you deserve to be compensated for your loyalty.
You've gained responsibilities (but no cash)
There's nothing like climbing the job ladder and gaining more responsibilities than before ‒ but you should be paid for it. If your boss has been piling extra work and duties onto your figurative plate, you deserve to get something in return.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to keep a record of these tasks. What have you been asked to do that you didn't do before? Are these supplementary responsibilities to your job description?
When you are armed with a tangible record of these tasks, you can go to your boss with them as evidence. Explain that you're taking on more and, by extension, why you deserve a raise.
You have learnt new things but nothing's changed
Are you always learning new things for your job? Perhaps you find yourself in continuous courses or taking day classes. Whether your boss is investing in you or you are taking the initiative and learning on your own, you are becoming more and more valuable to the company with each skill you gain.
The more knowledge and expertise you have, the more of an asset you are to a company.
You can just as easily take everything you have learnt in recent years and give it to another organisation. That's your prerogative and, frankly, your trump card. If you have been gaining new skills, including from online resources, year upon year but that hasn't been reflected in your pay packet, you might be being underpaid.
Earning what you deserve
You've looked for these signs ‒ now what is the verdict? Are you getting paid enough for the work that you do? If you think that you deserve more, the only way to make change is to do something about it. You can seek out a pay rise by speaking to your manager or boss about the situation. Alternatively, you may want to start fresh and look elsewhere for work.
The most important thing is that your knowledge, skills and experience are appropriately compensated. You do good work ‒ you deserve to be paid for it!
If it's time to find a better-paying role, make sure your CV reflects your true value. Learn about working with a professional CV writer who can do just that.