We all dream about doing what we love for a living, but let’s not deny that compensation still plays a huge role in choosing our career paths. I mean, come on, parents pushing their kids into taking up courses like nursing so that they can have OFW’s in the family are so common that they’re practically a running joke.
You can’t exactly blame them either. What sort of parent wants their kid to end up in a career where they might be, say, singing to their heart’s content every night, but are struggling to pay the rent every month?
But let’s say you do listen to your parents, your guidance counselor, your favorite Tita of Manila and her little dog too, and end up in a typical, “responsible” 9-5. It’s fairly good, the work’s mostly routine, and you’re getting enough to pay for your monthly expenses. But then, you find out that your friend who gets hired in the exact same position in a rival company can afford to do that AND go on weekend trips to the beach without getting into serious debt.
Assuming the said friend doesn’t have any side hustles you know of, we can probably assume they’re getting paid significantly more. The question now is, is your friend overpaid or are you underpaid?
Here are some methods that will let you determine if you’re getting proper compensation:
1. Make use of online salary calculators.
There’s an algorithm-based app for everything nowadays, so it’s no surprise that you can use one to compute for your market value. These applications factor in things like your job title, experience, company, and location to determine what would be considered a fair wage for you.Payscale and Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth calculator are both good examples of such an application. Best of all, they are constantly updated to reflect employment trends so you can rest assured that you’re getting an accurate figure.
2. Check out listings on online job search engines.
Listings on online job portals often include a pay range along with corresponding skill requirements. These are generally based on the prevailing market salary rates for certain specializations and positions, so they can help you come up with a good estimate for your salary quote.
Simply type in the job or position you’re applying for and/or are trained for into the job search engine, and then have a look at the resulting pay ranges in the results page.
3. Consult with people in the same field.
All companies have their own salary structures that they’ve made adjustments to over the years, and one way for you to get an idea of what they’re like is to ask the very people who work in them. If you’re planning to apply for a position in a certain company, for instance, you can consult with any of your friends who might also be working for the same firm about compensation packages.
Alternatively, there’s also the human resources manager at your company. You can also ask them for advice on current salary rates that can help you negotiate a better compensation package.
4. Carry out a personal assessment.
This is undoubtedly the most challenging method for fresh graduates landing their first jobs. It involves assessing one’s recent performance (e.g., targets met, skills learned, etc.), measuring the employer’s scope, and seeking a benchmark for your present job.
Transparency is key here, so be very honest with yourself if you want to come up with accurate numbers.
Contrary to popular belief, a lot of employers want to do right by their employees. It’s why some job interviews typically end with your prospective boss asking you to give a ballpark figure for your salary.
Having a good estimate of how much you should be paid will not only make you seem more confident and self-aware (both of which are highly-valued traits for a lot of employers), but will hopefully also remind you of the value you can bring to any workplace.