Am I Underpaid? And What’s My Next Step If I Am?

How to Make Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars More in Your Career

Do you feel like you are being underpaid? If so, you are becoming frustrated with your work, and demoralized with your boss and your employer. But it gets worse.

According to a Gallup poll, four in 10 workers think they are underpaid, though most people have no idea whether they are fairly paid. And according to research from Glassdoor, the average American is underpaid by $7,500 per year and we know cybersecurity does not pay your average American compensation.

To put that into perspective, the average American is losing out on $300k in salary over a 40-year career. Only it’s worse than this, isn’t it? Because salary increases are based on your salary, if you are underpaid today, you’ll be even more underpaid in the future.

7 Signs You Are Underpaid

So, are you underpaid? Is your low salary costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long term? Here are seven signs you could be underpaid in your current role:

1.              You didn’t negotiate your salary when you accepted the job

Most people don’t negotiate salary when they accept a new job. They’re fearful of losing the offer. So, they accept a salary that could have been a few thousand dollars more ─ with the knock-on consequence that they never earn what they could.

2.              You’ve taken on more responsibility without extra pay

You stepped up to the plate when your boss needed you to. You took on more responsibility. You may even lead a small team. But guess what didn’t step up? Your salary.

3.              A new hire has a higher salary than you

You may have heard it directly, or from another colleague. Whatever the source, it doesn’t matter. A new hire, doing the same job as you, is paid more than you are. That’s never good, is it?

4.              You haven’t had a raise in recent years

Perhaps, even since you were first hired ─ the longer it has been since your last raise, the more likely it is that you are being underpaid.

5.              Your colleagues keep leaving

If the staff turnover in your company is high, or has suddenly become so, it could be a sign that the company is out of step with market salaries.

6.              Your job is better paid elsewhere

You’ve done a bit of research, and discovered that the job you do is better paid elsewhere. You’ve looked at job ads, salary surveys, and other online sources, and they all point to the same thing ─ you are not being paid enough.

7.              You had an impressive performance review ─ but no raise

In your last review, your boss had only good things to say about your performance. You expected a raise on the back of such sparkling comments, but none was forthcoming.

What Should You Do If You Are Underpaid?

If you feel like you are underpaid, it’s crucial to speak to your boss. How you do so could be the deciding factor in successfully asking for a raise. Here’s what we recommend:

Step #1: Ask for a meeting with your boss

Don’t be coy about the reason ─ tell him or her that you wish to discuss your compensation. Do be reasonable about timing of the meeting ─ give your boss plenty of notice and meet when it is convenient for him or her.

Step #2: Gather your evidence

It’s crucial that you arm yourself with evidence that demonstrates you deserve a raise. Print our salary surveys that show average salaries for similar jobs in your industry.

Step #3: Show you are above average

Now, discuss your personal performance, the extra responsibilities you have, your commitment, effort, qualifications and experience that all make you an above-average employee. Demonstrate the contribution you make to your team, and to the success of your boss and the company.

Step #4: Prepare to negotiate for the future

Be prepared for your boss to make an excuse for why a raise can’t be given yet. If this happens, be prepared to ask for a review in a few weeks or months. Ask what will be needed from you to secure a raise, and set some milestones that would secure the raise.

And If You Don’t Get a Raise ─ What Next?

You’ve spoken to your boss, but there is no movement in your salary to be made. Now you have a choice to make:

  • Do you remain in a job that is underpaid, through some sense of loyalty?
  • Do you look for a new job elsewhere?

We think you know the answer.

Salary surveys and renowned for being wildly inaccurate so if you want to know what your market compensation is and if are underpaid in your current role in IT security, we want to hear from you. We place talented candidates in permanent and contract roles, and offer consulting services across compliance, assessment, penetration testing and training among other cybersecurity services.

For a confidential discussion about your career, submit your resume to Tiro Security today.

Posted in