For many, the end of the year marked another annual review at work. For some, that review may have been upsetting – were you passed over for a promotion? Does your raise (or lack of) seem pathetic? Do your long hours at the office and hard work seem overlooked? Feeling undervalued in the workplace can be incredibly frustrating, but before signing that resignation letter over compensation issues alone, consider these factors.
Before making a major career decision over salary, make sure to research your industry. Maybe you know a few people in your field making more than you, but that may not be the case overall. There are online resources like Glassdoor that are available to scour salary data based on job titles in geographic areas. Location is important – a first year corporate lawyer in New York City won’t have the same salary as the one in Cleveland. Making a fair comparison is crucial in determining whether it is worth leaving your current position.
Ask for a Raise
Most people haven’t asked for a raise in quite some time – if ever. It may be awkward or uncomfortable to start that conversation, or maybe you don’t want to sound greedy or unappreciative. If you are putting off the conversation just to avoid discomfort, you could be giving up a significant amount of money. Schedule that meeting with your boss and be prepared with a list of your skills and accomplishments that you feel prove you are deserving of a raise. Employers know that keeping a valued employee is much better for the company than hiring and training a new one. They may not be able to match the exact number you requested, but you will most likely come out of the meeting with enough to stick around for a while.
Consider the Big Picture
Salary isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to compensation. What do your other benefits look like? Do you have a generous 401(k) match? Would you be walking away from unvested 401(k) dollars if you left? How’s your health insurance? How many vacation days do you get? These are all aspects that play a big part in your whole package. Maybe you are making a few thousand dollars less than average, but you have unlimited vacation days and can work from home whenever you need – wouldn’t that be worth a few grand right there?
Everyone wants to make as much money as possible at work – that’s human. Before jumping ship over salary alone, make sure you really tackle the entire issue and do everything you can to give your current position a fair comparison.