Accepting less money than you’re worth has serious repercussions. As career coach Angela Copeland explains, “Being chronically underpaid is a serious problem. You may not think much about it now, but if you start out underpaid and then your company gives you just a two or three percent raise each year, you’re going to be way behind by the time you hit mid-career.” What’s more, because many companies base their salary offers not on their own pay scales but on what you were previously paid, “being underpaid now can very well mean being underpaid in the future,” Copeland says.
But there’s good news! With the warning signs below, it’s easier than ever to spot if you’re earning less than you’re worth—and if so, Copeland can help you negotiate a higher salary, stat. Here are seven signs you’re underpaid, and how you can earn the money you deserve right now.
1. Online salary data says so.
Glassdoor has a salary tool that allows you to search by job, company and location to find out what others Glassdoor users are paid in your same position or place. Use the tool to search with various criteria, then come up with a salary average with the information you discover. If you’re earning less than the estimate, the chances are that you’re underpaid.
2. The Know Your Worth tool confirms it.
“Glassdoor also provides an online tool that helps you to track your value by the job in your local market,” says Copeland. “It emails you as your market value goes up or down to show what other people at your level are making in your local area.” With these alerts, it’s effortless to stay on top of what you should be paid, as well as when it’s time to negotiate a raise.
3. Someone at your company gives you a hint.
Copeland remembers a time when she disclosed her pay to a coworker—who replied those digits were less than she had expected. “This person was the employee who processed the financials for our department, so they had the inside scoop on what everyone was making,” Copeland says. “The comment gave me a heads up to do research and to start negotiating.”
4. You’ve been at the same company for years.
There can be a downside to dedication. “If you have stayed at the same company for more than five years, there’s a chance you may be underpaid,” Copeland warns. “Many companies provide the largest financial incentives to new hires, rather than existing employees.”
5. Your salary isn’t keeping up with inflation.
“If your dollar isn’t going as far as it used to for the same expenses, there’s a chance you’re underpaid,” Copeland says. When running errands like grocery shopping or buying gas, ask yourself: can I buy what I usually do with the same amount? A Google search will also tell you exactly what the inflation rate has been in recent years. (This year, it’s projected at 1.9 percent.)
6. You made a switch—but your salary didn’t change.
According to Copeland,“If you have switched to a higher paid industry—such as from nonprofit to for-profit—and your new employer-based your new salary on your old salary,” then there’s a good chance your new employer took advantage of an unrelated and too-low salary.
7. You’ve never negotiated a higher salary.
Think back to when you received your job offer: did you negotiate the starting pay? “Almost never does a company come out with their best offer first,” Copeland explains. “If you aren’t asking for more, chances are you’re leaving money on the table.”
Luckily, no matter the reason you’re underpaid, your opportunities are the same: according to Copeland, you can keep your current salary, ask for a raise, or seek a new employer.
If you choose to remain mum, then you have no course of action (Although we recommend you take steps to get the salary you deserve!)
If you would like to see a spike in your salary and to stay at your current place of employment, “You need to make a good case about why you deserve a higher salary,” says Copeland. For example, if you’ve recently taken on more responsibility or even received a promotion, then you have excellent reasons to ask for a raise. “Rarely will your boss want to offer you more money to do the same job,” Copeland points out. “Your performance evaluation can be a great time to make your case for more money and more responsibility.”
On the other hand, if you choose to switch companies, Copeland urges you to be prepared. “You need to do your salary research in advance. During a job interview, your salary is one of the first questions HR will ask you. Not being prepared on the front end can hurt you.” Use the tools mentioned above to find out what you should be paid and your worth. Then, come to an interview armed with that information. “To be fairly compensated in the future, you need to negotiate for more during your next interview,” Copeland says. Don’t be afraid to ask for a big bump in an initial offer, using your salary research as a negotiating tool.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate|