In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing a common concern many professionals face: falling behind in salary compared to their peers at competing companies. While this situation may not come as a surprise, there are several reasons behind it. In this article, we’ll explore those reasons and discuss effective strategies to address the issue.
Long Tenure and the Need for Career Management
One of the primary factors contributing to salary disparity is having a long tenure with your current company. While loyalty is commendable, it’s crucial to remember that you are loyal to yourself and your career growth. After being with a company for more than five years, it’s common for organizations to take advantage of your loyalty by not offering the salary increases you would receive as a new employee or by moving to a lateral position at a different company. Therefore, it becomes essential to manage your career actively. As a career coach, I often recommend considering a move to a new opportunity after five years to avoid being undervalued and underpaid.
Advocating for Your Worth
Another reason for salary discrepancies is not effectively communicating your value to your employer. As a valuable asset to your company, it’s crucial to highlight your contributions and achievements. If you consistently deliver projects, generate savings, or introduce innovative systems, you possess the ammunition needed to make a compelling case for a salary increase. Keep in mind that you are in charge of your career, and tooting your own horn by showcasing your tangible contributions can significantly impact your compensation.
Researching Competitors’ Salaries
If you suspect that your salary is not on par with your peers in similar positions at competing companies, it’s time to conduct thorough research. Utilize platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry and discreetly inquire about their salaries. Surprisingly, many individuals are open to sharing such information nowadays. By comparing salaries at rival organizations, you can gain valuable insights into the market rates and determine a reasonable target for your own salary negotiations.
Crafting a Compelling Business Case
Armed with salary research, it’s crucial to develop a strong, fact-based business case to present to your employer. Gather data on competitor salaries, including information on bonuses and additional benefits. Present a compelling argument that showcases how your skills, experience, and contributions align with market standards. By making a well-prepared and persuasive case, you increase your chances of securing the salary increase you deserve.
Negotiating and Probing
Salary negotiations require effective communication and negotiation skills. While your employer may not agree to your initial proposal, be prepared to negotiate. Highlight the salary disparities between you and your peers at competitor companies, emphasizing the fairness and market value of your request. If your employer resists or offers a lower figure, ask probing questions to understand their reasoning and advocate for yourself. Remember, you have the right to manage your own career and seek fair compensation for your skills and expertise.
If your employer is unwilling to meet your salary expectations or offers an inadequate raise, it may be time to explore other opportunities. In today’s thriving job market, there are numerous options available for professionals in various industries. Don’t settle for being underpaid; instead, proactively seek out positions that value your worth and compensate you accordingly.
Addressing salary discrepancies with peers at competing companies requires proactive career management and effective communication. By recognizing the impact of long tenure, advocating for your value, conducting thorough research, crafting a compelling business case, and negotiating assertively, you can increase your chances of securing a salary that aligns with your market value. Remember, you are in charge of your career, and by taking control, you can ensure your salary keeps pace with your peers and the industry standards.