why you’re not getting the salary you want

If you’re not getting the salary you think you deserve, the reason could be that you didn’t negotiate well when you were hired, or that you haven’t made sure your accomplishments on the job are visible, or that you’re not as valued as you think you are — or a bunch of other reasons that I talk about today at U.S. News and World Report. You can read it here.

{ 8 comments… read them below }

  1. SW Engineer

    Excellent points as usual, Alison.

    I would add one more reason to the list – employers being incredibly cheap and not paying people what they’re really worth. This has really been compounded with our current employment situation.

    I’ve had a lot of interviews where they just tell me “..this job pays X”, with no negotiation of any kind. Pretty much a take it or leave it situation.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      There’s also the question of whether people are clear on what they’re really worth in today’s market. If someone can’t find an employer willing to pay them $X, then it might be that their skills actually aren’t worth X in the marketplace right now (even if they used to be).

      1. SW Engineer

        You’re right on that point. As with any job, skills migrate. If you have mobile and/or web development (which I don’t) skills, then you can make more money. I’m not in that group, so I know I’m a little behind.

        I’ve also noticed that many employers also don’t seem to value certain skills, like customer service, people management, project management and other “soft skills”. These are important for engineering, and employers only seem to focus on hard skills, like programming in Python and other web technologies, even for lead/management positions.

      2. Blinx

        This is what I’m finding. Freelance rates that are posted on some listings are less than they were 10 years ago!!

      3. Charles

        Yep, “their skills actually aren’t worth X in the marketplace right now (even if they used to be).”

        It’s that “used to be” part that I think many folks are missing out on (and just plain missing, sigh)

        Pay rates for certain jobs in the US have fallen in the last couple of years.

        I just left a job (started only a few weeks back) because the rate was less than I used to get; But, the real kicker is that the boss was expecting overtime and weekend work to be done while telling me to only report 40 hours per week. Since he let me go, I’m sure that the job market will allow him to hire another person for even less money and get the free overtime and weekend work!

        1. SW Engineer

          “Pay rates for certain jobs in the US have fallen in the last couple of years.”

          You’re spot on there. I’ve noticed a dramatic drop, especially with all of the additional unemployed out there. Even salaries senior level software engineering positions have dropped a LOT – when I’ve looked around they’re offering junior level pay, but they still expect senior-level work.

          I’m trying to be realistic with salary and mentioning my soft skills, but it’s tough out there.

          If you have the right skills at the current exact moment, then it works out. It’s a case of employers only looking at current value and not really looking at the entire package.

  2. Anonymous

    I just want to point out this covers about everyone except for governmental, educational and some releted fields. In those cases salary is usual set by other reasons that are not at all releted to the employee. For governmental jobs it might be releted to budget concerns, for educational it might be tied to taxes or to funds that are gifted to the school/university. For those fields you may have to accept you’re never going to get what you’re “worth” or may never get a substantial raise – or decide to get a job in another field.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Even there, I think I’d argue it falls under #7 — that your skills aren’t worth as much in your particular market as you think they are. After all, you should know what your field pays (even if it’s different than what another field pays) and base your estimation of what you should be earning on that.

Comments are closed.