Do I deserve a higher salary? A checklist

If you´ve already been working for a certain time, chances are good that you´ve been receiving the same salary at the end of each month for a while now. Are you curious whether, after a number of years in service, your salary is still fair, and whether you might be able to earn more for the activities you perform? Then read in this article what steps you can take to learn whether you can - or indeed should - earn more for the work you do . . .

1. Use a salary indicator or salary calculator

The best way to check whether you should be earning a higher salary is by consulting a salary guide or salary calculator for calculating a salary. A salary guide gives you more information about the standard salaries within your sector, and by using a salary calculator you can easily figure out what a fair salary would be for your sector, activities and experience. If, after calculating your salary, you discover that you are earning relatively little, this suggests that you should be earning a higher salary and it might be time to negotiate for a raise. And because the number of years of experience are often also included when doing a salary calculation, this is certainly a good way to learn whether you are earning a fair wage.

2. Talk with people from the sector

Another way to find out whether you should be earning more is by talking with other people from the sector in which you work (or are going to be working). Try - with a bit of subtlety, please! - to find out what they earn and compare this amount to the salary you are getting. If people don´t wish to say what they are earning presently, you could ask about what they earned previously. People often aren´t so open about their current income, but are more forthcoming about the salary they earned in the past. 

3. Contact recruiters

So you´ve checked your salary using a salary guide and a salary calculator and you´ve asked people in the sector about their earnings, but you´d like an even clearer picture of a fair amount for your salary? You could also contact recruiters: they know the market better than anyone and can easily give you an idea of the salary you should be earning (at a minimum) in a particular position and for a certain number of years of experience within a specific sector. 

Do you deserve a higher salary?

In most cases, employers offer their existing employees a fair wage in view of the activities they perform and the amount of experience they have. Yet it can happen that, after having gone through the three steps on the checklist, you learn that you are in fact earning much less than you should be. If that is the case, you might initiate a discussion with your employer and frankly explain your problem. It may be that you can then negotiate with your employer in order to improve the gross salary or the secondary working conditions to some extent, so that you either earn more or (for example) receive more paid vacation days.

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