Am I Underpaid?

While you might not be taking the job for the money, it feels bad to be shortchanged. More importantly, every raise you get and bonus you receive might be affected because they might be calculated as a percentage of your low(er) base salary. So how do you know if you are getting the "right" amount? Here are some questions to ask yourself before asking your boss for a raise. 

What's out there in the market?

Check out what others in your field are receiving through salary surveys or career guides like the Straits Times Career Guide to get a realistic gauge of what you should be expecting. But do not start getting green with envy by comparing your pay with friends from other fields.

How much are you worth?

Assess your worth in the market such as how much experience you have as well as if you have the relevant education. You could use this to negotiate for a salary. However, be careful here, especially if you have a history of short employment stints – even if they are all established companies. You don't want your company to think that you will take flight whenever someone else offers more.

How much are you willing to compromise?

You might not be able to score your dream salary but you should have an idea of how much you are willing to compromise. For example, one might be willing to accept a lower salary for more annual leave or better medical benefits. Think of the worst case scenario you could accept and be willing to walk away if your expectations are not met.

What does your friend think?

Lastly, be objective – get a friend to help you assess the facts. The grass always looks better on the other side. You wouldn't want to leave your job only to enter an inferior one.

Related link: Straits Times Career Guide

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