While everyone wonders what their co-workers are getting paid, the traditional advice on comparing salaries has always been pretty simple: don’t.
But with pay disparity common in many organisations, sometimes it’s hard to shake the feeling that you might be copping a raw deal.
Here are some tips to navigate this classic workplace dilemma and work out where you stand.
First stop is everyone’s favourite expert resource, the Internet.
There’s a plethora of sites out there that provide salary data, broken down by both industry and experience.
And for people in larger organisations, sites like glassdoor.com.au mean it’s possible to get a feel for salaries in your company.
Other options include searching the job ads for similar roles in your industry, as many list an expected salary range based on experience.
Finally, don’t forget the forums and blogs, as people are often more comfortable sharing their number under the cloak of anonymity the web provides.
Talk to a recruiter
If you’re still not satisfied, then it’s time to get out and do something about it.
Hit up an experienced recruiter in your industry and lock in some time to catch up for a coffee or chat over the phone.
They’ll be a wealth of information on exactly where you stand financially, and they could also surprise you with some exciting opportunities.
Just keep in mind they get paid for getting people jobs, so they’ll be looking to convince you to move.
Talk to someone you trust
The riskier but more direct route is to throw the traditional advice out the window and just ask a trusted colleague.
While it’s up to you to pick the moment, hitting them up after several glasses of Dutch courage at the Christmas party may not be the best way to go here.
Just do it in a way that’s respectful, and don’t pressure the other person into revealing something they don’t want to.
And if they do share, be aware you may not like their answer if they’re earning considerably more, just like they may not appreciate the knowledge you earn their daily wage by lunchtime.
Now Learn How to Negotiate the Best Salary
Image courtesy Geraint Rowland, via Flickr