Tag Archives: low salary

Our jobs, our salaries & us

A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking to an old friend of mine, who’s currently in Delhi. She’s working as a Project Manager with an IT major there. Though she already has a couple of big client products & a large team to manage, she was grumbling over being overloaded by her company with some additional project. She is a good & hardworking resource for her company – so she was annoyed that she was being overloaded with work because of that — even when there were other project managers available. She was feeling stressed out & frustrated that though she was credited with praise, the raise hadn’t come through as expected. She was considering applying for a job elsewhere, getting a better salary offer & then showing her HR what she was “worth” in the market.

This is quite a common scenario – and I’m sure most of the IT professionals would’ve experienced or felt similar at-times, and maybe even worse. At the slightest instance, we tend to take severe decisions – as wild as quitting our current jobs! I call such decisions “wild” because typically they’re taken at the spur of the moment and without giving enough thought, or with a single-track & limited thought.

So next – we immediately approach job sites, placement consultants & friends/contacts. We don a new “3-D Avatar” through our updated résumés and brace ourselves to be a blockbuster at getting a new job too. When asked the reasons why we are looking for a change in job, we give reasons like some of the following:

  • Not much work, or no projects – causing job instability
  • Nothing new and challenging in the current project
  • Change in technology in the current project
  • Change of management or the client’s management, causing job insecurity
  • No raise for xxx period, no promotion/change-in-designation
  • Bad politics in the team/management
  • Want to improve profile/salary by joining a brand/bigger company

After the initial evaluation process in a few companies, we also get through some of the companies. We negotiate hard & collect all the offer letters and then start a rather ugly process: Bargaining! We restart negotiations to get the maximum remuneration package from the companies we’d prefer to join. Sometimes, we even go to our current company & ask for a better package – just because the market has valued us *more*.

On what basis/parameters do we compare the various offers? Just the digits mentioned in the salary package? Or a better brand or preferred location or role? Or to work in another country?…

In my opinion, the parameters of choosing the right job should be one or more of:

  • This role is in the right direction of your preferred/ideal career path
  • You like the company and/or the work done by the company
  • This job/role could give you better job satisfaction (however, unless you join, you’d never know!)
  • They seem to value your experience & expertise
  • And, they’re offering you the right salary for it

Also – most important, understand the following points thoroughly. These are also some points I told my friend, who was immediately pacified (I suppose!) and cooled herself down. We don’t usually realize that: Grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side!

  • The new job will NOT get you closer to your ultimate Nirvana
  • As soon as you join the new job, you may have to work harder than ever before, to *prove* your mettle/worth
  • You’ll have to learn & adapt to how the new company/team functions; you’ll need to study & understand the product/project thoroughly, & even put in a lot of extra efforts to be on top of it, within a short period of time.
  • You’ll have to build the rapport with your team members, your seniors, the management; everyone who matters. The new team will *not* change for you, as you’d want them to. Instead, you will have to adapt to them.
  • So, you’ll have to quickly scale up to become a core & valued resource for the company

Think of it now — isn’t your current job better? (Unless of course, you’ve goofed up badly and desperately need to move out!)

If you don’t do things right, & as expected in the new place, you would start grumbling again and restart looking out for a new job, yet again!

Life isn’t easy, isn’t it? Don’t make yours tougher by acting on silly/petty reasons & without deep thought! 🙂

*When* to look out for a new job? In my personal opinion, you should consider looking out for a new job when something like the situations listed below demand for it.

  • NO JOB SATISFACTION: This does *not* point to the salary drawn, but to the work involved — where your expetise lies and what you’re doing in the current role. Typically, when you start your day — if you feel absolutely terrible and awful to report to work — it could be this. However, “satisfaction” is a relative term, every person would treat it differently – so always review yourself through a neutral and unbiased glass, to check if you’re *really* unsatisfied with your current job. Explore ways of fixing this condition, by requesting a change of project and/or team.
  • CLOSURE OF COMPANY or YOU ARE LAID OFF or there’s a possibility of one of these: Obviously, these circumstances demand that you immediately look out for a job for yourselves.
  • DISCRIMINATION, MISTREATMENT AT YOUR CURRENT JOB: Again, these are relative terms. Every person would interpret the situation differently. So conduct a fair review of your condition, and if need be, speak to someone trustworthy in your team, who knows the situation and can offer you genuine advice. There could be ways to fix the problems you are facing without the need to leave your job, explore those.
  • YOU GENUINELY ARE WORKING FOR PEANUTS: Understand this properly, as you might feel this perfectly applies to you. I ask you – how do you justify it? Is a friend or a colleague or an ex-colleague or your junior at college/work – just about anyone else – getting a better package than you? Is this one of the primary parameters for you to look out for a “better job”? SO – aren’t you just comparing the digits here? You could be comparing apples to brinjal – if you evaluate properly. The other person in comparison, could be getting a better package because of many possible reasons. His/Her company could have different policies of calculating salaries. His/Her company could be working in some niche area, and needs to retain their trained resources at any cost – so they pay higher salaries. His/Her company could have done better business than your company. His/Her project could have been more successful than yours. AND he/she could genuinely be a much better resource than you, so getting paid better than you (even being in the same company). In short – unless you are the core resource or one of the core resources in your project/team – this condition does not apply to you. If you’re dispensable, you’re not worth it. Do a just evaluation of yourself and then decide if you’re really not being paid right… i.e. peanuts.

And there could likely be some other situations, which I may not have listed. However, remember that ad-hoc changes to your job, affect your career severely. So think through well, before taking such a decision.

My two cents… and a few more! 😉