Finding a new job can be the start of a new exciting journey. Imagine how thrilling it would be to work for a new organization with much higher pay.
But, this could also create fear and doubt. Once a candidate starts the job search and interview process, they usually have to go through a process that involves a couple of rejections.
So does salary really matter in job satisfaction?
As per a survey conducted by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), 63% of employees rated compensation and benefits as essential contributors to overall job satisfaction.
In this article, we will go through the factors determining a job’s worth and when to start looking for a higher-paying job.
What Determines The Worth Of A Job?
In general, a job’s worth is determined by the customers who use the product or service.
A company selling a product or service growing in consumer demand would create many new job roles to support and enhance the product. But when consumer demand fades, the job positions get impacted, resulting in layoffs.
For instance, the Netscape web browser (the first commercial web browser) ruled the internet browser landscape in the 1990s. When the product lost customer demand, several employees were laid off.
If you have expertise in a specific product or service, and there’s high customer demand around that product, your job will be in high demand. And if there are competitors with similar product or services, your expertise will be in demand in the competitor companies as well.
There are several other factors as well that determine the worth of a job:
How many people are willing to do the job
Certain jobs could be stressful, even though they pay well. Senior Corporate executives or Airline Pilots are examples of such jobs.
The decisions made by corporate executives drive the business purpose and ensure the business remains financially stable. Airline pilots are responsible for keeping passengers safe flying in challenging weather conditions.
If there are very few people who are willing to do such jobs, the market demand and job worth goes up.
All corporate companies have a recruitment budget and a hiring plan. The planning team discusses with the departments on the upcoming objectives and the skills gap within the team or department.
The missing skills are drilled down in detail, and the cost of acquiring candidates with those skills is computed. Every department has a cost vs. revenue target to be met.
The number of job openings within the team or department should be within the estimated costs of the organization, for that financial year.
Formal Education and Skillsets required
Management-level jobs require higher education from top universities and relevant proven skills from previous jobs.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that employees with a professional degree had median weekly earnings of $1,924 in 2021, compared with $809, for employees with a high school diploma.
Time Taken by New Employees to Become Contributors
For all companies, the business goal is to maximize their Return On Investment. Companies need employees who can be productive from Day One to maximize their profits.
As per a study done by Training Industry, on average, it takes about 1 to 2 years for a newly recruited employee to become “fully productive”.
When Should You Look For A Higher Paying Job?
Suppose you have been with an organization for a couple of years. In that case, your salary hikes are probably not substantial compared to external hires who join the organization for a similar role. And probably you might have thought of quitting your job to get a significant salary hike.
Study shows that what you are thinking is correct. According to Wharton Management Professor Matthew Bidwell, external hires get paid 18% to 20% higher, on average, than an internal hire who gets promoted to a similar position.
So when should you start looking for a high-paying job?
- You haven’t received a “decent” salary hike – After working in an organization for a few years, if your salary raises barely cover the cost of living increases or inflation cost, it’s time to look for opportunities outside where you could be well compensated.
- Your responsibilities have increased – After working for a few years in an organization, your performance has increased significantly. You are ready to take up new roles and more work. For the company, it translates to more productivity and revenue. But, if this does not translate to a performance-based pay hike, it’s time to look for outside opportunities.
- Your current role does not match your skills – If you feel that the present work you’re doing does not match your skillsets, you are underutilized by the company and capable of doing more, then it’s time to seek high-paying jobs outside that match your skillsets.
And when should you not go after a high-paying job?
- You start hating your job – Play on your strengths. If you take up a job just because it’s a high-paying job, you might end up struggling or being miserable in your new job. If you utilize your strengths in the job, you will outperform others. Otherwise, you might start hating your job.
- You are not happy anymore – Just like an employer evaluates candidates to assess whether they are fit for the role, you’re also responsible to assess the organization and its work culture to see if it aligns with your desires. Remember, you will spend the majority of your time in the office. So if you took the job just because of the money, despite being aware of the toxic work culture, you might be unhappy.
How Do You Find A Job That Pays A Lot?
Let’s face it. High-paying jobs inevitably come with more responsibilities and stress. It’s always nice to get a high-paying job with less work. So, is it possible to find a high-paying job that does not take a toll on your personal life and health?
Companies are revenue-focused and always try to maximize their profits. The company ensures a sufficient ROI for a high-paying job; otherwise, they would either reduce the pay or remove the job role.
It’s a fine balance to find a high-paying job that does not affect your personal life, happiness and health. Weigh your priorities and tread carefully.
So how can you prepare yourself to find a high-paying job?
- Establish yourself as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in your field – SMEs are highly sought after and provide companies with specialized knowledge and experience in a specific area to solve challenging problems. Be focused and put your head down to work until you become an SME. Then you can demand the salary as an expert, and you don’t have to overwork yourself because you have the expertise.
- Take up different roles within the same organization – Cross-train yourself within your current organization. It takes an average of 2 years to be efficient in your current position and acquire the required skillsets. Every two years, make a conscious effort to switch to a different role in the same domain. Do this sufficient time, and you will be on your way to becoming an SME with significant knowledge of all roles and work within your domain.
What Is More Important – Position or Salary?
A job title usually defines your role and responsibilities within the organization. Usually, an employee’s job title and salary are interlinked. As you climb to higher job titles, the job roles and responsibilities are more demanding.
We expect salary to be hiked, in order to match the increased responsibilities, but that’s not necessarily the case if you have been with the same organization for several years.
Companies have hiring budgets and are willing to spend more for newly acquired hires but less likely to give similar salary raise to internal employees who worked their way up the ladder.
So when you stick with the same company, it creates a gap in salary vs. job position. And you face this dilemma “What is more important – Position or Salary?
Whether job title or salary is important depends on individual priorities, but if you’ve taken up more responsibilities, it’s only fair that you get paid more per industry standards. This is fair compensation for the value-add and revenue you generate for the company.
Both position and salary are important – it goes hand-in-hand. It’s not fair to be paid a lesser salary if you have a position that demands more responsibilities.
Follow the step-by-step approach below to increase your job position, as well as your salary:
- Join as a junior staff in an organization.
- Put your head down and work, acquire the required skills, help your colleagues, and focus on learning.
- Work your way up the ladder and get promoted to a few levels within the same organization. Acquire a senior-level job title.
- Your salary might not change significantly if you are within the same organization. Focus on acquiring new skills in senior-level roles, and learn the trade tricks.
- Look for a new job elsewhere with your newly acquired senior job title.
- You are now able to demand a higher compensation package per industry standards.