When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

05 February 2006

Overpaid and underworked?

So much blogging to catch up on, and then Blogger throws another one of its fits and is down for several hours on Saturday. Argh.

Here's an article I filed away last week, and have been meaning to get around to ever since.

Since we’ve just come through performance review season, I’m pointing to this very good Christian Science Monitor article from January 31, on the topic of getting paid what you’re worth. Salary concerns apply to everyone, of course, but the main worker bee they talk to seems to be an IT guy, and I found many of the comments in the article (his included) interesting.

The most interesting factoid: per Salary.com, while 60 percent of all employees feel that they are underpaid (a little or a lot), only 20% actually are, by their figures… and 20% of the working population is overpaid, given their skill sets. (Thus the fetching title of the piece, “Overpaid and underworked?” — which turns the traditional complaint on its head.)

But another interesting point is that some of the information asymmetry that traditionally benefitted employers more than employees on salary matters is going away: people are talking more about what they make, and also have access to information on the Internet about the fair-market value of their work.

Salaries have long been cloaked in secrecy for many workers, making comparisons difficult. Now, online salary data sites enable workers to measure their pay against comparable positions in their field and location.

“You network with your peers, and absolutely they talk about salaries,” [IT consultant interviewee] Eric says. “At least they talk about ranges. Just looking around at what ranges are offered, you have an idea of the market rate. The consensus among my peers is that the way to get a good raise is to switch companies.”

Overpaid and underworked? | csmonitor.com

(Also posted at Knowledge Work.)

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