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Chandrima Pal

Overhaul your salary!

POSTED ON 26 Jun 2015
4 Min read

Overhaul your salary! Looking at factors that affect our salaries

I was told as a child that my qualification will automatically earn me good salary. I believed and sincerely continued my studies for long. Earned a PhD degree in Sciences and started looking for a job. There I was beaming with an invisible PhD hat on my head and expectation of very high salary while applying for jobs. Life is not that predictable we know and here are few things I learned while looking for jobs for myself.  First of all unlearned the fact that our qualifications have a little to do with our monthly income or salary. What we earn is a combined effect of several other factors than just the qualification.

Nature of profession: It is known that teaching (especially at primary level) is not a well paid job and this sector is highly unorganized between government schools, private and public schools. On the other hand if you are a data scientist today or a big data expert and, you are the hot cake in the job market and will be pampered with good salaries. My PhD was not in data analytics so I had to learn that in spite of being a PhD I may earn just enough.

Qualification matters too: Second most important factor is the required qualification, many jobs do not require qualification as high as a PhD, actually I found it hard to convince people that I am ready to do the job in spite of a PhD – I was looked upon as an over qualified and under- experienced candidate. Often the best salary was not that is offered to me.  On the other side selections are also not done if our qualification is not up to the mark. When the aim is to grow in a career it is mandatory to know how far the majority in the profession have studied.

Experience: For Science graduates, it is helpful if they can visit research laboratories to understand the nature of the work. Fresher’s CVs with some experience are mostly given more brownie points. When I started looking for a job outside of academia, I opted for a certification course and attended conferences in the field I was interested in. This investment exposed to the potential employers and differentiated me as a proactive candidate. I could put myself in higher footage to my ‘would be’ employer.

Being aware: If you are looking for a teaching job (because you absolutely love teaching) then it is necessary that you also look at different options available, there are conventional models like being a teacher in school, this is not that well paid job often. But there are new models of teaching – online teaching, getting attached with popular coaching centers, education is a fast growing sector in India and there are many publication houses who are bringing up course books for students, your knack in teaching may make you good in writing books for kids too. So awareness of opportunities and growth about our fields of work help us augment our salaries. We are mostly stuck in what we do and don’t realize that our salaries are getting affected too.

Negotiate and negotiate more: We often don’t do it well when it comes to negotiate our price at job. This is one major factor that didn’t help me to grow my salary. It must be same for you too. It is necessary to understand that if someone is giving us job means they need us and it is absolutely okay to talk little more about the money they are offering. This is hard as we are not raised to ask for more. We are always ready to adjust and settle.

 Family and flexibility: Mostly we compromise on salaries while taking up a job as we are consistently worried with the big fat thought of our ‘family ‘, either it is to get married, to get pregnant or to take care of the children, additionally there are other factors like relocations, busy husbands etc. All these want us look for flexibility at job rather than more money. Often we opt for part time jobs which provide half salary but we never recognize that a part time job takes almost 3/4th of the full time. We settle for desk jobs than the travel prone jobs, day jobs more than any shifts, all these factors add on to poor growth of our salaries.

Most of us want to work to use their brains and salary is considered as a by-product. It is time we value our time and engagement at work more and concentrate in renovating our salaries too!

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Written by Chandrima Pal

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