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Is it important to care about salary this early on in your career?

Even though it's good to do something you love to do as a job, but what if you're being underpaid or not being paid at all for what you do as a living? #career #salary #career-choice #jobs


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John’s Answer

Chris these days, many hold the opinion that the most important aspect of a job is the money a person earns. Admittedly no one can deny the important role money plays in our daily life, because with a lot of money one can live a better life materially. But, when you take aspects of a job into consideration, such as the skills, experiences and the contacts you'll gain from that job, you may doubt: Money is most important? At this juncture, I would like to say that the important aspects of job differ person to person and an individual tends to stress on a particular aspect depends on a certain circumstance. That is why, while money is primary consideration, there are other aspects you should emphasized over salary. Salary is only one part of your compensation. But, money is far away from the top point, here is are some things you should also consider:
• Company size and stability are also considerations. Working for a startup comes with the risk that the employee will have to look for another job in a year or two. Large corporations tend to offer more stability but they come with administrative and organizational challenges that can detract from the primary work. Employees today also value the opportunity to develop and grow — maybe even beyond the role they were hired for. This is especially true of Millennial workers who consider work as a powerful platform to learn new skills, stretch their potential, and become better versions of themselves. So, a place with online training or onsite workshops, opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people, and explore new ways to contribute would be a perfect place to begin your career.
• Benefits can also play a significant role in the larger financial picture. Example, Google’s free breakfast, lunch, and dinner can add up to over $10,000k of after-tax dollars a year. Google’s 401k match is 50%, so for those that max out their contributions, the benefit comes to an extra $9,000 a year. Benefits can also be tricky to evaluate. Some benefits are valued differently by different employees. When I was in my 20’s I didn’t think health insurance was particularly important. Now that I have a family I’m much more concerned about it;
• Hours and schedule flexibility can also be important factors. Time-shifting to accommodate a long commute, or being able to leave early to pick up the kids can make a big difference in accommodating other aspects of a person’s life. Also, whether a job expects 40 hours or 60 hours a week can have a substantial impact on quality of life. Every good company has its own list of values. Good relationships between employers and employees should stand on these core basis. Positive attitude in the workplace, transparent relationship, feelings of trust, respect can build a stronger connection with employees.

It’s not always about money Chris

Thank you Eric. While 9-5 and what happens on the job is important, what happens from 5-9, off the job, is infinitely more important. John Frick

Thank You Keith. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill John Frick

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Mark’s Answer

I think it's fine to be underpaid for a few years until you're sure what you actually want to do with your career. It's good to try a few things out early on before you make a hard decision. Doing something you love is almost more important than money, although it really depends on what floats your boat. Waking up every day, loving what you do is HUGE because you're going to spend most of your life doing it. A lot of these people have realized that they probably won't make much money doing it but they're fine with that because they love it. Lots of people get paid well to do a job they hate. There is no right answer. It all depends on the individual.


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Jonathan’s Answer

When I graduated collage, I chased the money right away. This thought process caused me to enter a career in which I was not happy in the work I was doing. Fast forward 5 years later I tried to make a career switch into the career I would be happy in, but I lacked the experience needed to obtain the position. After furthering my education and obtaining my MBA, I was able to obtain a way into the career I wanted to be a part of. Now, I have taken about a 10k pay cut to be in this field. A year from now, I will be making more money than I was before due to the raise I’ll receive with the next promotion. Now that I have given you a little background, to answer the question; I believe that early in your career you should be a sponge. Absorb all the information you can and with due time, the salary increase will come. Take this time to ask questions, develop your brand, understand your value. Once you are able to go through this growth process you’ll understand what you bring to the table and why you should be compensated for it.

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Mat’s Answer

I think more important than salary is the opportunity and potential for growth. If it pays less money but is something you are really interested in doing and you can see a potential for growth into something that could either pay more or afford more opportunity then I think you should go for it. When you are just starting out this is a perfect time to try different things and see what you really like and potentially make mistakes.

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Jose’s Answer

Hi Chris,

Great question as this is one I thought of frequently as I found myself finally getting to the point where I could change my career into a finance role after 15 years as a firefighter. Some of the best advice I received when I asked some mentors of mine about it was that, when starting a new career, getting your foot in the door, soaking up the knowledge, being good at what you do, and over time the money will come. You will gain experience and knowledge and leverage that for better salary as you progress throughout your career.
It's never to early to start thinking about salary, but it is good to have realistic expectations as well. I just switched into a completely different career so I looked at what the average salary would be for the area I live at, and based expectation from there. With that, I looked at what I would be comfortable accepting, knowing that I will most likely take a pay cut. I was able to receive an opportunity that allowed me to follow a goal of mine to get into a new career in finance and take less of a pay decrease than I was expecting on top of that. Thinking about salary is important, and I was in a position to where I could be more selective in the direction I looked into going because of it.
With all that being said, as the others mentioned, a lot is based on what you value yourself, and what you want out of the path you choose. There is no right or wrong answer, except what is best for you.

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Keith’s Answer

Look...don't let anyone tell you that money doesn't matter or it can't buy happiness. It can. Don't work free, but you may have to temper expectations early on to get into a business that can create stable income over a lifetime. Internships are typically unpaid, but they have a high success rate of achieving full-time employment. The time of opportunities varies, but that can be a good route - but can provide some stress financially.

In some cases, you take an "entry-level" role to get into a good situation (i.e. company with growth plans, great benefits, monetary potential). The pay for these roles should be commensurate with any experience you bring and/or the market comparison for similar roles. Hope this helps.

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Yara’s Answer

Hello Chris! I do not think that you need to worry about salary this early in your career. As a beginner, you want to ensure that your main focus is how to get better at your job and how to be efficient. When it comes to entry level jobs, the expectations coming from a managerial level is how well can this individual perform? If you perform well, the salary increase/promotion will follow. In addition, the longer you stay at a firm, the more likely you are to advance in your career. That is what is important. Advancing in your career and making a beneficial contribution. Now of course, if you have put in years with a certain company and you feel like you are underpaid for the amount of work you do, then that is a good time to start questioning the salary.
Also, you should note that money is not more important than doing what you love. You may have an amazing salary at your job, but you may not feel fulfilled with the work you do. This is another thing to focus on early in your career, figure out what you want to do. What do you enjoy? What are your goals?

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Gregg’s Answer

Hi Chris,

It is important to do what you love and want to go to work every day. So I wouldn't suggest "chasing money". But at the same time, not having money or struggling with money is no fun either. It is a balance.

One under discussed aspect of a starting salary is how it affects your future salary. Most place you work will provide you raises in percentage terms. If you start too low compared to your colleagues, it is difficult to "catch" up to colleagues that started at the market rate. Your salary is also the basis for your next salary sometimes so it could start a cycle of being underpaid. States have begun passing laws to prevent potential employers from asking for this information but it is something to keep in mind.

Good Luck,

Gregg


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Michel’s Answer

There are numerous factors that contribute to this.

The first questions, is the current "low salary" keeping you afloat ? We all have different needs and different commitments in life, you're the only one who knows your needs. If the salary is not sufficient to your needs, of course start looking for something else.

The first point aside, no this should not be your main focus. You should focus on keeping an open mind. Have a direction that you wanna follow but also understand that if something rises you can change your path. Some jobs might offer you a higher pay but it would not be building you or putting you on the right path. You should consider all aspects, the career path, the learning experience, the future of the position, the international market.

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Chris,
Doing what you love is important but so is making a living,
Before considering whether the salary is too low or not,
List out reasonable your monthly expenses, aspirational savings, insurance,
future plans such as starting a family, becoming a car owner or a home owner.

Evaluate whether the salary offered is able to at least cover your basic expenses,
And how likely will your salary be able to cover for your future plans -
For example, how often will you get a salary increase?
What is the future prospect of your job?

Strike a balance between getting the salary that can allow you to live comfortably and
Whether or not the job interests you;
Be honest with yourself if you are willing to sacrifice your standard of living by doing a job you love,
And if so, will you be able to gain a higher salary that can match your desired level of living in a reasonable time frame in the future.

Good luck!

Regards,
Serena

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Dennis’s Answer

First and foremost try to make sure the job is something you will like and can learn and grow from while making sure the salary is within the norms of the local marketplace. Salary is one aspect of many to consider. Assess the company for the ability to move within the organization or across the company as it will provide flexibility in trying out different things as your career progresses.

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prakash’s Answer

The early part of the career should be focused on learning and acquiring skills. it is important one has good mentor than good pay very early in the career. surround yourself with team of smart people with good values and integrity. we learn from work as much we learn at school and home. before long work will become significant part of our lives. we should also enjoy what we do too. pay will eventually catch up to your skills.

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Lindsay’s Answer

I think many people select a job based on its salary outlook. It's never too early to consider your salary especially since that will be what you're using to pay bills, get groceries, pay rent, etc. You want to make sure that your salary is livable and that you can actually get by comfortably. However, you shouldn't select a career field or a job JUST because the salary is high. You want to make sure that you at least somewhat enjoy your work and you want to find a good balance between sustaining yourself and enjoying yourself. Also keep in mind that your salary often increases the longer you stay in a position. Starting salaries are always the lowest, so don't be worried about having a "low" salary forever. Definitely consider it, think about how it might increase in the future, and also think about your happiness as well. Some people prefer having a lower salary if it means they can do what they love and they get a small side job to help support themselves better. Some people prefer having a high salary over enjoying their job so that they can afford more things. It really depends on what you value. It's never too early to think about salary.

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chris’s Answer

Salary is important, but more important is that you join an organization and a team which nurtures and develops you. Over long haul this will pay off in terms of satisfaction and salary.

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Kabir’s Answer

Getting paid a lot early in your career is not something critical, as what you earn at the start of your career is often 5% to 50% of what you will be earning by the end of your career, in many corporate career paths.

Having said that, I would always ensure that you are paid fairly for the work you are doing. If you willingly take a role at below market rate and cannot explain why you did this to your next employer, think about the message it sends to them - they may assume you are not commercial shrewd, or career is not a priority for you.

If you take a role at below market rate, make sure you have a compelling story as to why.

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