According to research, it has been discovered that more than 60% of Nigerian employees are grossly underpaid even when they have the right skills and qualifications needed for the job roles.
The funny thing about the job market in Nigeria is that it is very easy for you to be underpaid without you even knowing it. Since salary negotiations are private, it is very possible to negotiate poorly especially if you are a fresh graduate, except it is a company that publishes their salary levels.
Aside from working for organizations that publish salaries like government parastatals, you may not know what other people earn and other employees may not know how much you earn because salary negotiations are mostly done privately.
Looking at the percentage of Nigerians that are underpaid, it is normal for you to be curious about your payment status. The question here is how would you know if you are underpaid since the salary information is often kept as a secret? Here are 5 signs to know if you are underpaid;
If You Are Paid Lower than Others that Performs the same Job Role
One of the first ways to know if you are underpaid is if you are paid lower than another employee that performs the same job role with a higher pay than what you are currently earning. This situation happens often, I think this is one of the most obvious signs that you are being underpaid. In situations like this, you can say that your employer doesn’t have a fair pay system.
If you realize that other people in your company earn more than you do, there are a few information you would need to find out. You would need to find out what exactly does your company use to measure the performance and success of an employee. What are the criteria for a pay raise? Are pay raised base on results, skill or qualification?
The reason why you should find out all these is to make sure you are really underpaid and you are not assuming your payment status. If you find out that other employees in your company with the same qualification, skills, and experience are paid higher than you for no specific reason, then it is a clear sign that you are underpaid.
If You Earn Below the Job Market Generally
Another way to find out if you are underpaid is if you earn below what is obtainable in the job market generally. Being underpaid doesn’t just happen within your company. You may not be experiencing underpayment in your company, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be underpaid.
Underpayment may not be internal, sometimes it can be external. When we talk about external underpayment, we talk about underpayment situations that occur outside the company or organization that you work for.
Sometimes your company may be paying you the same amount it pays other employees that have the same qualification, skills, and experience with you, but that doesn’t mean you are not underpaid. If your company is paying you below the set market value for your skill or qualification then you are underpaid.
If you have worked for your employer for a couple of years and have received little or no increment at all, and your pay is low in comparison to the market value for your skill, then there is a high possibility that you are underpaid. It is important for you to learn how to increase your income
If You Make Use of Skills/Talents that are Not in the Job Description
Every company wants to be unique about the way they do things in order to achieve their set goals. As much as employers admire employees that can bring in something different on the table, employees equally want to be fairly paid or rewarded for their extra talents and gifts in the course of performing their tasks.
Most employers will naturally want to make use of the gift and talents that an employee brings to the company, but if those gifts and talents are not spelt out in the job description, then there is a high possibility that you may not be paid for those gifts and talents even if it has become an integral part of your job role.
If you keep making use of those extra talents, skills, and certifications that are not part of your job description, then you might end up becoming underpaid overtime. If you are using your extra skills and talent while performing your task without been necessarily paid or compensated for it, then you are underpaid.
If you are capable of performing a task that is above what is stated in your job description, then it is advisable for you to rebrand yourself to take a better advantage of your skills or abilities. Better still you can monetize your talents and increase your earnings from it.
If your Level of Responsibility Increases without any Increment in Your Salary
This is practically one of the most common signs to know if you are underpaid in Nigeria. Many employees in Nigeria suffer this a lot, especially employees that work for SME’s and start-ups. Most start-up companies often want to take advantage of their employees’ ability by increasing their level of responsibility without necessarily increasing the employee’s salary for taking an added task.
Since many companies in Nigeria want to increase income and reduce cost as much as possible, employers will tend to reduce the number of employees they have so that they don’t end up having many staff members to pay at the end of the month. The few employees that these start-up companies have may be given more responsibilities without any increment.
So, if you are working for a company, and your employer keeps increasing your responsibilities without increasing your pay, then it is a sign that you are underpaid. More responsibilities should come with more income on a fair basis.
If Your Company’s Revenue has Increased but It has not Affected Your Salary Yet
This another common sign that you are being underpaid. If you notice that your company revenue has increased over time and it has not affected your salary one bit, then you are underpaid.
If you have influenced the revenue increase of your company over a period of time and it is not affecting your earnings in any way, then most likely you are underpaid. If your position in your company has a direct impact on the money your company makes, then more money comes in as a result of your hard work but it is not affecting your salary, then you are underpaid. You can request for a raise in this kind of situation.
Since a good percentage of employed Nigerians are underpaid, it is then important for you to avoid adding to the number and prevent being underpaid now or in the future. So, if you have worked for a company for a couple of years and have gotten small or no pay increase at all, then it is obvious that you are underpaid.
Being underpaid is not the problem, because nothing is a problem when you are not aware it exists, and there can always be a solution when you know the problem. So if you think you are underpaid it is necessary for you to find out.
You can check out Mysalaryscale.com to compare your pay level with the salary range of other people who do the same job you do in a similar location. You can also discover your market worth to know if you are underpaid or not.