It doesn’t matter what kind of job you do or how much you get paid. Every working person has wondered at some point, “Am I getting paid enough?”
It’s a natural enough question. The bigger the employer organization, the more likely they are to use formal salary grids that may have little correlation to the jobs being performed, much less any reasonable connection with the impact of individual employees. If you’re a superstar in your group, is the corporate salary grid flexible enough to pay you appropriately for the results you’re achieving, rather than the pay grade you’re in?
It’s not likely. Compensation grids aren’t built to be flexible – just the opposite. They’re designed to bring an employee into a new job at a ‘starter’ level and slowly move him or her up the pay steps. The salary chart that governs your compensation progress in most organizations is disconnected from both the external talent marketplace and the business results attributable to an individual’s contributions.
The disparity between a working person’s compensation progress as s/he stays in the same job and a more mobile employee’s trajectory moving from place to place is so apparent that we have a name for it: salary compression. Doesn’t that sound cozy?
Salary compression means that you would have been better off compensation-wise if you’d jumped from job to job rather than sticking it out where you are. When you remain in place and serve your employer like a loyal team member, your paycheck suffers.