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Underpaid or Overtitled?

This article was written by in Career and Work, Salaries. 6 comments.


Here’s a corrollary to yesterday’s thoughts on underearning income. Anne Fischer from Fortune Magazine urges people who feel they are underpaid to consider whether they are actually overtitled. Here’s the letter to the editor:

I was among the top five salespeople at my software company last year, and I’m pretty sure I’m drastically underpaid. I really like working here, but I suspect I’m not being compensated fairly because I’m the youngest person in this role. How can I verify what other people in my position are making across the industry, to support my argument that I deserve more money? –Super Closer

Annie’s tips include checking with Salary.com (which I’ve noted in the past I’ve found inaccurate), classified ads, and recruiters.

She cites this advice:

“Over-titling” was a common practice in the tough financial climate of the past few years when, [Bill] Coleman [from Salary.com] says, “many people were offered trumped-up job titles in lieu of salary increases. As a result, their actual experience level and value to the company may not be on a par with the salary they expect based on their title.”

I see this in my own company, where for example there are many Vice Presidents, many of whom function mainly as department heads.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published January 31, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Steve Mertz

Hate to pick on “super closer” but if he is in the top five he should be earning well into six figures(assuming he’s on comission). But a more important area of concern is his lack of networking in his industry. It scares me to think that he has to write into the editor of a magazine for information when he should be an expert in the subject because of networking with others in the industry.

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avatar FMF

You must work at a bank. They make everyone a VP.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,485 (Platinum)

Not quite a bank, but close.

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