A program on the BBC about a week back talked about getting a job during a recession. “Graduates,” they said, “who got jobs during recessions were likely to be paid less than their peers who got jobs during times of prosperity.” I am, unfortunately, one of them.
Graduating at the end of 2008, I went looking for a job in one of the worst job markets in recent history. It was only after three months of searching, during which I almost became a financial adviser, that I landed my present job as a business analyst. When the time came to negotiate my pay for this position, the terrible economic situation we were in was always at the back of my mind. I wanted this job so bad that I probably undercut myself needlessly; in the end, I was offered more than what I had asked for.
The BBC program mentioned that us recession graduates tended to accept lower paying positions, and tended to stay longer at these jobs. I am certainly guilty of the former, but as for the latter, having worked at my present company for just below eight months, I am still open. The program advised recession graduates to switch jobs early on, as a way to keep pace with the post-recession graduates.
If anything, this program certainly got me thinking and has led me to seek the answers to the following questions:
- Am I paid what I am worth, especially when compared to my peers?
- Would a fresh graduate who got the job I got be paid what I am paid? If not, how much would they be paid?
- Are there other opportunities that I can look into, including other jobs that were not available during the recession?