American workers are wasting millions of hours applying for jobs with bad pay

New York City is the latest city to require employers to list salary ranges on their job postings, joining states like Colorado and California, and cities like Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio, which have adopted or enacted similar laws. However, the majority of states have still fallen short, and as the call for pay transparency continues, job seekers have started to take matters into their own hands by rejecting offers.

More than half (54%) of job seekers have outright declined a job offer after finding out about the salary, according to Adzuna, a job search engine, which recently surveyed 2,000 American adults who have been looking for jobs. at least once in the last five years.

Additionally, Adzuna found that job seekers wasted a lot of time applying for positions that ultimately fell short of their salary goals.

“Our survey showed that in the last five years alone, American workers lost more than 480 million hours applying for jobs with poor pay,” said Paul Lewis, chief marketing officer at Adzuna.

Before you reject your next job offer, here’s how you can defend yourself during the interview process and how to better navigate job postings to suit your needs.

Do your research

If you’re a job seeker vying for a position where the salary scale isn’t public, Lewis advises you to do your research and find the base salary for the position before speaking to the hiring manager. This helps you have a realistic expectation of what your salary might be.

“Learn about the role first so you have a clear understanding of what should be on the table before you get into that conversation about compensation,” says Lewis. “The more information you have, the more knowledge you can bring into a conversation, so you’re not going to be caught off guard or lead the conversation the wrong way.”

Websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Payscale can help you find specific salary ranges for positions at specific companies or in a certain field. Looking at job postings in fields that have established pay transparency laws can also be helpful in your search.

Having difficult conversations

According to Lewis, conversations about compensation can be difficult, but they are necessary.

“[People must ask themselves] How can we move the conversation forward so that we can openly discuss salary and move it from a taboo to a norm? And that shouldn’t be a difficult conversation,” Lewis says. “There should just be two adults having an open discussion about something that matters to both sides.

When approaching the conversation about compensation, BetterUp, a virtual career and leadership coaching platform, suggests candidates keep these 5 things in mind:

  1. Be direct
  2. Be prepared to counter-offer
  3. Know how much money you want
  4. Ask yourself: is this the job you want?
  5. Be polite

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