In short: Because knowledge about compensation, satisfaction and working conditions is a key contributor to a fulfilled working life, which we believe everybody has a right to. Our mission is to help you answer questions like How much should I be paid? Would I be happier in a different job?, or Does my pay justify the working hours? and thereby make a great career and life choices.
Money and happiness are topics most people don’t feel all too comfortable talking about. Sure, your partner probably knows exactly how much you’re paid and maybe your parents and close friends do, too. But there’s a myriad of reasons why you may not be comfortable making your compensation all too public – maybe you a earn a lot and don’t want to be a show-off; maybe you don’t earn a lot and are not keen on having other people find out; or maybe you just feel like it’s “private” and you’re simply not supposed to talk about it.
Similar processes are at work when it comes to happiness. If you’re extremely happy in your job, you probably don’t mind people knowing and you may even create a would-be inspirational LinkedIn post about your key ingredients to happiness. But if you’re absolutely miserable, you may only tell the people closest to you, for fear of semi-helpful comments like “Just look for something else” or “You should be happy just to have a job” or “If you weren’t so obsessed with money, you could find a job that makes you way happier”.
Now, all of these are valid reasons not to boast about your compensation and happiness too broadly. But they create real problems – if you don’t know how your compensation compares to your industry peers, how can you know how much you should be paid and whether or not you’re paid fairly? If you don’t know how your pay compares to your friends back from uni, how can you assess if you made the right career choices? If you don’t know how your happiness compares to that of people in other jobs, how can you form an informed opinion on whether or not you should make a move? And on a societal level, if nobody talks about money, how can we ensure that employers don’t discriminate when it comes to pay (think gender-pay-gap)?
Enter Payspective. We created Payspective to give you the sort of insights you need to make great career decisions and generate a fact-based understanding of your career path. We want to provide you with a tool that you can come back to time and again to answer crucial questions like:
- How much should I be paid by my employer?
- How much money should I ask for in an interview?
- Could I be happier in a different job?
- Does my pay justify my working hours?
- How much do I effectively make per hour?
- Do the people I studied with make more or less than me?
- Should I relocate?
- How much should I be paid if I do relocate?
- Is my employer putting enough emphasis on diversity?
- Should my employer pay for child care?
- Is it normal that I have to pay for coffee in the office?
- How did my pay develop over the years? How much will I make in 10 years?
- Is gender-based pay discrimination a big issue in my industry?
How much should I be paid?
Let’s look at the first two questions in a bit more detail – ‘How much should I be paid?’ and ‘How much money should I ask for in an interview?’. Both have the same underlying problem – it’s easy to know how much you’d like to be paid but really hard to know how much you should be paid. When we’re discussing pay rises or negotiating an offer, there’s just no information to use. We often have a few anecdotes from friends, but are never able to point to a decent bit of data that helps us come up with – and justify – a realistic number. Instead, it always feels like having to defend your value (and it’s hard to not come across greedy!).
Wouldn’t it be nice instead to be able to tell your (future) employer something along the lines of “I know for a fact that the average Marketing Manager in London with my level of experience makes 13% more than what you have offered me” or “On average, people with my level of education make 47,000£ a year. I bring particularly valuable experience to the job, so I believe a fair offer would be between 55,000-60,000£”. Just think of buying a house. Without something like Zoopla, you’re basically going on what you’re told (often by people whose incentives aren’t aligned to yours). Zoopla helps bring transparency to the housing market, and gives you access to insights on which to base your decision and which you can use to have a fact-based negotiation. We created Payspective to do the same for pay and to help you know (not guess) how much you should be paid.
It’s not all about the money
Beyond optimising compensation, we also built Payspective with the aim of – who would have thought, looking at the name – helping us gain wider perspective. Satisfaction, work-life-balance and working conditions are becoming more and more important for today’s workforce. Being paid a lot of money doesn’t count as much as it used to, while the flexibility to travel and the ability to spend weekends with friends and family have massively gained importance in many people’s eyes. That’s why it’s important to put pay into perspective – does your best friend make twice what you make simply because she works twice as much? Or has she made great career choices that you can replicate? Is your salary lower than average because your employer is stingy? Or is it because they give you 10 extra days off a year, pay for your child care and offer free food in the canteen?
Even more widely, we want to ensure that we all have a bit of global perspective. It’s uncomfortable to think, whilst we’re thinking about how much we should be paid or comparing the number of days off we get in a year, that there are still hundreds of millions of people living on less than $2 a day. It’s important to keep this perspective, though, and we want to ensure people don’t forget the bigger picture.
Finally, there’s a longer term aim for Payspective that we would love to play any part in. Transparency is often the best driver of change. And change is needed when it comes to some long-standing, structural inequalities in the labour market (think gender-pay-gap or underrepresentation of minorities in company boards). With Payspective, we want to make a step towards removing unfair inequalities.
What makes Payspective different?
Now all this depth is where the difference lies between Payspective and some of the conventional “salary comparison” tools that are out there. Knowing how much you should be paid is essential but there’s more to that than just knowing the average salary for a job title. Also we recognise that’s not all about the money. That’s why Payspective doesn’t just aim to give you a high-level overview of how much an average Marketing Associate earns. Instead, we want to give you cutting-edge insights on how much someone in this role with your experience and education background makes, how happy they are, how much they work and what their career progression looks like, how many days off they get every year or how long they usually stay in their job. Payspective is not just a one-time comparison tool but a constant companion throughout your career that helps you find the right path for you and make great career and life decisions.
These decisions – about leaving one’s job, accepting or declining a new job offer, financial plans for oneself and one’s family, getting another degree, or applying for a relocation – are among the most substantial in life. Making great choices will make us happier and more productive and our workplaces fairer and more diverse. And that’s exactly what our vision is with Payspective: to make work happier, fairer, more diverse and more productive. We believe everyone has the right to a fulfilled working life and we’re excited to act as an enabler for just that.
To make this vision a reality, we also want to support hiring managers and other people-oriented functions in companies with key questions around how to make their employees happier, how to hire more diverse and high-performing teams, or how to ensure fair compensation in line with people’s real market value.
We’ll be releasing Payspective soon and we’re listening to what you, our users, are most excited about when it comes to insights around compensation, satisfaction, working conditions and career progression. Let us know what you want to know by filling in this survey. Tell us if it’s all about answering how much you should be paid or if other topics are much closer to your heart.
In the meantime, if you’re keen to already see some exciting insights with respect to all of these above or if you want to stay up-to-date for our product launch, follow us on social media (we’re on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) and sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.