In a few more months, I will be reaching the 2nd year mark of having been in the workforce after leaving university with a BSc. Most would consider my academic credentials to be above the norm. Yet, most would also question the reason as to why my remuneration is behind the market rate. I am located in Asia where a request for candidates salary by recruiters/HR is a commonplace practice.
What I have:
A degree in both Maths and Physics and a minor in a subfield of Commerce - all of which were completed simultaneously.
Two conference papers - one of which is in the "Harvard" of all journals in that field - the associated journal paper is currently being worked on.
Stellar academic reference from professors who were alumni of the big "H".
~3 years of computational modelling experience with Python.
In the last two years, I have made a couple of detrimental career decision, some of which borne out of a lack of market research and some of which borne out of frivolous decisions.
Lack of market research diligence when it comes to salary benchmark for people of my academic qualification and skillset. I failed to recognise where I stood in the market only until in the recent few months when things were becoming clearer.
Leaving two jobs within 10 months - one of which was a research role but not before publishing a conference paper before I left and the other in a prestigious Internet payment company.
Relative to my credentials, I am underpaid in my current role. While I did negotiate for a greater degree of flexibility upon realising they couldn't afford me - leaving early, clocking-off in-lieu, I recently learned from recruiters, whom I have built a strong personal and professional rapport with, that I am ~30% underpaid relative to my current remuneration package, much higher than what I thought at the time of negotiation for my current package.
I have been in my current role for ~12 months, a nameless small to medium sized firm.
To support the fact that I am underpaid relative to market norm, my strategy is to make the recruiter give me their best guess as to what I should be getting given a combination of their experiences and factors relating to my credentials - and always, this results in them providing a figure ~30% above what I'm getting.
At the 12th month mark after my graduation, I have been headhunted by stellar tech travel companies and reached out by in - house and 3rd party recruiters where they encouraged that I apply for their expat and senior roles. "McK&C" and well - known global sovereign fund have also invited me down for interviews - and while I failed these interviews, knowing that these companies are extremely selective in their selection of interviewees eventually made me realise how important it is for me to conduct my due diligence on salary benchmark - in some ways, it gave me a gauge as to where I stand.
In the recent months, I have been trying to rectify my mistakes through looking for a new role (my company is unable to afford me more than what they are offering at this point and this is a plain - clear fact).
In my bid to do so, I face two recurring issues:
Recruiters are persistent in asking for my current drawn salary. The reasons for which they do so, I theorised:
Lowball my renumeration package with their company.
Gauge my level of credentials and skills based on my currently drawn salary package.
From the horses (recruiters) mouth; to justify if the jump from my currently drawn salary to my expected renumeration package is justifiable.
because of 1, there is a long - term malignant effect on salary compensation.
Often, my strategy is to stop replying or to abruptly hang the call if I smell "lowballing" tactics from them. My time is finite and given that I have recognised the costly mistakes from my poor decisions in the past, there is greater cautious on my part to be drawn into something that would result in "lowballing".
Can there be a better and more diplomatic manner yet, specific method, to bring up my current renumeration up to market norm in my interaction with these people? How does one efficiently strategise the negotiation? Keep in mind that my decision to look around and, therefore, move out of my current role where I've been in for only ~12 months complicates my situation.
Personal question for the folks:
Is the damage done to my career irreparable?