Study Highlights Salary, Job Loss as Biggest Fears for Professionals

A new study suggests employees nationwide are most concerned about their salary, underscoring a trend we’ve seen developing for some time.

The Business.org study shows 64 percent of respondents report their income level is the most worrisome thing about their employment. This trend is higher with women: 43 percent of female respondents say it’s their top concern, while 38 percent of men report the same.

Some 22 percent cited job loss as their number-one concern. Overwork is a top concern for 14 percent of respondents. This study doesn’t drill down into specific professions or industries, but other studies have suggested that tech pros have these issues. In July, for example, an anonymous Blind study showed 61 percent of tech pros feel they’re underpaid (very close to business.org’s 64 percent).

Pay issues are arguably worse for tech pros. With cost-of-living so high in tech’s epicenters such as Silicon Valley and New York City, tech pro income doesn’t go as far as it would otherwise.

Indeed, someone chasing the nuclear-family dreamscape in Silicon Valley may actually be falling deep into debt, studies show. Business.org’s data adds to this narrative, reporting that, amongst professionals with children in the home, income level is the biggest concern (more than being overworked or fired): “Those respondents with children in the household were also 16% more likely to have lack of compensation as their top concern compared to those who have no children in the house.”

Income is core to any job, but it’s still the fussiest part of your employment. Tech companies discourage employees from discussing what they make, which does little to quell fears you’re not making enough. We advocate arming yourself with data; Dice’s Salary Calculator does an excellent job of appreciating your skills, geography, and experience to let you know if you’re making enough.

If you’re unable to make more because you can’t move or just don’t have some arbitrary qualification your company requires, benefits are fast becoming a method by which employers prove how much they value their employees. Try negotiating for flexible hours or more PTO.

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