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3 Ways to Find Out How Much You're Worth

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on October 19, 2016 1:05 PM

Last week, the legal search firm Major, Lindsey, and Africa released its bi-annual Partner Compensation Survey and the results were pretty shocking. While male partners brought in an average compensation of $949,000, their female counterparts reported earning just $659,000, a difference of 44 percent. That's right, female partners make just over half as much as men do. It's a discrepancy that almost makes 79 cents on the dollar look not so bad. (Almost, but not quite.)

But what about the rest of us, who aren't partners pulling in high six-figure incomes? How much are we worth? Here's some ways you can find out.

1. Ask the Internet

A few tech companies are making it easier to find out if you're getting underpaid. Glassdoor, the job search website that has spent years trying to make employment information (including salaries) more transparent, just launched a "Know Your Worth" service yesterday.

The new feature promises to do just what its name says -- tell you how much you should be getting paid. Put in your information and out shoots fair market pay, though the site was a bit buggy when we tested it out. (It just launched, so give it some time.)

Other websites, like Comparably, can give you similar valuations, though their focus is much more on the tech sector than legal.

2. Look at Industry Reports

Another place to turn to find out where you stand is industry reports. While Major, Lindsey, and Africa's compensation survey focuses just on partners, Robert Half Legal's annual salary guide casts a wider net, listing salary ranges for everyone from seasoned BigLaw attorneys to paralegals just starting out. You might need a calculator, but you can use Robert Half's report to find out what the typical salary for your job is based on your firm size, location, and experience.

Similarly, Indeed, another job search site, offers information on salary data and job trends (affiliate link). Type your title and location into Indeed's salary search and the website will look through more than 50 million jobs to tell you what the average salary for that position is in your area and how it has changed over time. You can even compare multiple positions and titles.

3. Ask Around

Finally, openness about compensation can be the key to knowing if you're paid enough. Asking colleagues and coworkers about their compensation may be uncomfortable, but it can be an important tool for understanding your pay -- and knowing when you should be getting paid more.

"People think of talking about salary as kind of taboo, but it's a good thing," said Donna Ballman, an employment lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, told the Huffington Post in an article about pay transparency. "How else are you gonna find out if something illegal is going on or if you're treated fairly?"

Want more information on jobs and compensation? Download Indeed's free report, "The Talent Driven Economy: Emerging Interests in Today's Job Seeker."

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FindLaw has an affiliate relationship with Indeed, earning a small amount of money each time someone uses Indeed's services via FindLaw. FindLaw receives no compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.

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