The sad reason why Australians are missing out on a decent pay rise – and it has nothing to do with your ability or the cost of living crisis

Australians are missing out on pay rises because they undervalue their own skills, says a career expert (pictured is a stock photo)
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Australians are missing out on pay rises because they undervalue their own skills, a career expert says.

Wages are finally starting to outpace inflation, after three years of workers suffering pay cuts in real terms.

But to survive the cost of living crisis, a significant wage increase is needed.

Aimee Hutton, Seek’s customer insights and strategy manager, said more than three-quarters of Australians underestimate their own skills and experience.

“Rather than experience being overrated, our research shows that 78 percent of Australian workers currently underestimate the value of their skills,” she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Whether you’re at the start of your working life, or looking to move into a different role or industry, there are valuable ways to map out your relevant skills or previous experience in a way that shows how you would be the right person for the job.’

The wage price index growth of 4.2 percent was 0.1 percentage point above the inflation rate of 4.1 percent for 2023.

But in the year to January, salaries advertised on Seek rose by 4.5 percent.

The data shows that changing jobs is potentially a better way to secure a wage increase to tackle the cost of living crisis.

A Seek survey of 1,200 respondents in 2023 found that 78 percent believed it was impossible to find a job without the necessary experience.

But an analysis of Seek ads found that 52 percent of them didn’t specify a specific experience.

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Ms Hutton suggested that volunteering or taking a short course to land a new role could be the key to a big salary.

“Your proactivity, dedication and thirst for learning will shine through, which is invaluable to a future employee,” she said.

Aimee Hutton, Seek's customer insights and strategy manager, said more than three-quarters of Australians underestimate their own skills and experience, citing the employment website's own data

Aimee Hutton, Seek’s customer insights and strategy manager, said more than three-quarters of Australians underestimate their own skills and experience, citing the employment website’s own data

‘We want to encourage people to consider more unconventional routes when finding the right job for you.

‘This looks different for everyone – such as acquiring new skills through being self-taught, on-the-job training or volunteering, or by transferring skills and experience from another role.

“It’s a myth that people without experience can’t get a job.”

Cost of Living Crisis Inflation

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