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Old 16.05.2023, 21:52
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Underpaid?

Hi everyone,

How are you? I've been looking online and asking people I know although these are not experts and have barely any experience in the employment market in Switzerland, so I thought I'd ask here.

For a bit over a year now I've been working at a company in a full-time assistant role where I take care of the reception, office management, invoicing/finance/purchasing (mostly checking the invoices, asking for corrections if they're wrong, and preparing them for the accountant - he then books them into the system), managing sales invoices, expense reimbursements, logistics (national and international), assisting IT with setting up laptops for new starters, assisting in social events, and assisting in HR-related matters. When I mentioned how a "normal" work day looks for me and told how much I earned, everyone said that I was way underpaid, but I'm not sure if this is accurate as mentioned before, they don't have much experience with what I do or employment in Switzerland. I do have the feeling that I'm giving the company lots of freebies and they're sucking my dry but I'm not 100% sure.

I'm currently on a yearly salary of 84k (there's no 13th-month salary). Moreover, there was a salary rise back in March (to the current one) but this was calculated from the old/first salary instead of the actual one. There was another salary raise last year due to inflation everywhere. I asked my manager why the latest salary raise wasn't calculated from the latest/current salary and instead from the old/first one and his answer was "this is something some companies do when there's inflation" and proceeded to quickly change the subject and finish the conversation. I don't see this as normal (not sure if it's even legal) but I wanted to ask if any of you also had this experience too?

Thank you so much for your feedback and have a great evening!
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  #2  
Old 16.05.2023, 22:04
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Re: Underpaid?

Looks like a normal salary for an assistant position.
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Old 16.05.2023, 22:41
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Re: Underpaid?

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Looks like a normal salary for an assistant position.

CHF 7k/month sounds fairly good for admin work.

Get over 13 salaries, your salary is stayed on an annual basis, then quite simply is is divided by 12 9or 13, nothing more, nothing less !
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Old 16.05.2023, 23:17
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Re: Underpaid?

Typical of the stuff a Swiss office apprenticeship would coverÖ I know someone three years out of training and their salary expectations are about 65k for a new position.
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Old 16.05.2023, 23:18
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Re: Underpaid?

well you write nothing about your experience/age/background..
Generally speaking 84k for an assistant position is a (very) good salary, people do that for 70k.

it does not matter if you have 12, 13 , 15 or 18 salaries, you just divide the annual salary with the magic number of salaries which are paid out.
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Old 16.05.2023, 23:21
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Re: Underpaid?

Thanks for all your replies.

What about the fact that the salary raise wasnít done from the latest one but the salary that was no longer current/used?
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Old 17.05.2023, 05:44
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Re: Underpaid?

Salary increases are discretionary. I would welcome any increase, especially considering the low inflation in Switzerland.


Quick question: were you concerned about your salary prior to people saying that you are underpaid?


Sounds like you work for a small company, where you have to muck in on various things that an admin might not have to in a large company, but that's more experience for your next role and like others have said your salary is pretty good.
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Old 17.05.2023, 06:27
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Re: Underpaid?

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Quick question: were you concerned about your salary prior to people saying that you are underpaid?
Yeah, I was concerned even before that. I expected more considering all the extra work I did in the beginning and it to be done from the latest/current salary. Even if itís a raise Iím still concerned that it wasnít done properly (with some hidden reason) especially given the reason from my manager that I was given as to why it was done from the old salary and not the latest one. :/
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Old 17.05.2023, 07:32
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Re: Underpaid?

I don't know who's telling you are underpaid. That is more than a decent salary for your role as you described it.

In other parts of Switzerland you'd probably be paid about 10k less.
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Old 17.05.2023, 08:13
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Re: Underpaid?

It is extremely simple to find out what you are really worth: start applying to other companies and see how much they offer you, and how the work they expect you to do compares to what you are currently doing.


This seems like a good advice anyway, since it seems to me that you are not very happy with your current situation. So moving on might be the best solution anyway.
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Old 17.05.2023, 09:06
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Re: Underpaid?

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well you write nothing about your experience/age/background..
Generally speaking 84k for an assistant position is a (very) good salary, people do that for 70k.

it does not matter if you have 12, 13 , 15 or 18 salaries, you just divide the annual salary with the magic number of salaries which are paid out.
Locally, people often talk about salary in monthly terms. Then it matters if it's 13 or 12 payments. That's why people mention it.

When my very Swissified daughter is looking for work, she always says the monthly amount, so I have to ask - 12 or 13 payments?
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Old 17.05.2023, 09:36
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Re: Underpaid?

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I don't see this as normal (not sure if it's even legal)
How would it not be legal?

They don't have to give you ANY salary raise!

Tom
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Old 17.05.2023, 09:48
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Re: Underpaid?

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Yeah, I was concerned even before that. I expected more considering all the extra work I did in the beginning and it to be done from the latest/current salary. Even if itís a raise Iím still concerned that it wasnít done properly (with some hidden reason) especially given the reason from my manager that I was given as to why it was done from the old salary and not the latest one. :/
Then there is a very simple solution - find a new job. The exercise will either confirm that you are in fact well paid, which most of us think you are or youíll end up with a better paying job.
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Old 17.05.2023, 09:55
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Re: Underpaid?

Having just read your original post again, I think I have a better understanding: It looks like you were given an extraordinary raise last year (Out of the ordinary salary increase cycle) and then another in March. So you have actually had two increases in the year that you have worked there. (Where do I apply?)

I could understand the justification of the raise based on your original salary, as that is what you would have been entitled to had you not received a completely discretionary and extraordinary raise outside of the usual cycle.

Honestly I think, financially, you are being treated very well, but if you hate the job, that's a different scenario
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Old 17.05.2023, 10:05
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Re: Underpaid?

Itís a good salary
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Old 17.05.2023, 10:17
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Re: Underpaid?

Definitely a good salary for the tasks you describe. And you are fortunate to have had not one, but two recent pay raises, I know many employees who've not had one in years.


And our admin assistants (who also do a bit of everything and speak multiple languages fluently) earn less than you do.

Last edited by Bossa Nova; 17.05.2023 at 10:27.
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Old 17.05.2023, 11:45
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Re: Underpaid?

The way you described it tells me you're burning out. Yours efforts are noticed so you're given salary rises, but in your own words the remuneration doesn't reflect your effort. So yeah, you're underpaid. Find a better paying job to keep grinding as you do or a less effort, maybe even less paid, job.
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Old 17.05.2023, 13:30
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Re: Underpaid?

Who are the people who are telling you that you are underpaid?

Your role seems a collection of things and without knowing more it's hard to answer. Like when you say your support "HR matters" - what is it really?

People at times say silly things and maybe even just to be kind. I have heard sentences like "we should be paying you double for what you do" thrown around a bit carelessly and then this sets expectations.

I think the advice to apply for roles is a good one. You could also go to an agency like Adecco and show your profile and ask them what salary you could expect
K
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Old 17.05.2023, 14:04
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Re: Underpaid?

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Locally, people often talk about salary in monthly terms. Then it matters if it's 13 or 12 payments. That's why people mention it.

When my very Swissified daughter is looking for work, she always says the monthly amount, so I have to ask - 12 or 13 payments?
I think this happens more with people in the beginning of their careers ( which I assume your daughter is).

I remember in my 20s always discussing salary per month. As I progressed it always became a yearly figure discussed.
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Old 17.05.2023, 14:40
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Re: Underpaid?

I assume full-time assistant means 100% workload (42.5-43 hours/week). 84k is not bad at all.

How does your company manages employee work time? If you work 110% of hours in a week, can you accumulate this time towards extra vacation days? You don't get a higher salary, but the extra worked hours account for something.

Sometimes it's really hard to convince higher management of a salary increase, but a yearly bonus can be worked out by your line manager. Is a yearly bonus an option? Of course, a more frequently bonus is more welcome.
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