Do I Deserve to Get Paid This Much?

I finished working at a startup company and they have a really weird way of counting how much I get paid. They pay a regular fee by the hour.

At the end of my work, we discussed how much how much they owed me and they realized they needed to pay me more than what they were expecting. The number was more than triple what they were expecting. We ended up agreeing to a number about double what they were expecting.

I feel bad now because I know that people with more experience than me could definitely get the job done much more quicker. I keep reasoning that it’s partially their fault for setting the weird payment style but I just can’t help but feel like I don’t deserve the money they paid me. I mean, they’re basically paying for my incompetence.

I’m also afraid that there will be some crazy bug that I haven’t tested in my code, or that my code is hard to read, costing them even more time/money for someone else to fix/maintain. This makes me feel like I don’t deserve the money even more.

Any thoughts?

I feel the same way. I’m just starting out at a large company, though so it’s a little different. I definitely feel like I’m ripping them off, but they offered it. Sounds like you suffer from impostor syndrome like myself. Its a tough skill set. Your code works. You deserve it! Good Job!

Your situation seems to be resulting of poor resource management, quite common in start-ups and small companies. It’s nice you are concerned about fairness but that seems to be the nature of things.
For example, I used to ask myself this same question before working as SWE in the finance industry. There, I learned some basic ideas of economics, you are paid accordingly to the market conditions, set a greater scale rather than individually.
Before that, my mindset was very much a simplistic comparison between productivity x salary, given on a individual basis.

I do not think you should feel guilty. If you gave an honest representation of your skills when hired they did not estimate the development timeline for the project properly.

1 Like

Ive had this issue in the past too. Out of college my first year I was making almost double from most of my high school peer but I felt I didn’t deserve it. It only increased from there and I kept thinking I was an expensive addition to the team.

However at the end of the day, if no one is complaining about it and you continue to get raises you start to realize that the only person who thinks you don’t deserve it is yourself. That’s what I found in my case. So it just becomes a matter of convincing yourself that you deserve it. I do this by trying doing my best at work.

Don’t feel guilty about getting paid. Never feel guilty about getting paid for your work.

If you feel like you’ve got more $$ than you need at the moment, then start a good habit and set up a regular investment plan / IRA / 401k. Do it now while you’ve got the extra cash. Make it as automatic as possible as a payroll deduction or automatic withdrawal from checking. Just do it now while you’re in your 20s. don’t wait till your 40s. The difference can literally be millions in retirement.

1 Like