Being underpaid can affect more than just your work life. Not only can it make you feel undervalued by your employer it can have an impact on your personal life too.
If your current job is not affording you the amount of money you require in your personal life, it can cause you stress outside work especially if you experience a cash crunch while trying to pay your bills and live your life.
Here are some suggestions if you feel underpaid and are wondering what to do about it.
- 1. Research your industry and job.
Do your homework and try to find proof that you are actually underpaid based on your job, industry, experience and skills. Being told by your friends or colleagues that you are underpaid doesn’t count. Check online resources such as job websites, speak with industry organizations and utilize any other resources that will give you an indication of what you are worth and what others are being paid by doing the same job you are. Look for salary ranges that are being offered by other companies for your position.
2. Ensure you are selling yourself.
Are you high profile in your company or are you invisible? Do co-workers and senior manager know your name or do they need to ask you what it is? You need to sell yourself because if you don’t, no one else will. Look for opportunities to increase your exposure in your company and to enable others to see your work.
3. Document your work and accomplishments.
Make a written list of all your recent accomplishments. Does this look like a list of someone who deserves to be earning more money? Think of how much money you are currently earning and ask yourself if you still feel you are underpaid based on what you have accomplished recently. Not only will this help you to see what you have accomplished and to get a better sense of your worth in your eyes, it will help if you decide to try option number 4 below.
4. Ask for a raise.
Depending on when you were last given a raise, the financial situation of your company and other considerations, it might be time you ask your boss for a raise. If you are underpaid it might be because you have not indicated to your employer that you feel you are worth more and they have assumed you are happy with your compensation. Your compensation has to be looked at as a two-way street: hopefully your employer will take care of you and increase your compensation as it is warranted but if they don’t you might need to discuss it with them proactively. Just make sure you have proof of your worth to back up your request for a raise. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise if you feel you deserve one and have documented your reasons why.
5. Look for a new job.
Certainly, the desire for more money alone is not an ideal reason to look for a new job but the reality is that some companies and industries pay less than others. If your company is not a position to give you a raise and you are currently underpaid, looking for a new job might be your only way out. Before looking for a new job, you want to ensure you have exhausted all other options. If you are underpaid and simply want more money, asking for a raise is easier than looking for a new job!
If your company year-end is coming up or if there is a chance you might get a raise in the near future, you might wait until that time has passed before doing anything as other circumstances might change the fact that you are underpaid without you having to do anything about it.
If being underpaid is a fact of life in your industry or in your position, you might need to consider a career change which will obviously require more deliberation and planning on your part.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.
Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
Sign up for The Effective Career Planner, Carl’s free 5-day course: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com/effective-career-planner.html
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