You have been working on your job for a while now. Everything is going strongly, but you feel like the amount of work is no longer within your pay grade.

You may even feel like you are being under-appreciated and the pay is not even increasing even if you have been in the job for a while. Or maybe you have been given a lot more responsibilities and it certainly felt that you are way doing much more than you should have.

Salaries grow over time, especially as you stay longer in the job. However, it is a normal trend for new workers to get a higher salary, which can be unfair if you have been in the job for so long.

As an employee, you do deserve to ask for a raise, especially if the situation calls for it.

Here are the ways you should look for to know if you are underpaid:

1. If recruiters send you job offers for the same responsibilities but have higher salary, you are definitely underpaid. Your job is not underpaid if the jobs getting offered to you which has similar responsibilities offer the same salary and less benefits.  

Tip: Do note that this will vary between a small start up and a MNC.

2. If you see salary surveys showing that your job and responsibilities should be paid more, you are underpaid. If salary survey sites do not show any or very little difference in your current salary with the average, you are good.

Tip: Try researching on Google based on your country and state as different countries have different salary range. You can’t compare a salary from India to a salary from US.

3. If you see other people working on the same responsibilities as you do and get paid more than you, you are underpaid. However, you are not considered underpaid if you have a lot of experience and skills in your belt but you are not using all of it for your role. This means your employers only pay you for the skills they need for the business.

Tip: Try to get yourself a lateral promotion or talk to your supervisor on how you can utilise your talents in other areas of the business.

4. If people around keep telling you are unpaid, you probably are. You are confident that if you leave today, you’ll be able to find a new job with a higher pay tomorrow.

Tip: Before you throw in your resignation letter, I will advise you to have a chat with a head hunter or recruiter. They will be better to give you a professional insight how much you are worth in the industry.

5. If your coworkers get more benefits than you are, you are underpaid. Sometimes, the benefits will give you an idea of how much a company values their employees.

Tip: Before you compare yourself to your coworkers, do make sure that your job and rank are on par. Managers do get better benefits than those in the frontline so comparing yourself with a different rank or different job responsibilities are like comparing apples with oranges.

6. If you are given quite a lot of work and responsibilities but your pay isn’t increasing, you need to ask for a promotion or a raise. If you are given a new title; but, your pay is not updated, you are definitely underpaid.

Tip: Build up a case before the start of appraisal on why you deserve a higher salary. Be realistic on your expectation as well. If your company is facing a downturn or not making any profits, asking for a 30% increment may be too much.

7. If you only think that it’s good to be employed and not ask for anything else, you need to refocus your mindset. Some companies will take advantage over your mindset even if you deserve a pay raise.

Tip: It is true that money is not everything, look into other areas that your company appreciate you. Maybe you have more opportunities to challenge yourself in a start up or maybe you are given bigger projects than your coworkers. These experiences will build up your portfolio as well as your character.

As a worker, you deserve to be given the right wages for your hard work. If your company knows that but doesn’t give you the wages you deserve, maybe it is time for you to ask for the raise you deserve or find another job. But before you make the hasty decision to jump ship, have a talk with your superiors and let them know you think you are underpaid and discuss how you can change the situation together.

Is it time to surrender and throw the towel? Find out here:
Writing a Resignation Letter
To Quit or To Stay? What Gives?
Is it Time to Look for a New Job?

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13 replies on “How to Know if You are Underpaid

  1. Wow! Kally I AM soooo impressed with your depth of understanding of the workforce.

    Today’s topic is a touchy one.

    I might add to your list that before one ask for a raise one should be willing (and able) to deal with the possible yes (YEA!) or No (Boo) response.

    It would be prudent to QUIETLY do some “job shopping; both to have a fall back position and to get a better idea of the outside- pay possibilities.

    I always had a PERSONAL “BS” factor; every position was worth ONLY “X” amount of “BS”; which every job HAS. …”To thy own self be true”; BUT be aware of all a new job has on your family.

    It’s a difficult decision; BUT tolerating being under paid is not fair to you; or your family.
    Pray about it and then do what is BEST for your situation. …Sometimes it is a simple as “ASK and you shall receive”; still be prepared.

    God Bless,
    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome add on advice from you, Patrick. You always manage to share another angle which I really appreciate. Thank you so much! Godspeed and have a wonderful weekend.

      Like

  2. Wow! Kally I AM soooo impressed with your depth of understanding of the workforce.

    Today’s topic is a touchy one.

    I might add to your list that before one ask for a raise one should be willing (and able) to deal with the possible yes (YEA!) or No (Boo) response.

    It would be prudent to QUIETLY do some “job shopping; both to have a fall back position and to get a better idea of the outside- pay possibilities.

    I always had a PERSONAL “BS” factor; every position was worth ONLY “X” amount of “BS”; which every job HAS. …”To thy own self be true”; BUT be aware of all a new job has on your family.

    It’s a difficult decision; BUT tolerating being under paid is not fair to you; or your family.
    Pray about it and then do what is BEST for your situation. …Sometimes it is a simple as “ASK and you shall receive”; still be prepared.

    God Bless,
    Patrick

    Like

  3. πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™β€πŸ’™

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  4. Valuable advice, Kally. You obviously gave this much thought and conducted thorough research. Laborious for you, perhaps, but beneficial for us. I’m definitely returning later to read more.

    Your point about taking local conditions into account (India and the US in your sample) is a good one. Yes, salaries are higher in the US…and so are living expenses. Still, when salaries don’t keep pace, it’s time to pursue some of the options you present.

    Like

  5. Wow, this is very thorough! It’s great that your tips balance out the signs of being underpaid with things to check before acting. Discovering you are underpaid is a serious issue, but it’s important to keep your emotions from overtaking your reason when determining what to do.

    Liked by 3 people

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