Are you one of those individuals who enjoys their job and loves their company, but can’t shake the feeling that you’re being underpaid at work?
If so, you’re not alone.
Many people have found themselves in this exact situation, working decent jobs but feeling like they’re not being paid what they’re worth.
Unfortunately, wage gaps still very much exist and if you are not a white man, chances are that you are way more likely to be underpaid.
Don’t even get us started when companies start asking you to take on additional responsibilities outside of your job description without offering any monetary compensation.
Unfortunately, many employers guilt-trip their employees into accepting these duties, fully aware of the fact that you are being underpaid at work and that they are taking advantage.
Our article will take you through 5 actionable steps that you can take if you have realized that you’re being underpaid at work.
By the end, you’ll be more than equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to advocate for yourself and get the compensation that you deserve.
What to Do if You Are Overworked and Underpaid?
Whether you’re underpaid at work because you never negotiated properly in the ﬁrst place, never received a raise, or just have taken on an additional workload without any additional beneﬁts, this ends here.
If you have done your market research and found similar jobs where people are making more money, it is time to bring this up to your employer.
Your skills are valuable and if your employer is smart, they recognize this and want to keep you around.
Employers take advantage of people and pay them less because they can.
No matter how great they are, their ﬁrst priority is their business and any money that goes out of the business takes away from proﬁts.
This includes your paycheck! These businesses are some of the worst when it comes to underpaying their employees.
5 Steps to Take if You’re Being Underpaid at Work
1. Do Some Research
First things ﬁrst, do some research to see what comparable jobs are getting paid.
Exact same job if possible but if you can’t ﬁnd one, look for a similar job in the same industry.
Job sites are a great place to do this because many of them post starting salaries, or at least a range.
Make sure you’re looking at jobs that are located in your area because salaries can differ quite a bit in every region.
2. Document Your Performance
This could be project completion, attendance, punctuality, general work ethic, speciﬁc skill sets, or additional certiﬁcations you have received.
Be honest with yourself about your accomplishments but also any shortcomings you may have as well.
Make sure you note things you are not great at so you can get a clear picture of why your salary may not be where you think it should be.
3. Take Note of Your Additional Duties
So many companies pile on extra work without really giving it a second thought.
This is extremely common when someone leaves a position and management delegates their duties to others until a replacement is found.
However, sometimes that day never comes, or if it does, they still don’t take back those duties.
If you find yourself taking on more responsibilities at work without a promotion.
Make a note of all of the job duties that you are taking on that aren’t even in your job description.
Then address these with your manager during your next performance discussion.
4. Review Raise History
Since you are going to be having a conversation with the boss, make sure you have all of your ducks in a row before having this chat.
Think back to your original hiring and how they approached salary back then. Do you recall?
You should also reﬂect on any raises you have gotten since. Have you had to ask for them?
Or did they proactively give these? Were the raises enough to cover the basic cost of living inﬂation rates or substantial?
5. Launch a Passive Job Search
Just in case your conversation with your boss doesn’t go as planned, you should have a backup plan in place.
By launching a passive job search, you will be ready to jump ship if needed. A passive job search involves updating your resume, reconnecting with your network, and being open to job opportunities while you’re still employed.
If your employer is not willing to give you the recognition and compensation you deserve, you should deﬁnitely consider taking your skills somewhere they will be appreciated.
How to Ask For a Raise?
If you have followed our ﬁve steps, you will have a solid foundation for building a case to present to your employer outlining why you deserve a raise.
To kick things off, you can schedule a meeting with your boss and let them know what you will want to discuss.
When the meeting comes around, don’t get emotional, stick to the facts and highlight your wins as an individual and wins for the company.
If you have specialized skills that you know are not easily replaceable or that it is difﬁcult to ﬁnd someone with your level of expertise, hype yourself up over this.
Present the data you’ve gathered showing similar jobs and their salaries, and state that you are being underpaid by X%.
By letting your boss know what the actual percentage is, they will be obligated to answer and either explain themselves for underpaying and undervaluing you by that much or they will agree and give you a raise.
Some managers may try to tell you that raises only happen during performance reviews and that they will “revisit it down the road”.
This is a cop-out excuse and they are just trying to get away with paying you less for longer.
If they hired a new person, they wouldn’t make them wait to get paid what they are worth.
It is not ok and you should either kindly demand it be taken care of immediately or just start lining up interviews with one of your other prospects.
Putting An End To Being Underpaid At Work
As always, NetWerk is here to help you on your journey to get paid what you deserve.
You can get started with our Free Career Development Center after subscribing!
Now a question for you…
Have you ever worked at a job where you were underpaid at work? What did you do once you had that realization?
Let us know in the comments section on our social @netwerkmovement.
If you have a friend who is not being paid what they are worth at work, share this post with them to help them ﬁght for the wage they deserve.