Career Strategies: Are You Underpaid on the Job?

Does anything cause more pain than suspecting you’re underpaid on the job?  It’s excruciating if you’re working harder and longer hours than  last year.  Before you decide that only an exhaustive — and exhausting — job hunt will rescue you, consider these strategies.

underpaid at work

1.  Do salary research in your city, state, or region.  What is the going rate for what you do?  The best resources are industry salary surveys, recruiters — both contingency and retained, and employers who are recruiting someone like you right now.  You’ll have to finesse through contacts to get accurate information but it’s worth it.  I had a client who did this and found he was overpaid!  He didn’t tell a soul but his attitude and effort improved.

2.  Send your resume to companies you’d be interested in working for.  If you get interviews you will learn what the range the company will pay for the job.  You might want to position yourself for a step up so you can find out what you could make.  If this is too much trouble use your network to find someone who is in a job you find desirable.

3.  Get people to talk about salary ranges by offering to share your research. Present your information as a bar graph so, by putting a horizontal line through the graph you can see if you’re above or below average.   If you are in a comparable job they are dying to know what you’ve found out.  Most people believe they are underpaid so if they find they aren’t they’ll thank you.  If they find they are, they’ll also thank you.

4.  Even if you will not change jobs you can still use your research to get more money.  Never ask for a raise.  Instead, ask for a salary adjustment.   Show your boss you are below the market rate and ask to be “made whole against the market.”  If your boss wants to keep you he/she will put this information into the system.  If not, you’ve learned something important:  you are important to your boss at one price.  Knowing this may make you unhappy temporarily but it gives you a choice.

Savvy people update salary information annually.  Please don’t “think” that nobody got a raise since 2008.  It’s not true.  The fact that you haven’t should be a wake-up call.  Is it that you’re underpaid or could it be that you’re under valued?

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.

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Filed under Boomers, Career Strategies, Millennials and GenX