According to a Gartner survey, only 32% of workers feel like they are paid fairly. That leaves a whopping 68% of us who feel like we’re underpaid. That’s an incredibly high number.
Are you one of these people?
Here are 15 signs that you’re not making enough money at work.
Your Salary Isn’t Keeping Up
One of the most straightforward indicators that you might be underpaid is when your salary falls significantly below industry standards for your position and experience level. Research salary benchmarks for your field to ensure you align with what your peers are earning.
Minimal or No Salary Increases
If you’ve been with your company for several years and have seen little to no salary increases, it’s a red flag. Frequent cost-of-living adjustments and performance-based raises are typical in most workplaces. If you’re not receiving them, it’s worth addressing with your employer.
Job Market Demands Higher Pay
When the job market in your industry is booming, and employers are willing to pay top dollar for talent, but you’re still earning the same salary, it’s a strong indicator that you are underpaid. Monitor job postings and industry trends to gauge the current market demand.
You Have a High Workload
Suppose you are consistently overloaded with tasks and responsibilities beyond your job description. In that case, it might be because your employer is trying to get more out of you without increasing your pay. This is a common tactic in underpaying situations.
Colleagues Earn More for Similar Roles
Discovering that your colleagues with similar roles and experience levels are earning more than you can be disheartening. This could mean your employer is undervaluing you.
Lack of Recognition or Advancement
A lack of recognition or opportunities for advancement despite your hard work and dedication can indicate that your employer doesn’t value your contributions enough to reward you appropriately.
Stagnant or Outdated Benefits
While salary is a significant compensation component, benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off are also essential. You might miss valuable perks if your benefits package hasn’t been updated in years.
Financial Stress Despite Full-Time Employment
If you struggle to make ends meet despite working full-time, it’s a clear sign that your current income is insufficient. This financial stress can have a severe impact on your overall well-being.
Comparison to New Hires
New hires coming into the company with similar qualifications and experience being offered higher salaries than what you currently earn is a strong indication that your compensation is below market value.
Your Skills and Responsibilities Have Grown
As you gain experience and take on more responsibilities, your value to the company increases. If your salary hasn’t grown in tandem with your skills and contributions, it’s a sign that you’re being underpaid.
You’re Doing the Work of Multiple Roles
Sometimes, companies may combine multiple roles into one job position, expecting you to perform a wide range of tasks. If you’re doing the work of two or more employees but not being compensated accordingly, it’s time to address this issue.
You Feel Undervalued
Trust your instincts. If you have a nagging feeling that you are not being compensated fairly for your work, it’s essential to explore this further. Your feelings of being undervalued can affect your motivation and job satisfaction.
You Lack Negotiation Success
If you negotiated your initial salary offer or raises but were met with resistance and have consistently settled for less, you may not be paid what you deserve.
Below-Market Bonus or Commission Structures
If your job includes bonuses or commissions based on performance, compare your earnings to industry standards. You’re likely underpaid if you consistently earn less than your peers do.
Company Profitability Doesn’t Reflect in Your Paycheck
If your company is consistently profitable, and you’re aware of its financial success, but your salary remains stagnant, it’s a clear sign that you’re not reaping the rewards of your hard work.
What to Do If You’re Underpaid
Recognizing that you are underpaid is the first step towards rectifying the situation. Here are some steps you can take:
- Research Salary Benchmarks: Investigate industry salary benchmarks to determine the typical compensation for your role and experience level.
- Document Your Achievements: Keep a record of your accomplishments, responsibilities, and any additional tasks you’ve taken on beyond your job description. This information will be valuable when discussing your compensation with your employer.
- Initiate a Conversation: Schedule a meeting with your supervisor or HR department to discuss your concerns about your compensation. Present your research and highlight your contributions to the company.
- Be Prepared to Negotiate: Be ready to negotiate for a fair salary based on market rates and your performance. Practice your negotiation skills and be confident in your value.
- Explore Other Opportunities: If your current employer is unwilling to address your underpayment, exploring other job opportunities that offer fair compensation may be time.