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How to Address Feeling Underpaid at Work

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Feeling underpaid is a common workplace challenge that can lead to dissatisfaction, demotivation, and decreased job satisfaction. Last year, a Gartner survey showed only 32% of the workforce feel like they’re paid fairly. That means close to 70% of the U.S. workforce feels underpaid. While it’s a delicate situation, addressing these feelings proactively and constructively is crucial for personal well-being and professional growth.

Steps to Consider

Start with Self-Reflection

Before initiating any discussions with your employer, take a moment for self-reflection. Evaluate your skills, experience, and accomplishments objectively. A self-assessment will strengthen your case and provide you with real data and the confidence to discuss compensation.

Arm yourself with data to support your claim. Research salary ranges for your position on sites like Glassdoor, considering factors like industry, location, and experience. Websites, salary surveys, and industry reports can be valuable resources. Your ADD STAFF recruiter can also provide helpful advice on marketplace trends.

Compile a comprehensive list of your responsibilities, achievements, and any additional skills or certifications you’ve acquired since your last compensation review to prepare yourself for discussing the issue with your boss.

Timing is Everything

Timing is crucial when discussing compensation. Seek an appropriate moment, such as during annual performance reviews, after a significant achievement, or when the company is in a stable financial position. Avoid bringing up the topic during organizational uncertainty or financial strain, as it may be less well-received.

Request a Meeting

Some meetings are better when face-to-face. Rather than addressing the issue through email or casual conversation, request a formal meeting with your supervisor or the appropriate person in the HR department. The additional effort of an in-person meeting shows that you take the matter seriously and seek a substantive discussion about your compensation.

Articulate Your Value

Start by clearly communicating the value you bring to the organization. Highlight specific achievements, successful projects, and any additional responsibilities since your last compensation review. Use concrete examples to demonstrate your contributions and explain how your efforts have positively impacted the company’s success.

Stay Open to Discussion

Approach the conversation with an open mind. Understand that the company may have constraints, and your request may not be immediately granted. Be prepared for a dialogue, and consider alternative forms of compensation, such as increased benefits, bonuses, or professional development opportunities, if a salary adjustment isn’t immediately feasible.

Professionalism is Critical

Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the conversation. Avoid becoming emotional or confrontational. Focus on the facts, your contributions, and the market value for your role. A composed and well-prepared approach is more likely to yield the positive results you aim for.

Consider External Offers — Talk to ADD STAFF

If your efforts to address feeling underpaid within your current organization prove unsuccessful, consider exploring external opportunities. A job offer from another company can provide leverage when negotiating your current compensation. However, it’s essential to approach this tactfully without making ultimatums. Ready for something new? Check out our available jobs from our job board.

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