What To Do if You Think You’re Underpaid at Work

Feeling underpaid at work can lead to decreased job satisfaction and performance. If you suspect your salary isn’t keeping up with industry standards or your peers, you must take proactive steps to address the issue. Here’s what to do if you think you’re underpaid at work.

1. Look at Industry Salary Standards

The first step in assessing whether you’re underpaid is to look at salary standards within your industry. Several online platforms, such as Glassdoor, PayScale, and Salary.com, offer valuable insights into salary ranges for various roles and experience levels. By comparing your current salary with industry benchmarks, you can better understand where you stand relative to your peers.

2. Evaluate Your Personal Performance and Contributions

Before approaching your employer about a pay raise, take some time to evaluate your personal performance and contributions to the company. Assess how your skills, education, and experience align with the expectations for your role and consider any additional value you provide to the team. Be ready to present a well-structured case highlighting your achievements and demonstrable impact on the organization.

3. Determine if You’re Experiencing Pay Discrimination

It’s crucial to identify any potential pay discrimination based on factors like age, gender, race, or disability. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides resources on identifying and addressing workplace discrimination. If you suspect your employer is underpaying you due to discriminatory practices, seek legal advice and consider filing a complaint with the appropriate governing agency.

4. Prepare for the Salary Negotiation

Entering salary negotiations prepared is vital to successfully advocating for a pay increase. Learn common negotiation techniques, rehearse your pitch, and gather supporting evidence to justify your proposed salary. Remember that the negotiation process may take time, so you must remain professional and composed throughout discussions.

5. Communicate Effectively With Your Employer

Initiating the conversation about your pay with your employer can be challenging, but it’s an important step in resolving salary discrepancies. Once you’re ready, request a meeting with your supervisor or HR representative to discuss your concerns and present your case for a salary adjustment. Keep the conversation focused on facts and evidence, and aim to negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Address the issue of being underpaid at work with these tips on what to do. By being proactive and taking these steps, you increase the likelihood of earning the fair compensation you deserve.


  • Tamra Phelps

    People are always afraid to ask for a salary hike, but there’s no way an employer is just going to raise salaries on his/her own, lol.

  • gloria patterson

    This is a lot of good information for people that work and don’t get paid what they should. When I was working YEARS ago at this one company I was doing all of the work that the supervior was responsible for and taking credit for. But I didn’t have a college degree so was not paid for the work I was doing. Lets just say when I found out some importantant details I stopped doing all the extra work. And the supervisor ended up getting fired for not doing her job.

  • heather

    This is a great post with a lot of important tips. Thanks for sharing this one employers need to pay for skills and experience.

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