Signs of Being Underpaid and What to Do

3 Signs of Being Underpaid and What You Should Do Right Now

Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of Needs states that self-actualization is the highest attainment people can have. Further, physiological needs, like food and clothing, are at the lowest tier of this pyramid. However, without enough money to support your necessities, you will always be stuck at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy.

“Money makes the world go round” is such a controversial phrase to ponder on. But in reality, where there’s unequal access to opportunities and rampant discrimination, without money to spare, your whole life’s doomed.

With the current economy and bills, we have to pay, we are left with no option but to always seek greener pastures.

For employees, however, while the work and skills you contribute to the company are very valuable, you can still be left ignored and unrecognized. For reasons you may or may not control, you can be stuck to a tiring pattern of work yet consistent downfall of the number of goods you can purchase.

Here, we list down 3 signs of being underpaid, which should serve as red flags!

Remember that red flags look white when you view things from rose-coloured glasses. So read these with caution and look at your current situation from an objective standpoint.

Signs of Being Underpaid and What to Do

Little to No Raise

This one is the most obvious sign.. but the most ignored one. The company may have many excuses – the pandemic, low sales, inefficient management – but that should not be acceptable to you!

If you were hired years ago, yet you haven’t had a raise since then, this is the first sign of being underpaid.

The general rule is that your salary should gradually increase over time. So if your salary isn’t keeping up with inflation, keep reading to see the other signs and know what you should do about it.

No Growth Skills-wise

The mindset “I’m just glad to be employed” should not be yours, to begin with.

Wages go up as time moves forward. And so should be your skills!

If no additional skills are added to your cart to make you a more valuable asset to your current company or to your future employer, that’s another no-no.

Colleagues With Similar Levels of Experience and Education Are Way Ahead

In your reunions and small gatherings with friends in the same field, you may notice that their salaries are not at par with yours. Ahh.. another red flag!

Picture these scenarios:

  • Josh, who graduated the same year as you did, and has the same experiences and job responsibilities as you do now, is earning double your current remuneration.
  • Tina, who actually hailed from a lower batch, is actually earning just the equivalent as you are receiving now.

If these cases happen to you, don’t put yourself down saying that they deserve better. Or that they are so much more qualified than you.

You are just underpaid, and well, as you have guessed, you’ve been missing a lot.

Signs of Being Underpaid and What to Do

What You Should Do

Now that you’ve realized that you’re not getting the pay you rightfully deserved, here are actions to consider. You’d definitely need to do these ASAP!

  • Be upfront but still respectful. Have the courage to ask the Human Resource Officers for possible ways for promotion and salary raise. These officers know the ins and outs of the internal and external hiring processes and the qualifications you must have to get what you desire. Befriend them and ask them politely.
  • Fulfil what skills you’re lacking at the moment. Once you get enough details, work on honing your craft. If the promotion entails 30 hours of seminar, go get them. Get the required courses if that’s what it takes. Learn the required skill or software as necessary.
  • Build your portfolio. Doing so lets you have a strong and solid case to defend once you ask your boss for a promotion or salary raise.
  • Look for potential replacements. If everything fails, you might need to deal with having to leave your job sooner or later (hopefully not too late, though). This action serves as your last resort to getting a higher salary. Take note that this could be risky right now, with the pandemic looming and the economic crisis building up. So only do this when you’re 100% sure about everything.
  • Take advantage of the power of the internet! Search the world wide web for reliable comparisons of your salary to others in the same field. A great place to start is the salary survey sites, wherein you can find the average salary for someone with the same experience and job duties as yours.

You can likewise look for updated trends and current lifestyle news updates on Top World Business for Lifestyle News. This will provide you all the information needed in order to stay abreast with what is happening in the market.

Sure, there are quite a lot of websites giving business advice, but in Top World Business, you will find everything you need to know in an orderly and user-friendly interface.


We’ve discussed the signs of being underpaid in this article, but these are just mere indicators of your current reality. In the end, you’re still the person who can really cause a salary increase for you.

Don’t allow yourself to be seated in the same position for too long without taking action. The answer will always be no if you don’t dare to ask your superiors. Prove your value to your company and make them see that you are indispensable.

Also, consider this: being underpaid now can very well mean being underpaid in the future. Most companies, if not all, base their salary offers on what you were previously paid. So act now and do something about it.

Your future self will be proud of you.