Think You’re Underpaid? Here’s How to Fix That

Nancy Anderson
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It's tough to stay motivated and give your best when you feel your employer is underpaying you. Instead of dwelling on the feeling of being undervalued or unappreciated, take matters into your own hands by asking for a pay raise. By taking the right actions, you can increase your odds of scoring the salary you deserve.

Before Asking for a Raise

No matter how much you feel underpaid, don't go to your manager to negotiate your pay without doing your research. Talk to previous co-workers, former bosses and industry professionals in your network with similar job titles. Ask what they believe a fair salary would be for someone in your position to help determine whether you're an underpaid worker. You can also ask your HR department to share the pay ranges for positions at your company, keeping in mind that the high and low ends of salaries for various positions can overlap.

You may also want to research online sources such as Glassdoor, PayScale and LinkedIn to see what others in your industry earn for your position. This can help prove your point while you're negotiating a pay raise. Determine an average from all these salaries, and come up with suggestions based on the work you perform for the employer.

When to Request a Pay Raise

The idea of approaching your manager and asking for a pay raise might make you nervous, so it's important to prepare. If you've determined that you are indeed an underpaid worker, preparation is even more crucial. Time your request well to boost your chances of approval. For example, you might ask for a pay raise immediately after a big accomplishment or during your company's annual salary review. Approach your boss when the company's doing well, or after you've landed a huge client. Pay attention to your boss's attitude, and choose a time when he appears cheerful and relaxed.

What to Do if You're Denied

If your boss says no, don't panic. While new employees might believe they're out of the game after one strike, the reality is that a pay raise negotiation is an ongoing process. Managers commonly deny pay raises on the first request. Spend the next few months working hard to contribute to the company, and visit your manager again to discuss your salary. However, if your manager continues to give you the same negative answer, go over your options carefully. If you're being underpaid at your current job with no hopes of a raise, moving on to another employer may be your best bet.

There are few things worse than the feeling of being underpaid. Fortunately, by doing your research and asking for a pay raise the right way, you may be able to improve your financial position without having to leave your job. Do you have any other tips or advice for employees who are feeling underpaid? Share them in the comments section below.



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  • Carmen G.
    Carmen G.

    Ok let's start fresh tomorrow let me get prepared I'm too nervous and I need to go get a computer

  • Carmen G.
    Carmen G.

    You know I don't drive how Ami going into Job not know what is going on in the town you suggest I I'm good but not good at lying

  • Jack Son
    Jack Son


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