Smart Strategies to Address Being Overworked and Underpaid

Workplace Stress

Nothing makes life unbearable like a going to work day in and day out and feeling like you’re being taken advantage of by an employer. The good news, you don’t have to take it. Before you gather the courage to stride into the bosses office, make sure the job is worth the emotional effort to remedy the situation. If it is, make sure to be armed with smart strategies to address being overworked and underpaid.

Initial Expectations

Usually when a worker ends up working excessive hours for minimal pay, part of the blame resides with the worker themself. This is why it’s helpful to take a step back and assess what happened during the interview process and ask the following questions:

  • Was pay negotiated?
  • Were duties of the job clearly defined and understood?
  • Was the business/organization/store understaffed?

If these issues were not addressed at the beginning of the work-cycle, the employee really has no one to blame but themselves. However, if the job duties gradually changed and/or “the boss” changed hands, that’s another story entirely.

Prepare Your Case

If you intend to fight for a job you love but you feel like you are overworked and underpaid for, prepare to have a tough conversation with your boss. But, before storming into the head honcho’s office after receiving a less than stellar paycheck make sure to prepare your case. 

  1. Account for hours of work with an account of completed tasks
  2. Conduct a competitive analysis to access realistic pay for the position
  3. Get into the right mindset to calmly discuss the merits of the job and reasons why the pay is not adequate
  4. Gather solutions to present to distribute work to coworkers or improve processes the boss can implement to alleviate excessive work hours necessary to complete work duties

If your company is not in a position to increase pay, it might be time to move on. In today’s job market the average worker switches jobs every 4.2 years in order to move forward in their career.  For most people the thought of looking for a new position, interviewing and going through the whole “fitting in” process is parallel to getting their teeth drilled. However, sticking it out in a job that dominates time and doesn’t provide adequate compensation can ultimately hinder your mental and physical health.

Whether or not the job you are overworked and underpaid for is worth the fight is the most important thing to determine. If it isn’t, it’s time to move on to greener pastures. After all, change is inevitable in life.  It’s a good idea never to get too comfortable!

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