10 signs that you’re underpaid


Money makes the world go round, right? At least that’s the way it seems for us. A study by Allianz Insurance shows that only 36 percent of men and women are satisfied with their salary and subsequently with their job. Of course, the remaining 64% could also be your lazy colleague who sits across from you, the office clown who only makes big speeches and the chatterbox that slides from one coffee break to the next. But are you one of them?

Fiat 500 vs. Ferrari

Do you know that feeling when you notice that your colleague always has more expensive things than you? While you’re dragging yourself around the H&M sales section, your colleague is staggering through the office in the latest Louboutins. Every day you pack up the leftovers from the night before for your lunch, while your team treats themselves to lunch in the three-star restaurant up the road.

While you’re struck by the fact that your old somewhat unreliable car has made it back to the employee parking lot, your boss is plugging in his Tesla. Is all this making you despair at the injustice of it all? Well, actually, this is one very clear indicator that you are underpaid, so it’s time to do something about it.

You are the dud among the rockets

Your company is on the road to success and is announcing one rocket launch after another. Turnover is skyrocketing, bonuses are exploding and it seems like your office is getting a coating of gold dust. If only you could find a good reason to smile about it all. While the salaries of your colleagues are increasing with the sales curve, you are consistently underpaid. Did you make a significant contribution to the success? Then use this as an argument in your next salary negotiations. For extra help, take a look at our…

You’re the head of the extended family, but without alimony

It all started with a new employee. Then, suddenly there were two, three, seven, ten new faces in the office. The head of all of them, is you, of course. With the increase in responsibility, however, one thing has been forgotten. A raise! Make sure to have a look at your company’s career page to see how much a comparable managerial position is paid and demand the alimony to which you are entitled.

“Yearly layoffs + no yearly raises = Cisco” – anonymous employer review at Cisco

You get the same answer, every time

Your boss or HR manager knows your question inside out and you know their answer inside out since they’ve given the same one, every. single. time! Every time you talk to your superior about your salary, they mumble back a “yes, yes, but now’s a bad time.” But what they fail to tell you is what that actually means for you. Your boss knows very well that he pays you too little, which is why he always wants to delay giving you a raise for as long as possible.

I want the biggest piece!

Surely you remember the birthday celebrations from your childhood. Everyone sits around the cake screaming “I want the biggest piece.” Fast forward to now and you’ve realized that you haven’t screamed the loudest, but your colleagues have. Because, during conversations with your colleague with whom you have to share the salary cake, they always seem to get a bigger slice than you do. This is a sign that you should investigate and ask for a review meeting. Our pro tip is not to wait until next September, because that’s what everyone else does. Get into the boxing ring in the summer when the cake hasn’t been cut up yet and your boss doesn’t have hundreds of requests for salary increases on his desk.

Want to know how to negotiate your salary like a pro? Here are some tips!

You’re worth your weight in gold

Hardly anyone does what you do and there’s a lack of specialists in your area. So you know that you’re worth your weight in gold. However, it seems that you get a lump of coal in your account every month instead of a gold nugget. And that’s just not enough! So it’s time to find out what’s going on. Make a case for how enormous the demand for your unique qualifications is and how many recruiters are waiting to snap you up, you’ll get that raise in no time.

Bridge the pay gap

Do you feel like there’s a serious gender pay gap in your company? Then it’s time to do some serious research! Browse your industry’s job advertisements and ask around. Find out once and for all if men are getting paid more than you are then take your evidence to a formal conversation with your supervisor and make your case for a raise.

“They should close the obvious gender pay gap that exists and should compensate all staff fairly. Change is needed!” – anonymous employer review at NEA’s Member Benefit’s Coporation

You’re inspired by Robin Hood

Even Robin Hood ensured that the rich employers shared their wealth with the poor workers. Do you find yourself taking what you can from your company? That could explain why you sometimes prolong your lunch break, occasionally take office supplies and keep the printer busy printing your coloring sheets for your kids. If you feel that you need to get more out of your job because you think you deserve it, this could be a clear sign that you are being underpaid, so it’s time to fix it.

Your salary increase equals zero

You’re thinking, “Yeah, finally a raise,” but don’t get excited too soon, sunshine. As long as your annual pay rise is between one and three percent, it doesn’t even come close to rewarding your unlimited expertise and unique skills. Because this minimal pay rise is just to compensate for the inflation on the pay slip. So don’t let them fool you!

“The raises and bonuses ( when there are any ) are pitiful and insulting.” – anonymous employer review at Highmark Health

You don’t ask you don’t get

I get it, no one wants to take more than they think they should. That’s why in this case we should take inspiration from dinner time with your family “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” If you politely knock on your supervisor’s office door and ask for a raise, there are only two things that might happen. 1) they say no but you look proactive and ambitious, 2) they say they’ll think about it, and you look set to get a raise! So, why not try it!

Looking for more inspiration for your next review meeting? Here are 6 signs you should ask for that raise. 

This article first appeared on Kununu.