Recently I was reading a post on Cait Flanders blog where she was reflecting on what she has learned after a year of being self-employed and something she said really stuck with me. She said, “If you feel like you are getting underpaid, you will hate the work.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
A little background. About two years ago, just after graduating, I was offered a job in an industry I loved doing the work that I loved. I left said job after just 15 months.
Why? Because I was severely underpaid.
The job I am in now is not nearly as good of a fit for me as my former job but I am happier because the compensation fits the work. Would I like to make WAY more money? Of course! But do I feel like I get paid fairly in exchange for my time and my effort. Yes I do.
It took me a while to figure out why I was so unhappy at my old job. At first, I thought I really just didn’t like the work but I knew that wasn’t quite it. Trading my time and my effort for about $10k less than I truly deserved was making me resentful towards the work I really loved doing.
Is it because you’re getting underpaid?
Sadly, getting underpaid is common, especially for women. Women still get paid 74¢ to the $1.00 that men make. Yes, this is horrifying but will likely not change any time soon. The best way to mitigate this is to advocate for yourself.
First, do your research. Sites like salary.com and glassdoor.com have salary ranges for hundreds (thousands?) of job titles in plenty of geographies. Enter your details and see where you fall. If you are getting underpaid it’s time to talk to your boss. If you aren’t…you might really just hate what you are doing.
If you are getting underpaid, ask you boss what you need to do to get a promotion. Don’t go into their office, guns blazing demanding a raise. That is a great way to look like an asshole and possibly end up getting fired.
By asking what steps it takes to move to the next level in your company you are showing eagerness to improve and are taking an initiative in advancing your future.
If you are successful in making more money and still hate the work, you might just hate the work.
Do you really hate the work?
If you research confirms that you aren’t getting underpaid, and you still find that you hate the work there are a handful of causes.
Are you bored?
Are your responsibilities not aligned with your skill set?
Do you disagree with your superiors?
If you are paid fairly and still hate the work, it might be time to look for a new job. Maybe your work in a different industry would better suit you. Maybe doing something completely different would make you happier.
What ever the situation is, don’t stay somewhere were you are unhappy for too long. That unhappiness will transfer to other realms of your life.Do you really hate the work or are you underpaid? Or both? Click To Tweet