Are you satisfied with your low salary?

Underpaid? Signs and help

Good work should be paid well and fairly. A thesis that almost everyone agrees, but which unfortunately is not always implemented in reality. Many employees feel to be underpaid - either compared to colleagues who get better pay for the same work, or compared to the entire industry. The result: dissatisfaction, loss of motivation and doubts as to whether the current job or employer really suits you. It's easy to blame your employer for underpaying, but you weren't completely indifferent either - and so you can You yourself also take action to change something about the underpayment ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

This is how you can tell that you are underpaid

Probably nobody will tell you straight away that you are actually completely underpaid in your job. However, that does not mean that there is no way of uncovering the underpaid anyway. Above all, you should pay attention to your feelings. Most people have a very good radar as to whether they are being paid fairly and adequately for their own performance, the energy used and the results required.

Do you regularly struggle with the payment, complain to friends and family again and again that you earn far too little for the effort and your performance despite great stress and high expectations, you should follow this intuition and investigate further. Here are five more signsthat you are underpaid:

  1. You haven't had a raise in a long time

    With your professional experience and your skills, your salary should normally grow and develop as well. So if you have been waiting in vain for a salary increase for a long time, there are some indications that you are now getting too little transferred to your account at the end of the month.

  2. The colleagues earn more

    A really clear sign that you are underpaid: Although people in German offices are still reluctant to talk about money, if you find out that colleagues who actually have the same position earn more, any uncertainty is eliminated. Here the question then still comes down: How does the discrepancy come about?

  3. Salary is not an issue with the boss

    Have you tried to mention your salary and the boss barely got it? Yeah, we'll talk about that on occasion left? This could be a sign that management is only too happy to avoid salary reviews because the boss is well aware that you are currently underpaid.

  4. Company success is not reflected in salary

    If things are going really well in the company or in a department, great growth has been achieved and one success after another has been achieved, this should ideally be passed on to the employees - who are ultimately significantly involved in it. Unfortunately, not every company has this kind of mentality, which can be a sign that you are underpaid for your services.

  5. You can find out about it through a job exchange

    Whether you are browsing a job exchange because you are actively looking for a new job or just wanted to see which qualifications are currently particularly in demand in your industry - you will notice here that positions that are very similar to yours are in If you are paid significantly better, you should pay attention and research more closely, as you may get underpaid.

Underpayment: how does it actually happen?

Whether you trust your feelings or in one of the ways mentioned above, became aware of your underpayment, the question probably arises: How did it come to that? In some situations and professional positions you are well aware of the below-average pay, for example when you take on an entry-level position or look for a job in order to get your foot in the door of a company. The focus here is usually less on the salary than on the experience and important contacts or references.

Unfortunately, it is often not these positions, but experienced employees and qualified specialists who wonder about their own salary and who grapple with the doubts as to whether a few hundred euros more should be on the pay slip every month.

But how does an underpayment actually come about? The most common explanation: The employer wants to save and therefore reduces the salary. In some cases this is certainly true, but it is part of every salary always two parties and at the salary negotiation you agreed to the current payment. Besides, it would be too easy to just look to the other side for guilt and see yourself in the role of victim. While this is possible, it is more of an exception. So you have to touch your own nose a little.

Three common reasons for underpaying:

  • Negotiations were bad. Salary negotiations are not easy for everyone and so it may be that you accepted the first offer - whether that was really a fair offer remains questionable, maybe you stayed well below your possibilities and could have received a better salary, if a less brash and self-confident one had appeared during the negotiation. If colleagues have done better here, your pay will end up at the lower end of the comparison.
  • You don't know your own worth. Education, work experience, performance: there are various factors that determine your own market value. If you do not know this - but only find out later - it can happen that you have been satisfied with less in terms of salary and later notice that you are actually underpaid. This is the price you pay for not doing your homework.
  • You believe the company's assessment. Many employees go into salary negotiations with great uncertainty and believe the boss's assessments. This is an industry standard payment ... Not every boss is honest about this and so it only helps to research the actual numbers in advance. However, if it turns out that the boss has intentionally set too low a salary, you should at least have some doubts as to whether you will otherwise be treated fairly.

What is the net of the gross?

Speaking of which, you might want to find out what is left of your next gross salary, net. In case we have a free one for you Gross-net salary calculator. For example, you can determine how much of the targeted gross increase will arrive on the bank account after deduction of wage tax and social security contributions. Simply enter your current gross wage, income tax bracket, church tax and other information. The free tool already calculates your net salary.

Underpaid: What To Do When You Are Underpaid

I am underpaid. A painful realizationwhich raises many questions. What should I have done differently and how much more could I have earned? It is true look in the past inevitable, but it is not helpful in solving the problem. In order to change something in the situation, only one question is important: What can I do now? We have three possible strategies summarized for you.

  1. Start new salary negotiations

    If you are underpaid, although your qualifications and performance are correct, you can take the chance and start a new salary negotiation. However, this only works if some time has passed since the last salary agreement. This time show what added value and benefits you bring to the company, what services your employer benefits from and how much your skills are worth in the market.

  2. Improve your position

    Maybe others also earn more because they have different qualifications. Find out if training could recommend you for a raise or if you could take on more responsibility on projects. The more important your position in the company, the better the starting point for a salary negotiation, as your boss is reluctant to lose you to the competition.

  3. Change companies

    If you have the feeling that you are dissatisfied with your current employer due to the underpayment and that there is no improvement in sight, the only thing left is to switch to another company. However, you should inform yourself beforehand so as not to fall into the same trap again.

We also have these articles on the subject of salary negotiations

[Photo credit: Doppelganger4 by]
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January 11, 2021Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. In the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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