How to Avoid Being Underpaid in Your New Job

Have you ever felt you are being underpaid even when you do so much? If yes, then I am sure you are not the only one that has felt that way. According to research, we noticed that almost everyone in the corporate world at one point or the other have felt over-worked and underpaid.

The feeling of underpayment can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction in extreme cases. It is normal for anyone that feels cheated upon not to be motivated to work at all. The situation where an employee feels cheated upon is not a win situation for both the employer and the employee.

On the other hand, you don’t expect to be rewarded when you are not adding value to the organization. But if you realize you put in your best and end up receiving peanuts at the end of the day, then see how to avoid being underpaid in your new job in this article;

Know the Market Value before Accepting a Job Offer

It could be really tempting to jump at any job especially when you are desperately in need of one. Many fresh graduates look forward to getting a job upon graduation, so anything would do, and you start the job to find out that you are underpaid.

Looking at Nigeria, it could be really challenging to run a business here, so many companies especially SME’s will look forward to reducing cost and maximizing profit and output. This kind of companies will likely not pay you a huge sum but will expect you to put in the work to grow the business. Big companies pay fairly well, but most of the time you are more likely to find SME’s job vacancies.

While some employers prefer to use the performance for pay system, others want to reduce cost as much as possible just giving out peanuts. To prevent yourself from these kinds of employers it always important for you to know the market value for a prospective job before you jump at it.

Before you even go for an interview, it is important you research about the market value for the position before accepting the offer. You can reach out to friends that do the same job about the salary range for the position or better still check online salary websites like and get a more specific range for the position before accepting the offer.

Always Negotiate Properly

How much you will get at the end of the day starts right from your negotiation. Many job-seekers go to the interview hall with the mindset that the employer knows how much he wants to pay, that doesn’t work all time because what the employer may have in mind may not be satisfying enough. If you leave the salary negotiation to the employer only, you may stand a risk of being underpaid at the end of the day.

Like we said earlier, it is very important for you to know your worth and the market value of the job before you start negotiating your salary. A poorly negotiated salary may end up becoming an unsatisfying pay. Knowing your worth and having a good knowledge of the market value will help you create a benchmark when negotiating your salary. Creating a benchmark for your salary will help you negotiate your salary better.

Knowing your worth is a step to achieving a great salary negotiation, but knowing great tips to engage salary negotiation conversation is the key to negotiating your salary properly.

Know When and How to Ask for a Raise

With the rate of inflation on a steady rise, one can only be satisfied with a salary that fairly increases from time to time. It is possible for you to have gotten a job with a fairly good salary and after a few years the value of what you used to have drastically reduces. If your salary remains static over a period of time while your workload increases, then you may start experiencing underpayment.

A good way to prevent salary stagnation and underpayment is to ask for a raise. It might be tempting for you to think that your employer should know when you deserve a raise, but it does not happen like that most of the time.

If you feel you have been working harder than before and you need a raise, then you should walk up to your employer and talk to him about it. Talking to your employer about a raise is a very tricky thing to do, so you must be smart and tactful about it. Also, make sure you truly deserve a raise before you approach your employer about it. Before you approach your employer about a raise, it is important for you to learn how to ask for a raise.

Grow and Develop Yourself

Let’s be more realistic, many employees get peanuts at the end of the day maybe because they deserve it sometimes. This may sound really harsh, but that is the truth. No employer look forward to paying huge sums to an employee that is adding little or no value to the organization, if they do that it will end up becoming a waste at the end of the day.

Since the aim of any business is profit making, then every form of waste may need to be eliminated or reduced to the minimum. The drive to pursue a career should not stop when you get a job, it should rather be a continuous thing. It is one thing to get a job, then it is another to remain relevant in the job. To avoid being at the receiving end, it is important for you to continuously look for opportunities to grow both inside and outside the job.

It is not enough to put all the responsibility on your employer to get a good pay. The responsibility to get a good pay lies within your ability to grow and develop yourself towards becoming a good hire that companies would love to pay for.

It means that you have to keep trying your best to grow your skills where needed and be open to grab learning opportunities. When you are confident enough about what you do, then it will be easier for you to ask for a good pay because you know what you worth.

Look Forward to Growing Your Work Experience

It is not uncommon for job seekers to wonder why having a work experience is important when searching for a job? The truth is employers look at your work experience to get a form of validation that you can do a particular job. It stands as a point of reference for the employer.

As an employee, it is equally important you look forward to growing your work experience because it puts you in a more advantaged position to land the job of your dreams and earn more. It could feel really good to move to a job that pays higher than your recent job, but the truth is even if you move, you might need to move again and it continues like that. Moving from one job to the other will tell on your work experience and your personality.

People that jump from one job to the other are regarded as unfocused. Staying in a company that pays fairly well will help you build your career, and also affect your pay as you move up your career ladder.


Being proactive is one way you can overcome challenges even before they come. Being underpaid is one thing that can make an employee grossly unsatisfied with the job. To avoid becoming unhappy with your job, it is advisable you take preventive measures.

It is also important for you to understand that as much as every employee wants to be fairly paid, employers too want to pay for value.

See also: How to Get a Higher Salary in 2019

Rita Uche

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