Unemployment numbers are improving, but underemployment remains one of America’s biggest labor market struggles. Far too many people find themselves working minimum wage jobs, despite their education, or are forced to work multiple part-time jobs just to get by. If you suspect you are underemployed, check your situation against these three major red flags. Then, keep reading to learn how to change your circumstances.
Are you bored at work? Do you feel like you are overqualified for your job or as if you aren’t earning what you deserve? The sooner you recognize that you are underemployed, the sooner you can take action to redefine your job role or find a new career path. Check out the full article below so you can learn to recognize that you’re underemployed and take action to change it.
Use this Guide to Find Out if You Could Use a Well-deserved Job Change.
Signs You are Underemployed
Believe it or not, up to 43 percent of those surveyed by PayScale believe they are underemployed. The key changing your life is recognizing that you are underemployed so you can take action to correct your situation. Here’s how to tell:
Your college diploma is collecting dust — literally and figuratively. You haven’t had to bring it out or prove you even went to college in ages. You spent thousands for that thing, but you aren’t actually working in your area of expertise, or you still have an “entry level job” on your chosen career path. It’s time to start looking for work that matches your abilities and potential.
You’re the go-to guy at work. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless your boss is always coming to you for help with the tough questions and rough situations, too. You’re reliable and ambitious but you’re bored because you are spinning your wheels, and you’re definitely not being paid for your skill set.
Your company doesn’t reward results. It’s great to go out and get a new certification or license, or to end up a loyal employee earning anniversary certificates. However, is your company paying you for the work you do and the results you achieve? If not, you are likely underpaid, as your company probably isn’t keeping up with the market rate for your talents and skills.
What to Do about Underemployment
There are a few steps you can take if you are underemployed. First, start by doing a little research on the current market rate for your job for people with your level of experience. Are you making the going rate? If not, it may be time to ask for a raise.
Second, polish up your resume. There’s no reason to stick with a job you’re overqualified for if there are others out there. Clean up your online portfolios (your website or your LinkedIn profile), revamp your resume and cover letter, and start scouring the job boards and papers.
If you don’t necessarily want to switch jobs, start taking more initiative. Show off your skills at every opportunity and do what you can to make an impact. Look for solutions to common problems, workflow issues, or office concerns. Be creative in redefining your own job role and use your experiences to create your own opportunity for growth and salary negotiation.
Not happy with your current career path at all? Sharpen the skills you do have with a full-time or part-time gig while focusing your sights on the next best thing. There are tons of colleges offering online degree programs, giving you the flexibility to continue your studies while maintaining a presence in the workforce. You’ll get to hone your current skills while developing and applying new ones, bolstering your resume in the process.
Don’t let your talents go to waste in a place where you are unappreciated and underpaid. The sooner you start moving towards change, the happier you will be with your work life.