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How To Stay Motivated When You’re Getting Underpaid

How To Stay Motivated When You’re Getting Underpaid

We all have to pay our dues in order to get to where we want to be, and sometimes that means getting underpaid for way too long. Here's how to survive!

It happens to everyone at some point. You work in a position where you are totally getting underpaid with no end in sight. It can feel like you are trapped in the position forever and do not deserve to ask for a raise. These are simply not true. There are ways to stay motivated as you transition from your entry-level job into something higher-paying.

A bright blue neon on a wall reads “Work harder”

1. If you are actively looking for something new, keep in mind your current situation is temporary

Keep your focus on the better things to come. Use your next position to get the pay you deserve. Do not be afraid to negotiate for a better pay when you get your next job, as this is a sure way to get the pay you deserve. Use your current job as motivation for looking for something better. Create a goal to apply for one new position each week and do one thing a day to help you reach the next level of your career. Setting goals to move forward will motivate you to press on to the next best thing.


2. Know your worth

You may be getting underpaid, but you know your own worth. Knowing your worth is how you realize you are underpaid in the first place, which shows that you know that you deserve better. Look at everything you have accomplished for the company and use it to keep pushing forward. Write down a list of everything you are capable of and add to it regularly. Having a physical list to look at is super motivating and allows you to visually see what you can do.

Here's how to survive getting underpaid for way too long!

3. Keep your work friends close

Having friends at work can help you stay motivated. Keeping them close not only gives you motivation for pushing forward, but they may also help you realize that you are getting underpaid. They can help point out all that you do for the company and everything you are worthy of. If anything, these people make the work environment a lot more pleasant.

4. Focus on the perks of your position

This is especially true if you are in an unpaid internship. Maybe you get flexible scheduling or health benefits. Your employer may give you exclusive access to various events or free tickets to concerts and museums. If you add up these prices, your compensation may be worth it and you do not have to factor entertainment into your own budget. These things also cost your company money and are things that you do not have to pay for yourself.

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Here's how to survive getting underpaid for way too long!

5. Set up a meeting to negotiate a raise

Talk to your supervisor or payroll manager and set up a time to meet to ask for a raise. Do some research into what others with similar experience and duties get paid to give you a basis of what you should ask for. Do not hesitate to ask for a little bit more than you think you deserve, as you are likely to undervalue yourself. Make a list of your accomplishments and use your loyalty to the company as a selling point for why you deserve the raise.


How did you survive getting underpaid? Put it in the comments below!