6 Signs That You Are Being Underpaid

CompareHero.my Team

CompareHero.my Team

Last updated 24 June, 2021

Let’s be honest, we all need money. Whenever you don’t feel like getting out of bed, just remember that you still need to pay the bills and that will send a shock down your spine. 

Sure, you might get satisfaction out of the challenge and accomplishment from your job and work with amazing co-workers, but that still does not beat receiving the paycheck at the end of the month. Let me ask you: “Would you still be at your job if you didn’t get paid?” The majority will say a resounding ‘no’. 

Well, in that case, why not make our paycheck as big as we possibly can? Everybody wants to be fairly compensated, regardless of the work, but how do we know if we’re not? Bear in mind that money is not the end-all as there are different types of benefits with different companies. But, here are the six signs you might be underpaid. 

Related: 5 Financial Mistakes Most Employees Make When Starting A New Job

1. Increase in responsibility but not in salary

Almost every time when your responsibilities increase, your salary should too. Think about it; when you first got hired, the salary was based on the responsibilities that were expected of you. So now that the responsibilities have changed, shouldn’t there at least be a conversation about how it affects your compensation? 

Always review your salary before taking on additional responsibilities to ensure your salary remains competitive. Negotiate a raise. Don’t overwork and be underpaid. Also, ask some of your peers in the same industry once in a while, wages may fluctuate depending on the supply and demand of the profession. 

2. You haven’t received a raise in a long time

In an ideal place where there is less turbulence and global crisis like the COVID-19 in the market, you should expect to receive a bump in your salary about every year. This is not only for the efforts you’ve put in over the year but also to keep up with inflation. 

But as we all know, the world is not always as generous as we hoped it would be and it may be quite difficult for some cultures to strike up the conversation. So give it roughly two years. If your manager values your presence and the work that you’ve done, they’ll do what’s right to keep you with the company. 


3. Others with similar responsibilities get paid more

This may require you to do a little research, whether on the Internet or by asking your colleagues. In Malaysia, despite it being frowned upon when we ask about salaries, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a good practice for transparency. The more secrecy there is about your compensation, the more employers can take advantage of. 

Sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, or Payscale have most of the information you need. With just a few clicks, you’ll know whether your compensation is on par with the market rate. 

4. High turnover rates

There are only a few main reasons why people quit a job and one of them is to escape bad pay. With the Internet on our side, it’s not that hard to know how much a job is worth. Once someone has got that information and if they have the power to make a change, they’re going to take it. That means switching over to another company that values them. 

A high turnover rate means that more employees find better opportunities elsewhere than vice versa. Remember, whether it’s you or your work bestie, money is a huge factor in our jobs. 

5. You’re constantly getting headhunted

You are underpaid if you keep receiving calls from recruiters or headhunters that can pay more than what you’re earning now. Recruiters are people who work extremely closely with companies and job seekers. It makes sense to take their benchmark of salary as it will roughly represent how much your job is worth. 

To top it off, if you’re constantly getting headhunted, it simply means that your speciality is in high demand now. That is a tremendously powerful negotiating tool because if the company is desperate for someone with your skills, they will one-up your other offers. And all this is only going to benefit you. 

6. You did not negotiate your initial salary


Chances are that when the company first give you the initial offer, it’s below the amount they’re willing to spend. It’s something like “Let’s see if he/she is willing to accept this pay.” 

In most cases, companies want to save as much as possible. So if you didn’t negotiate your salary at first, that means you actually deserve much more than that. But first, ask for it. 

Plus, now that you’ve gained some experience and have your time invested, you would have become an asset to the company. Prepare your case well, you deserve it. 

Constantly review your salary just to keep yourself updated with the industry standard. Don’t lose the opportunity for something better just because it’s hard to strike up the conversation. 

The CompareHero.my team is comprised of many talented individuals, sharing their knowledge, experiences and research to help others make better financial decisions.


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