Feeling overworked and underpaid?

Feeling overworked and underpaid? Gemma Rawlings, Recruitment Consultant at Park talks about what to do if you really are.

Nearly everyone at some point in their professional life feels they’re overworked and underpaid. Often, the feeling is nothing more than an impulsive reaction to short-term frustration. You’re putting in extra hours on a big project or covering for a colleague and no one has even said thanks let alone offered to pay you overtime.

But what if its not short-term, you’ve been working well beyond your contracted hours for months with no support from your manager or team. You feel your salary is well below the market rate, you haven’t been paid a penny of overtime for the hundreds of additional hours you have put in and your extra effort hasn’t been reflected in an annual bonus or even been recognised. Your home life is starting to be affected, what should you do?

Firstly, confirm that you really are underpaid. The best way to do this in Jersey is to talk to a Recruitment Consultant confidentially. They will be able to tell you what the market rate is for your qualifications and experience. You are not making any commitment by entering into a discussion and the information will enable you to benchmark your remuneration. Remember that some firms offer an entire remuneration package so you should not consider your basic salary as a stand alone element.

Once you have this information, it’s time to take action (or not perhaps!). You must decide whether you are going to sit tight and accept your situation after all there is value and honour in hard work and the grass isn’t always greener. Or whether enough is enough. Talk to your manager and suggest that the workload needs to be managed. It could be that your manager is trying to rectify the situation by amending the workflow or recruiting additional team members but this action has not been communicated to you. Try to negotiate a market salary adjustment if you are underpaid. Be sure to remind your manager of your accomplishments and performance. Make your case calmly and strongly. Before you enter these discussions in a professional manner you must remember that by having this conversation you are making your employer aware that you are unhappy and your commitment to the firm may be in question. However, it is important to have these open and honest discussions with your employer before you start looking for a new opportunity to avoid wasting yours and another organisation’s time and burning potential bridges. Jersey is a small island after all and you never know what is just around the corner. If these talks prove unfruitful pick up with the Recruitment Consultant that you had the initial chat with and begin your search for alternative employment. Be clear about your expectations and be honest about your reasons for wishing to leave your current employer but do not ramble on. Attend interviews with a positive head, radiate energy and enthusiasm. Be someone that you would want to work with, know your CV inside out, be clear on your achievements and make 2016 your career year.