According to the Webster dictionary the underemployment definition is
“The condition in which people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs”
If you are underemployed then you are probably saying these things to yourself on a regular basis
- I need a better job
- I need a new career
- How to do I ask for a raise?
- Should I consider changing careers?
Does any of this sound familiar? When you are underemployed people tend to have the following circumstances.
You have a massive about of experience and/or college education; and you are either working a full time job not making enough money, a part time job not making enough money, or you cannot find a full time job and a part time job is your only option.
The second situation is that you may have skills but no experience, no formal education, and you are having trouble making a good income at your full time job. You may be working a part time job making less money and cannot find a full time job.
If you fall into either of these situations, then it is okay. I am here to help. Once you have identified which category you fall into that is when you can start to improve your underemployment situation.
Has a college education and/or a lot of experience working at a full time job or part time job but not making enough money.
Depending on the field you are in, can determine your income. I worked in the mental health field and in most instances; it is difficult to make a large amount of money. This is not to say that your situation is hopeless because I know that anyone can make a decent amount of income no matter what field you are in, but it would just depend on how you go about.
First. You need to work in the field in which your college education is in. If you got a degree in political science but you are working full time as a teacher’s assistant, that is why you are making less money. Try to find jobs that require a degree in political science. You are seen as having some expertise in the field of political science due to your degree, and are more likely to make more money.
Secondly. Get experience. There are many people who are college graduates and do not have any sort of real working experience. The down side to that is when you apply for a higher paying job you are not going to be an applicant that stands out. So it is better to gain experience then start applying for higher paying jobs. Having both the degree and the experience will help you ALOT. You can click here my to see what to do after to graduate. And here to find out how to prepare for a job while in college. When I graduated college, I had mild experience. I started an entry-level job, and then moved to another company that value the experience I had, got a masters and more experience and the rest is history. I easily made $40K more than I made when I first graduated college.
Third. A promotion. You may be underemployed for the moment, but if there are other positions you can move into that can get you more money then you may want to move into those. You can also ask for a raise, but only ask for a raise once you have been working there for at least a year, have done a good job, and have a good performance review. These things give you leverage when asking for more money. Also, since you work at that a certain place, be proactive in finding a full time position. Look for any full time positions that come open and if they don’t come open then you can just ask for a full time position once you have proven yourself to be an asset to the company.
Fourth. Continue your education, get a degree, get a certification or a license. As I mentioned I am in the mental health field. I have a master’s degree in counseling and my master’s degree qualified me to sit for the National Counseling Exam, which is separate from the school. Other people with a degree in counseling become licensed counselors or licensed therapist. Without a licensed, most people in the field make around 35K-50k a year, in my field. Once people get a licensed they will make anywhere from 60k to 100k a year, AND they can practice independently and open their own counseling business. Getting a degree, a higher degree, or certification in your field will allow you to be an asset to a company in the long run and will allow for you to make more money. Click my blog here on how to fund your college education.
Fifth: If all else fails then just go someone where else that will pay your more. You need to be proactive in your job search and apply for about 10-20 jobs a week! Look below to get a free worksheet to help with your job search. Only apply for jobs that meet your minimum salary that you want and have promotion potential, which you should ask about in the interview. Click my blog here on how to prepare for an interview.
No experience, working part time or full time not making enough money.
There are people who are very skilled at what they do and feel they deserve more money but they cannot get a job. Here are some ways in which you can fix that.
First. Get skilled. You can be really good at computers, but if you do not have a certification, degree, or something on paper that says you are good at computers then you are not going to get a good job working with computers. If you are able to find one, you will more than likely be passed over for a promotion over someone that does have something on paper. Try to find college options that are good for you (see my blog here) or some type of certification that is recognized by the field. Click my blog here on how to fund your college education.
Second, work your way up. No matter where you work, people tend to have supervisors, team leads, or some type of hierarchy at the job. Focus on doing a good job, going above and beyond, and then try to move into a manager’s position or some position that is a step up making more money. Even if you are underemployed now, working and staying with an agency for a long time can give you the advantage in the long run. My uncle worked in fast food from the time he was a teenager and now is the store manager of several restaurants. He probably makes more money than most people, with a degree.
Third, get into a training program. Many jobs do advertise that you do not have to have experience but that they will train you the way they want you to be trained. And after you finish their training program, then you will have a full time position at the company.
Fourth, get a job with guaranteed admission. Jobs like this are the military, a police officer, or a firefighter. You still have to meet the qualifications, but most people can meet the qualification for these jobs if they put their mind to it. Jobs like these are always going to need people. They also do mass hiring, train you, and you can always get promoted in these positions. Plus when you get out of these jobs, you will more than likely find another good job, because people value people who work in public services and are more willing to hire them.
Fifth, look for a new job. If you have no experience and you do not have a job that you can move up in, then find another one. But there is a key to being successful at it. The jobs you need to apply for need to have good promotion potential, it would also be good if they provide or pay for some type of training, and it would be good if you can make decent money. Some jobs that you can make good money at with no experience are sales types jobs or jobs where you earn commission. Never overlook these types of employments because your income can be dependent on how hard you work. You should always, apply for at least 20 jobs a week. If you have no experience, education, but want a better job, you half to apply for more jobs a week to increase your chances of getting a better job.
Tips no matter where you are
Regardless of where you fall into the spectrum, you need to be able to impress people in an interview and on paper. You can check out my resume tips blog here, how to dress for an interview, and how to prepare for an interview. How you show up in person and how you present yourself can be a make or break situation, so you want to put your best foot forward.
Now that you have figured out where you fall on the spectrum of being underemployed, it is time to put some of these things in actions. If you join Sophie-stication Nation you can get free worksheets to help you along your way. The “find a job” worksheet will help you in looking for a job and help you determine what types of jobs to look for. And the “ways to get a promotion” worksheet will help you figure out ways that you can move up and your current place. I hope that these tips will help you with your underemployment, finding a better job, and even changing careers.