How to Ask for a Raise When You are Underpaid?

ask for a raise

Getting a job can be the very first step for your career but it is not the most important one. A well-paid job is what is to be considered for.

You work for a company and the company in return pays you for that.

The more demanding the skill is the better is the pay grade.

But certain times you may feel you are working too hard in your job but the pay you get isn't justify your hard work.

The feeling of being underpaid is the worst one when you work all your blood and sweat out.

But here is a good news for you. You can get a raise without leaving your current job. All you need to do is "TAKE ACTION".

You can ask for a raise from your employer and  if you'll do it in a right way, chances are higher that you'll get a raise.

Do Your Research And Make Sure You're Actually Underpaid

You can't just go and ask for a raise unless you really know if you are underpaid or not.

There are certain factors you need to research on and get known to in order to surely know if you are underpaid.

For many people, their pay is the direct mirror of their performance in their jobs.

The better you perform, the better you get paid.

But what if you are performing well and still don't get paid enough?

There are certain ways to make sure of that.

A prior research is of utmost importance before declaring yourself underpaid.

Here are some points which might help you to determine if you are underpaid by your company or not -

1. Your Salary hasn't Changed Much Since You Have Joined Your Job

This can be a very clear indication to know if you are underpaid.

Remember the salary for which you accepted your job the very first time and compare that salary with what you are getting now.

If there isn't much difference in both amounts you are probably underpaid.

2. Your company is making profits but not you

Dig up some statistical data about your company's profits in recent years and compare it with your pay grade.

If the Company is making a profit but your pay scale is almost stable over that time, you are surely underpaid.

Digging up financial statistics of the company can be hard to do but you can always get an estimation through regular meetings about your company's progress. Use the statistics to strengthen your point to get a salary upgrade.

If your company is listed in stock market, you can easily get to know about their profits and losses online through internet. All stock market listed companies are required to share their profits and losses publicly on their companies website or in news papers.

3. Your colleagues are paid more than you even when you work at the same level

This can be a very clear indication that you are underpaid. If your colleagues who are having the same experience as yours, work at the same level as yours, do the same kind of work you do but still end up getting paid more than you, then there is a great chance that you are lacking behind in the payment criteria.

4. You are just happy to have a job

This can be a very tricky thing to consider. Many times you are just happy enough to have a job.

You don't expect anything more than what is given to you.

This takes a toll on you and you don't even care to check if you are even paid up to your potential or not.

Your managers can see this on your face and they will not do anything like giving you a raise as you are already happy in what you are getting.

Calculate Your Worth

Now once you have figured out that you are underpaid, it is time to estimate your actual worth.

Estimating your actual worth can be a bit tricky since you can not directly predict it without any analysis.

The best way to see what are you worth is to compare your salaries to that of your colleagues and friends. A net estimate of the value of a person like you in the market is a must.

Check out online job portals for what kind of salary packages other companies offer for same jobs as yours.

You can also use websites like, or to get a rough estimation of what other employees in different companies are being paid.

Don't just compare the salaries yet, also include the compensation packages you'll get since no two jobs are always paid the same. One might have a lower PayScale but a huge compensation amount and the other might have an exactly opposite case.

Prove Your Worth

Just estimating your worth won't do any good unless you are able to convince your boss about your raise.

The best way to make sure you get the value you deserve is to make your bosses realize your actual worth and contributions to the company. Here are some tips that might help you

1.Prepare a list of your achievements -

If you need to put a strong reason to give you a raise, a list of achievements is only going to help.

Make sure you make your boss notice your accomplishments and praises you got for the company.

Your accomplishments can be a very wide range such as say you helped your colleagues in company's projects or you prepared some software to ease the work of other employees.

You can also add points such as say you took a new leadership role, helped the company in any way to increase the revenue or did some new courses which might help your company the future.

2. Show that you are dynamic and ready improve if the need arises -

Your performance chart will clearly show how you have performed so far in the company.

It is very much beneficial to make your boss notice your progress too.

When going to ask for a raise make sure you present yourself as smartly as possible.

It might not be an interview but consider it no less. Make your points and reasons clear to your boss in as efficient way as possible.

3. Gather salary data from different sources to support your claim -

You can't ask for a raise out of thin air.

Show your boss the proofs that you are underpaid.

Gather salary data of same working post as yours and compare your salary with it. Show your boss how much your salary varies from the market value.

4. Book your discussion in advance -

You wouldn't be wanting to just barge in your boss's cabin asking for a raise.

Plan your visit to him.

Fix an appointment if needed.

Make sure your boss has enough time for the meeting and is not busy in other works.

Try not to ask for a raise especially when your boss is in a foul mood. It will only ruin your chances.

5. Never expect anything out of the world -

Even if you feel you are underpaid try not to ask for a raise so high that your company won't even care to consider it.

Always try to ask for as reasonable raise as possible considering the company's budget.


Being underpaid is as bad as having a job sucking everything out of you and giving nothing in return. 

If you feel you are underpaid and deserve a salary hike, follow the above-given tips to effectively get a raise. 

But even if by doing all this you are unable to get the desired pay then the last option is to find a new job since an underpaid job is not worth wasting your full potential. 

Go and find a new and better job with better pay. Here are some online jobs portals in India to find new jobs.