5 Signs You Are Underemployed & What To Do About It 

Making ends meet is a struggle for many. This is why a lot of people feel like they are left with no choice but to accept the first job offer they receive after going through several unsuccessful job applications and interviews. This is how underemployment usually happens. 

While one shouldn’t be ashamed of working what’s available as long as it’s a legal job, it doesn’t mean you should settle. This is particularly the case if you have a good set of qualifications and experience. 

Read on to know the signs that tell whether you are actually currently underemployed and get some tips that can help you take action toward professional growth and career success.

Sign #1: You never use your technical skills

If you never get the chance to use, practice, and continuously develop the skills you’ve earned at school and developed in your previous work experience, then you’re definitely underemployed. For instance, if you’re working as an admin clerk when you should be in the accounting department.

What you should do about it:

If you’re currently unable to perform your primary skills, remember that any work experience is still a valuable experience. No matter what it is that you’re currently doing, you’ll be able to get something out of it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to do what you’re doing now forever.

If you can’t find a new job just yet, you can choose to keep growing and practicing your skills outside of your day job. Take online courses and/or check out part-time opportunities that may suit you.

You should also consider talking to your manager and telling them about your skills and experience. Express your willingness to do something related to them. Your manager may actually have an opportunity for you.

Sign #2: You’re willing to do anything

If you’re someone who has multiple skills and is flexible enough to learn and do different tasks, then you probably don’t mind doing practically anything at work. While this exhibits flexibility, it may also show desperation. If you’re willing to do anything just to show you’re useful and to of course get a salary, you might be underemployed.

What you should do about it:

What you should do first is to assess your skills and goals. At the same time, see where you are right now and explore what opportunities are available in your industry or location that match your skills and goals. You should also consider moving or freelancing if you think it will allow you to grow professionally.

Sign #3: You can’t relate to your coworkers

If you notice that you can’t relate to your coworkers, it’s a classic sign that you’re not where you’re supposed to be. It means that you’re probably in the wrong industry, which is why your skills and interests don’t match those of your colleagues.

What you should do about it:

Even if your current work circle isn’t where you’re supposed to be in, you can find ways to make the most of it. You can try and learn new skills from your colleagues. Then, you can join groups and forums outside of your work to allow you to stay in touch with your desired network.

Sign #4: You’re bored often

Being bored at work sometimes happens even to the best of us. However, if you’re bored often and constantly, it simply means you’re uninterested and unmotivated, possibly because of a mix of the reasons listed above.

What you should do about it:

Before you quit your current job, you should first know the reason why you’re bored so you’d know what is it that you have to watch out for when you look for new opportunities. You should also maintain a good performance in your current job even if you’re bored to tears every day.

Sign #5: You can’t maximize your working hours

Underemployment isn’t just about doing something that doesn’t match your skills. If you’re in the field you want to be in but you’re not able to maximize your working hours in your current position, it means your skills are not fully utilized. 

What you should do about it:

If your current employer can’t hire you full time, but you like what you do, you should consider getting a second job. You can check out remote opportunities that you can do during your spare time.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. If you’re looking for jobs in the Philippines or abroad, sign up now and start applying!

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

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