How to know if you are overworked and underpaid by your Boss

How to know if you are overworked and underpaid by your Boss

According to recent research carried out, most professionals agree to feel overworked at one point or another in their careers, and a huge chunk of them has felt both overworked and underpaid at least once in their professional lives.

While the feelings of being overworked can occur, it doesn’t mean that it’s compulsory. factually, the feeling of being overworked can have multiple negative effects, including but not limited to a decline in health and feelings of overwhelm.

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In this article, we’ll discuss what it means to be overworked, how to know if you’re underpaid, listing 20 signs you’re overworked and underpaid, and the solutions available to you.

What does it mean to be overworked?

Overwork is the term used to describe the situation of an employee who is been made to work too much, too hard, or for too long a period of time. Feeling overworked can also be linked to performing duties that are above your capacity or abilities which consequentially leads to mental overwhelm or distress. Being overworked can have many negative consequences.

A few of which includes:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Mental distress
  • A decline in health
  • Physical exhaustion
  • High levels of stress
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Weakened immune system

While the feeling of being overworked is certainly commonplace in today’s workforce, that doesn’t mean that it’s a prerequisite to be successful at your job. Been enlightened on the signs of overwork is paramount to ensure you take preventive measures to reduce this feeling and remain healthy and productive.

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How do you know if you’re underpaid?

One of the most rampant questions asked by professionals about salaries is how to check if they’re being underpaid. After all, it can be unpleasant to ask co-workers about their salaries for comparison sakes. Luckily, there are several sources that will tell you what other professionals in your field are getting paid, on average, for a specific position in your industry, this can vary based on location. Online resources such as Glassdoor,, PayScale, LinkedIn, Monster and Indeed can aid you in knowing if you’re being underpaid. Ensure to account for both your location and your job title when you’re utilizing these sites to find out if your pay is appropriate.    

20 signs you’re overworked and underpaid and solutions

There are many signs and symptoms of being overworked. The most usual signs you might experience when feeling overworked and/or underpaid include:

  1. You feel depressed
  2. You have trouble relaxing
  3. Your productivity has decreased
  4. You’ve had one or more stress injuries
  5. You have new or worsened anxiety
  6. You dread going to work every day
  7. You’re losing or gaining weight
  8. You rely on stimulants to get work done
  9. You feel like there’s not enough time in the day
  10. You feel like you’ll never catch up at work
  11. Your interpersonal relationships are taking a toll
  12. You have trouble disconnecting from work
  13. You haven’t received a raise in more than two years
  14. You make less money than your colleagues in similar positions
  15. You’ve lost the passion you once felt for your job
  16. You don’t enjoy the things you once did
  17. Your organization has a high employee turnover rate
  18. Your responsibilities have increased but your salary hasn’t
  19. You have a challenging time completing even simple tasks at work
  20. Your supervisor avoids discussions about advancement or salary increases


As a worker who’s overworked and underpaid there are four ways to deal with it.

  1. Ask for More Money: you could ask your boss for a raise to fair market value based on the position you occupy within the organization.
  2. Ask for Equity: This is mostly advised when it’s a startup or a firm you truly believe in and I must emphasize that’s it’s a rare occurrence, It is hard to say whether there is value in having equity in such businesses, but it’s something worth considering. But remember 10% of nothing is nothing, so if the firm is really doing poorly, consider this option wisely.
  3. Leave: If a pay rise or an equity stake is not possible, you have to let your boss know that you really need to leave the firm. You can be extremely polite, nice, and totally sincere given your history, you can even offer to help find and train your replacement. But if he is not willing to raise your salary, he undeniably has to understand.
  4. Job Search: The last option, and what you should mostly do in any case, is to begin to explore your options in the marketplace. I must add confidentially, this would help you know your worth, and if you stumble upon something that excites you, you resign and inform your boss it’s because you got a great opportunity that you have to pursue. You could pursue this option without ever needing to complain about your salary.

In the end, you’re the only one who can decide what is best for you. I’m not close enough to accurately determine what best suits your situation, given it most times has a lot to do with your relationship with your boss (and you only can truly know the dynamics of the interpersonal relationship).
Good luck, and I hope this guide helps your situation.