Ever feel like you're "underemployed"? Meaning, you're in a job that does NOT fully utilize your skills, education, or experience, and as a result does NOT pay you what you're truly worth. It can be frustrating to work in a job that doesn't challenge you or provide opportunities for advancement, but there are ways to overcome underemployment and find a more fulfilling career.
Here are some strategies to consider if you're currently experiencing underemployment:
Conduct a Personal Inventory (Skills, Education, Contacts, etc.)
Assess your skills, interests, and goals. This will help you identify what type of job or industry would be the best fit for you. Take some time to reflect on what you're passionate about and what you're good at, and then research industries or careers that align with those strengths.
Refresh, Enhance, and/or Upgrade Your Skills
If you find that you're lacking the skills necessary to move into a more fulfilling career, consider taking courses, attending workshops or seminars, or pursuing additional education. This could involve anything from earning a certification in a specific skill to going back to school to earn a degree.
Reach Out, Engage, and Grow Your Network
Networking is a key strategy for advancing your career. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with others in your desired field. Build relationships with people who can offer advice, mentorship, or job opportunities.
Volunteer (Be of Service to Others)
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in a new industry or role, while also giving back to your community. Look for volunteer opportunities that align with your skills and interests, and consider taking on leadership roles within those organizations to demonstrate your skills and commitment.
Seek Out New Opportunities
If you're feeling underemployed in your current job, start exploring new opportunities within your company or outside of it. Look for job openings that align with your skills and interests, and consider taking on freelance or contract work in your spare time to gain experience and build your portfolio.
When in doubt, it might just be time to move out - out of your comfort zone, and ultimately out of your current market. There are literally places that will pay you to come and join them. In fact, here's a link to an article in Architectural Digest that list 9 examples: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/us-cities-pay-you-move-there-2023 - I hope you find the additional info helpful.
Yes, underemployment can be frustrating, but it's important to remember that there are ways to overcome it. By conducting a personal inventory, refreshing your skills, networking, volunteering, seeking out new opportunities, and considering relocation, you can take control of your career and find a more fulfilling job that utilizes your full potential.