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3 Signs You’re Underemployed & What to Do About It

Latina woman leaning on a machine looking sad

Being underemployed means that while you have the skills to qualify for better jobs, you are not working in your preferred position. If you’re not using your skills, don’t feel challenged at work, are often bored, or have trouble finding stable employment, you may be underemployed. If you find yourself in a job that doesn’t take full advantage of your talents and skills, it’s time to take action. Here are three signs you’re underemployed and what to do about it!

Your Workday Drags On

Being bored occasionally at work is normal, but if you’re spending each day counting every minute that passes and leaving when the clock strikes quitting time clearly shows that your current position is not keeping you engaged or motivated. Boredom kills productivity; it stifles creativity and motivation. It can also be a threat to you as you seek future employment as it can make it look like you weren’t making an effort – which could lead to you struggling to find better work if you’re let go.

You Aren’t Growing

If you have specific skills that you’d like to use on the job but haven’t been provided the opportunities to showcase them, then it might be a sign you are underemployed. You’ll always be able to apply your existing skills in another position, but you could quickly become demotivated if you can’t learn new skills to enhance your personal and professional development. If you find yourself frustrated with your current position, take some time to consider whether there is a role for you that would offer more opportunities for growth and development.

You Not Getting Enough Hours

Underemployment doesn’t always mean you aren’t engaged at work or aren’t being challenged; it could also be the lack of hours you receive each week. If your work is keeping you from reaching full-time hours, you’re probably considered underemployed.

What To Do About It

Don’t Let Negativity Take Over

Everyone has negative thoughts about their job occasionally, but this mindset can hold you back from the career you really want. When you consistently give in to negative self-talk, you’ll end up drained and unsuccessful, which could slow down your career. Find ways to build your career by having a positive attitude, having an organized job search, and partnering with a career coach like a recruiter.

Utilize Your Network

Utilizing your network is a great way to help you find more gainful employment. It’s important to take advantage of social networking events, create a LinkedIn profile so you can reach out to recruiters, ask friends and family for any leads for jobs in your preferred industry, and partner with a staffing agency. When you make time for intentional networking, it’s more
likely you’ll find yourself in conversations with people who have the right connections to introduce you to new opportunities.

Embrace Your Workplace Persona

Everyone has a set of talents and skills, which provides value to their job – this is known as your “workplace persona.” For example, a teacher or educator persona can create a positive learning environment for their students, and they show this by listening, empathizing, and being patient with their students. Imagine that you’re describing yourself to an employer; what qualities do you have that would make someone want to hire or promote you? If you can make those qualities stand out and show an employer that you can do the job, then new opportunities are bound to open up!

Anyone who knows they’re working below their full potential is most likely underemployed. If you know your skills are being underutilized, it’s time to do something about it. You deserve to spend your working days in an environment that provides enough opportunity to work enough hours, utilize your skills, provides chances to grow new skills, and values your work.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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