Career Advice

Are You Working Too Much For Little Money? 5 Steps On How To Work Less And Earn More

We’ve all been there, lying in bed before we have to leave for work, dreading the day ahead of us. We start to think, why am I working too much for little money and what can I do to make more and actually enjoy my job.

You’re not alone, and we have some ways to help you advance in your career and get excited about each and every workday.

You’re Not Alone Thinking You’re Working Too Much for Little Money

When taking a look at many people around you, you may find that majority of them share your sentiment when it comes to starting the day. Even within your workplace, you’re not alone, with 33% of Americans believing they’ve hit a dead-end in their career.

There are only 20% of Americans that are very passionate about the jobs, a low statistic considering the number of workers in the workforce. These numbers highlight the fact that there are many that think the same, believing that their pay is not worth the hours they pull working each and every day.

Steps to Advancing your Career

Once you hit a slump and think that you’re working too much for little money, it’s time to take charge. The last thing you want to do is sit back and let others determine your future, which is why you should consider ways to advance in your career. Below, we’ll share some ways that you can jumpstart your career.

Step #1. Set Clear Goals

Before you do anything else, the first thing you should do is sit back and think about your goals. Finding what you want to achieve is the perfect way to advance in your career, able to outline the steps you need to take to get there. This is perhaps the longest step, requiring that you really think about what it is you want to achieve.

Step # 2. Seek New Knowledge

Working too much for little money

Once you have a clear goal, finding ways to achieve them is quite simple. Having a clear goal, you can start to seek new knowledge about the advancements you want to see happen in your career. If you feel like you’re working too much for little money, then you’ll want to start seeking new knowledge.

Companies want employees that are talented in more than just one area, able to take initiative and get things done. By taking steps to learn something new or to acquire a new set of skills, you not only show companies what you’re capable of but also become more competitive on the job market.

Related Article: How to get Ahead in Your Career by Being Proactive: A 10-Step Ladder to Success

Step #3. Chat with your Boss

While a chat with the boss might seem intimidating, it’s one of the best moves to make to advance your career. Your boss and other authorities have a lot on their plate, not always remembering to focus on each individual employee. That’s why it’s your responsibility to speak up and let your thoughts be heard.

Letting them know that you’re on the hunt for a raise or a better opportunity is a great way to get them to start thinking about you when a promotion becomes available. Express your thoughts with your boss and give them a fair number that you’re comfortable with. 

Step #4. Find a Mentor

In the workplace, a mentor is a great tool to help you reach job satisfaction. They can help you when you’re stuck and guide you on how to obtain your goals of getting paid better or working under better conditions.

Find someone that’s in a position that you would like to have, learning from them, and seeking advice from them when you need it. You’ll learn about different aspects of the company, grow your skillset, and make some new friends while you’re at it.

Step #5. Put it Out There

A lot of employees will complain to friends but will not express their feelings with their boss or upper management. When you start to feel like you’re not satisfied at work, you should let the right people know, really focusing on those that can make a difference and help you acquire the career you want.

A lot of times, employers don’t know how employees feel, and will often think that things are running smoothly when they’re not. Put your thoughts out there and you might get an answer sooner than you were hoping for.

Other Issues with Working too Much for Little Money

When you work too much for very little pay, other areas of your life suffer. It’s like a domino effect, trickling down the longer you allow yourself to work in unsatisfactory conditions. When you make too little money, you could experience:


In 2020, 11.4% of Americans were living in poverty. For families, the poverty threshold is $31,661, an amount that makes living difficult for any family. If you make too little money and are therefore living in poverty, there are a number of issues that can arise, including unstable living conditions and more.

Your Health

Many people who live below the poverty threshold do so without a way to get health insurance. Without health insurance, a trip to see a primary care doctor is out of the question, which leaves room for the possibility of disease.

Your health is critical to your daily life and is necessary to be competitive in the workforce.

Your Diet

Not only will your overall health suffer from lack of access to medical care, but you’ll also have less of an opportunity to focus on your diet, which leads to further unhealthy habits. When you’re making too little money, you might not be able to afford nutritious foods, reaching for cheaper items.

These could include sugary and salty foods and drinks like sodas, fast food, and comfort snacks like cookies and cakes. Getting into the habit of eating unhealthy due to lack of funds and/or time can have a drastic effect on your life, leading to further health complications.

Your Living Conditions

When you make too little money, you might not have the funds to purchase or rent a home in a good neighborhood. That will leave you in neighborhoods that have higher crime rates and poorer living conditions. Without a competitive salary, you may be living in an area that’s dangerous for you and your family.

Your Family

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Pulling long hours is not good for your family, as you don’t get to see them often. This is especially true if you have children. If you’re not able to be there for your children, they may suffer, lacking the discipline and nurturing required for a healthy upbringing.

Undesirable working conditions not only affect your children but can also have an impact on your relationship with your significant other. Your stress will show, and, with too little money, you may experience difficulty paying bills, adding fuel to the fire.

How Companies Get Away with Paying Less

The US is known for heated debates about working conditions. While some states have the union to help, others don’t and can get away with more when it comes to unfair pay and treatment. How can companies get away with paying too little and working their employees’ long hours?

Well, most of it has to do with a business’s ability to find cheaper labor. Instead of having the mindset to pay their employees livable wages to where they can purchase healthcare, a home, and have the money necessary to live, they choose to pay as little as possible to earn more.

This company ideal is one way that they can get away with paying too little, thinking that they can find others to work if an unhappy employee is not making enough.

Too Little Pay and the Working Crisis

At the moment, the US is experiencing a great resignation, which is driving employees to quit their jobs. Many are tired of unfair working conditions and long hours for too little pay, taking off in pursuit of other opportunities.

It’s uncertain where this trend will take working conditions and where there will be some kind of reform in the very near future. The thing that is certain is that businesses cannot continue in the way they are structured, paying many of their employees lower wages than they can live off of.

It’s not sure where this great resignation will go, and which kinds of jobs employees will turn toward in search of income and conditions where they’re treated fairly.

Start Making the Money You Deserve

If you work too much and don’t get paid enough for it, it’s time to take a stand. Talk to your employer about opportunities to earn more and improve your conditions. If that’s not possible, it could be time to start thinking about your career.

Making career moves comes with challenges, though once you overcome them, you’ll be in a much better position and happier than before. You spend a lot of time at work, which is why you should start enjoying it, and getting good pay while you’re at it.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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