Determining if Your Services Are Underpaid

There’s nothing worse than not feeling appreciated, especially in the workplace. It’s a problem many suffer from in today’s competitive –– aka capitalist –– world. And this problem spans not just employees, but also consultants and freelancers alike. The problem is this issue manifests itself, where it hurts the most, your paycheck. No one’s going to lie and tell you the moral appreciation isn’t important; it is. But let’s be honest; at the end of the day you’re working for money not moral appreciation. If there’s a problem with what you’re getting, the first part in solving it is merely identifying the problem. How do you tell if your services are underpaid?

You’re reference number one

The first element you need to consider about how much you’re being paid is your own opinion. Does that amount of money you’re getting feel enough? If not, why do you think so? You have to be able to determine your value in the market and the value of the service you’re providing. This is why it’s crucial to get to know the market you’re in and how much a service like yours costs. Ask yourself what’s the average pay for the same type and level of service you’re providing. According to your findings and how much you value your work, set a number. If you get that number, then this is what you’re worth. If you are offered less and you agree to it, then that is what you’re worth.


Knowing your current value is only half the journey; you need to also know how much your value increases with time. The pricing for your services today cannot be the same as it was 5 years ago –– of course that is considering you’ve worked in the same field. You should be able to determine what your value will be in the next couple of years, because it also helps you set the current one. The consulting rates of a professional shouldn’t be as those of someone who’s just getting into the field.

Know your client


Yes, your services value needs to vary according to the customer. Sometimes you will find yourself undercharging a customer because you need that particular experience or exposure, but that doesn’t mean you should do the same with all. Wouldn’t make much sense to charge a multinational conglomerate as much as you charge a startup. Sometimes a consultant makes a compromise for one reason or the other, but it should never be for those who can afford your services at their actual value –– and then some!

Set up a system

Setting up an effective system will make your life and the lives of your clients much easier. It means you won’t have to go through being forced to tailor a payment plan for each individual customer. Do you prefer to be charged by the hour or the project? Do you want half the money in advance or do you accept full payment after the job is done? It’s asking and answering questions like these that would ensure having a successful system to make every business deal smooth.

At the end of the day, know your value in the market and make that the driving force behind all your actions and choices. Are your services underpaid?