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View Poll Results: Are you underemployed?
I am underemplyed, not by choice. 25 30.49%
I am not underemployed regarding my skills, salary, etc. 25 30.49%
I am underemployed, by choice. 28 34.15%
Other. 4 4.88%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #1

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Are you "underemployed"??

Someone told me that I am "underemployed", which basically means that my skills, education, and experience are not being utilized in my new job; and also that my new salary does not match my skills, experience, etc.

After 11 months of unemployment I found the best job that I could find; it pays 45% less than what I made at my last job. There were 7 of us that started on the same day and most of us were in the same position - overqualified for the job but having found nothing else after a lot of searching.

I am now GROSSING less per week than I was NETTING (I had unemployment withhold taxes for me) on unemployment.

Ok, so all of this is a new fact of life for many of us. I'm glad to have a job, and I try to look at the positives (only a 10 minute commute; business casual attire which means I don't need a new wardrobe for work; a comfortable work environment physically, which is important for me as I have arthritis and fibromyalgia). I try to look on the bright side of situations. LOL

Anyway... it got to me to wondering how many other DISers feel that their curret jobs mean being underemployed.

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:26 PM   #2
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I am underemployed by choice. Not using the skills or experience I have from college and the workforce. By choice I am underemployed so I can be home with my DD's at this point in my life. It is worth it.

Edited to add that I have had this job for 23 years, and chose to hold on to it. Now I am glad I did.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #3
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Oh heck yes, I'm under-employed. I have a master's degree in protein biochemistry and 25 years of experience as a research scientist and lab manager. I have publications and hold patents. Then the research money dried up, and I was unemployed for almost a year before a friend called and told me her school was looking for someone "who could do math." I am now an ed tech in a local K-8 school. I get paid only when school is actually open with students in attendance, so I now earn about 1/4th of what I used to make. These last 5 years have been a real struggle, as our mortgage was based on my old salary, and the housing market made it impossible for us to downsize. While our mortgage is modest, as are our monthly bills, they were still based on our having significantly more money each month than we do. It means no new cars, no cell phones, having to take loans to help DD with college, etc. Still, I am thankful to have found a job, especially one that I like, working with people I like, earning well above minimum wage, having benefits, etc. It just means that our life didn't follow the road we'd envisioned... but it could have been so much worse!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:40 PM   #4
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With 37 years experience.......which is longer than some of my supervisors have been alive..... and no desire to get into management, I am kind of unique. So, work wise, no, I'm not under employed, but my lack of interest in being in management has lowered my earning potential.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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I am underemployed, not really my current choice, but I picked "by choice" because I'm underemployed because of choices I've made.

I was a SAHM and have found re-entering the workforce at my past level to be difficult. I'm happy that I've made the choices I have and am willing to pay the price, but in a perfect world I'd be further back into my career at this point.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:15 AM   #6
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is self employed considered underemployment?
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Albort View Post
is self employed considered underemployment?
Only if it meets the not utilizing your full potential/skill definition.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:18 AM   #8
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Same here disycat. Exact same issue for me. I am sticking it out where I am for a while as I see growth potential ahead. Just not as fast as I would like.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #9
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I guess I'm overemployed.

Based on my lack of education, I probably shouldn't be where I am. I have also recently gone into management for the first time so I probably don't have the skills for that yet. I do have the experience though--25 years in my field but most people at my level also have more education.

So, I'm thinking "overemployed?"

I guess I just don't believe in these terms. You take whatever job and you do the best you can and make the most of your job. I think that just makes you "employed."

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:31 AM   #10
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As far as my past job experiences, I am underemployed. By choice. I have a job that I am capable of doing and I am good at it. We have 14 different locations with only 1 person to a location which I kinda like. No direct supervision. I do feel however that some of the people at some of the other locations are 'overemployed', lol, as they can't seem to remember daily routine.

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:52 AM   #11
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I guess I am, but by choice.

I was in a job using my certificate(Vet tech) but I really disliked the place I was working. Now I babysit for DH's cousin and I love it! PLUS...I make almost double doing that working LESS hours than I was at the animal hospital.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:57 AM   #12

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Yes. I'm 25, have a masters degree and a bachelors degree and the only job I could get within the past year was as a dog walker.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:33 AM   #13
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Underemployed for sure but by choice. A choice I made 23 years ago when my first child was born. At that time I was a restaurant manager for a national chain and working my way up pretty quickly. While pregnant I was offered a district manager position that I turned down because I knew I wouldn't want to do the travel part with a new baby at home. I think that job was complementary to my accounting background and years of restaurant work. Then came the choice I couldn't bring myself to go back to work at 8 weeks, and then again at 12 weeks and they even extended my maternity another four weeks at which point I decided I wasn't going back at all.

I took a position in long term nursing doing laundry because I could bring the baby with me (my husband and I split up when DS was about four months old) and went back to waitressing weekend nights. I am still employed with the same company 23 years later. I've done everything from receptionist to AP to prep cook and even took a turn at management for a couple of years. Why? Because the job is 3 miles down the road, I make my own schedule, and when my kids were little they spent 1/2 days at the company in-house daycare.

Granted, I've been looking now for about five years for a better position utilizing at least one of my degrees (I also have a BABS) but no luck so far. I'm pretty sure I'll be interning in the social services department come this spring and in two years I'll get licensed. Hopefully, that will open up some doors for me now that DS is nearly 23 and DD will turn 16 soon
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Soldier's*Sweeties View Post
I guess I am, but by choice.

I was in a job using my certificate(Vet tech) but I really disliked the place I was working. Now I babysit for DH's cousin and I love it! PLUS...I make almost double doing that working LESS hours than I was at the animal hospital.
Oooh...I'd love to be a vet tech. Also wouldn't mind doing real estate, but it's not exactly the best time for that.

I selected other because I have mostly been a stay at home mom in my 16 1/2 years of marriage. I have a Bachelors is Sociology (went to college with intentions of being a social worker and in my senior year I decided that wasn't for me so went for the next quickest way I could graduate...Sociology). But, I got married and started a family right out of college (did work for about the 1st 2 years of my marriage as a receptionist in an urgent care center...and then worked 3 years as a part time assistant preschool teacher when all 3 of my kids were in elementary school). I am now wanting to work again (as soon as my home schooling 10th grader goes back to regular schooling...end of January)...my kids will all be in HS next year and my marriage is on shaky ground so I'd like to establish some of my own security (if that makes sense). So, I am kind of under-employed as I am not employed at all...by choice though and hopefully just for the time being.

DH is an actuary and is NOT underemployed...it's a great career to get into as not too many people want to or can do it...there are always actuary jobs to be had (my DH is being called by recruiters all the time). So, for you college kids with great math skills.....look into it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:49 AM   #15
what do you all think?
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Absolutely I am and by choice. I am back to work , part time after being home 10 years. Job fell in my lap , I was not looking . 10 minutes from home, very flexible hours, very casual . 4 days a week during our busy time, ill go to 3 days after holiday and 1 day a week or so when DS10 is out for summer . A little fun money is nice, I am not interested in going back to 50 hour weeks , professional dress ever again. If God forbid anything ever happen to my DH, my son and I will be ok financially , but could start full time with my new employer if I wanted too. It is a fun , happy place to work , great boss, nice customers and coworkers . Been in business 28 years, boss has no plans to retire anytime soon and quite frankly if she did , I will consider buying her out .
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