The Results Are In: 48% of Workers Believe their Skills are Underutilized

In October, we asked our readers how they would describe their current employment situation given their skill level and experience. And with 48% of the votes, the top response was, “I am underemployed.” Another 41% believe their job “fits their skill level and experience,” and only 7% said they are “overemployed,” which means they are in positions that are over their head or require skill sets they don’t currently possess.

Three percent of respondents chose the “Other” option and submitted their own thoughts on the question, including:

  • My job fits my skill level, but I’m underpaid.
  • The job fits, but I have too much work.
  • A little overemployed, but increasing my skill level and experience to match.

“So, what do I do now?”
Feeling underutilized at work is frustrating for employees at all levels, which often leads to disengagement and even resentment. It’s important to know your expertise is valued and that you’re making positive contributions to the overall success of the company. But sometimes, whether it’s a lack of room at the top, changing business priorities, or simply a mismatch of skills, people find themselves stuck in a position with no clear direction for growth.

In a previous Refresh Leadership article we highlighted three steps to take to re-engage in your work when advancement up the corporate ladder isn’t currently an option:

  • Redefine your current role – Whether it’s volunteering to take on extra work, offering your expertise to another team, or serving on the office fun committee, seek out opportunities to supplement your daily responsibilities.
  • Embark on a new career path – It may be time to take a leap of faith and pursue a new career path in another industry altogether.
  • Invest in education – If a promotion isn’t in the immediate future, taking steps to hone your skills puts you in a better position when an opportunity does arise.

Check out the full article for more detailed insight into each of these steps.

Are you under- or overemployed? What are some steps you’ve taken to address the challenge? Let us know in the comments section below.

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