Thursday, May 17, 2012

Underemployment: A Source of Bitterness

               We usually know we are in a quarter life crisis when we feel underemployed. Underemployment is different than unemployment. When you’re unemployed, you don’t have time for a quarter life crisis because you need to figure out where your next source of income is coming from. Underemployment is where you feel your current worth doesn't match your value.

Worth is the cost of production or the greatness of a person. Value is the importance of a person. For instance, I currently work at Jamba Juice making $8.00 per hour. Jamba Juice has fixed worth for every employee who is hired as a Team Member. Whether you are the best Team Member or the worst Team Member your worth is $8.00 per hour. Most hourly jobs you pay base on worth not value. Doctors get paid by value. A trip to the doctor may be $2000. That’s $2000 whether they heal you or not or whether it takes 5 minutes or 2 hours, it’s still $2000. Why? Because that’s how important doctors are to us.

Now money isn't everything and you can still have a quarter life crisis even if you get paid a lot, but the point is that underemployment can be a great source of bitterness can sometimes trigger a quarter life crisis. When I first got a job at 15, I was paid $5.40 per hour and was absolutely fired up about it! I didn't care how little it was. I was just happy to be receiving some sort of income. I didn't get bitter about it until I saw how much other people were getting paid who doing the same job I was. That was when I first started to understand value.

Everyone wants to be paid according to their value and not their worth. There's a point in life when we start thinking we should be getting paid based upon our value and not worth and that's when the seeds of bitterness start get planted in our hearts. If you think about it, all that time we spend in college is being invested into increasing your value. That’s part of the reason we feel underemployed. It can be discouraging to invest so much time into making ourselves valuable and then get out into the real world not being paid for our value.

Underemployment is probably something everyone will experience at some point during their life. Even people who now get paid for their value were probably underemployed at some point during their life. So you don’t have to settle for underemployment. But at least you know what you’re value isn't.  Don’t let underemployment be a source of bitterness during your quarter life crisis but rather a source of motivation to get out of this thing as soon as possible. 

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