5 Ways to Still Be Successful in a Low Paying Job – Sound Impossible? 8 comments

5 Ways to Still Be Successful in a Low Paying Job


Do you have a low paying job or are you feeling like you’re just not making enough to ever obtain any amount of success?  I believe that we all, if not most of us, have thought this very same thing…and most likely, there are many of who still feel the same way after trying to climb our way to the top over the last twenty, thirty or forty years!


I know for a fact that we all, including yourself, have many dreams and hopes of being paid for what we believe we’re worth one day.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem to ever turn out for most of us, nor the people around us.


As a matter of fact, there was a survey completed by CareerBuilder.com that found that over 65 percent of full-time employees in the USA are still not currently earning their desired salary.  For this reason, I’d like to present to you today 5 Ways to Still Be Successful in a Low Paying Job.


Before I get into these five ways to still be successful, I just want to point out that there are many various reasons that we all decided to take jobs that we believe are “below our pay grade”…but yet we accept them anyways and sign our name on the dotted line.  So first, we’ll cover the Top 5 Reasons We Accept Low Paying Jobs to begin with.



1- To add “experience” to our resume and knowledge base.

2 – Just to “get our foot in the door” of a company we desire to work for in hopes that one day soon we’ll be able to get the actual job that we believe we’re qualified for.

3 – Because we’re “very far behind on all our bills and we’ve got to just get something to get by and put food on the table.”

4 – Because the “wife had a baby and you had to get a second job to replace the income she had come in while she was working before the pregnancy.”

5 – Because you got in trouble with the Law and nobody will hire you for your desired, higher paying position, so you have to take the lower paying jobs just to keep a roof over your head.

Any of these five sound painfully familiar?

I’ve been there before myself and can clearly see that at least 3 out of the 5 have applied to my work circumstances in the past…




-1- Gain the Much Needed Experience

If you accepted a job because it was “the only one out there” or because there just didn’t seem to be anything better, then there is no better time than the present to begin working on the build up your knowledge through experience.  Be sure to educate yourself by absorbing all of the training the company/job offers and continuing to ask your management for advice on how to “grow and improve” your position including information on any company workshops that they may offer.


You may also want to check into whether or not your company offers what’s called, “Tuition Reimbursement.”  Why?  Because you could utilize that to continue your education and end up potentially earning a certifications, degrees, accolades, acknowledgements, awards, etc. that will all play a role in helping you obtain higher raises, advancements, promotions, or maybe even the “Holy Grail” of a job title that you’ve always wanted to be.



Ever heard the term or phrase, “You are who you hang with?”  Well, this can definitely be true in many ways, but specifically, when it comes to your career and/or job path, this can be a great “tool to have in your tool belt!”  I have had a few different jobs in the past that I most likely would have never gotten on my own, but because I had known someone, or had befriended them along the way in life…when the opportunity arose, it was by that person’s recommendation that I landed the job.  So treat your contacts like gold….because they can literally turn into cold hard cash sometimes.


-3- Know When It’s Time to Negotiate!

Obviously, this one isn’t for when you’re fairly new at a position, so don’t push your luck if you’re a newbie on the job…you might just lose your job on the spot.  However, if you haven’t accepted the position yet, then you still have time and room for negotiation during the hiring process or towards the end of the final interviews.


The next best time to prepare for negotiations is after you’ve been on the job for a reasonable amount of time and you’ve proven your work ethics and dedication to the job title, to management and to the company and clients you serve.  If you feel you deserve a raise, yet after negotiations you don’t get one, then you can always request a job title change or job position change.


This may be a very viable option for you, especially if you had previously taken on more or additional job responsibilities that what the job description actually called for when you first got hired.  Plus, a more advanced job title can definitely make your Resume more impressive and can potentially help you obtain better job interviews in the future.



In another one of Career Builder’s awesome survey’s they conducted, it stated that over 56-Percent of employees / workers have “never asked for a raise!”  When I found this out, it actually blew my mind!  One thing I always say is, “If you never ask for it, you’ll never get it!” (an original quote by Jeremy David Wilson, founder of FiredOrDenied.com).


So what’s the point here?


The point is, if you know you’ve worked really hard, you’ve done your best or even above and beyond and you’ve maintained a positive attitude through it all (especially while in front of your managers), then there is absolutely NO reason that you should feel like you cannot ask for a raise in pay.  Go ask for it now and quit making excuses!


Now if you’ve went and asked for one recently and the company or management stated that “well son, we just can’t afford to give you a raise at this date and time…” or if they say something like, “well you don’t do enough around here to deserve a raise…” then you may want to begin looking into other options or else begin working even harder, longer and with more passion than you ever had before so that next time you go in there to ask for that raise or promotion, You know for sure that they’ll have absolutely no excuse not to give it to you next time…….hopefully!



Have you heard that saying before also?….”You Gotta Dress for Success?”

I’m sure you have as we all have heard that before…and though many may say that it’s hogwash, other’s can attest for the truth in this statement.  For instance, I had a young man submit an application to me personally once who was applying for a carpenter position that I was looking to fill in my general construction company, WilsonworksConstruction.com.  The guy literally showed up to the interview wearing swim shorts, flip flops and a T-top undershirt and smelled like he hadn’t showered in three days!  No Joke!


Needless to say, I the interview didn’t last very long at all and he walked away with….you guessed it….NO JOB!  On top of that, he got upset with me and started raising his voice when I tried to give him a little advice on how to “Dress for Success” and be better prepared for his next interview.  He even threw his keys at me!  LOL!


So not only did he completely suck at dressing and grooming well for his job interview, but he also really sucked at creating and maintaining solid career relationships and/or contacts….because I could have been a great resource for him, or maybe even would have considered interviewing him again if he would have agreed to come back properly dressed and prepared then next time around…but no, he had to throw a fit on top of it.  So his application went straight into the trash barrel.


I think you get my point on this one, so I’ll stop story telling for now.




Now if you do in fact have one of these types of jobs of which you feel doesn’t pay you enough, or at least not as much as you think it should, then please understand that it does NOT mean that either you or your position is worthless at all!


So try to improve your mindset and turn the negatives into positives by using your time there in that role as a training ground or a training course for the job title / position that you are really aiming for…or to earn your next pay increase (a raise)…or possibly to become the manager of the very position you’re in now making You “the man in charge” for a change.


Or if absolutely NONE of this sounds even halfway exciting or encouraging, then maybe it’s time for you to consider other income options, non-traditional income options, and finally, take the steps it takes to finally Be Your Own Boss once and for all.


Whatever your decision is, just remember that it is just that….YOUR DECISION.  YOUR LIFE.  YOUR CAREER.  YOUR FUTURE.  Don’t let it go to waste and don’t let it keep you down….Do something about it Today!




If you have any specific questions you’d like me to answer or any comments on the above article, please drop them in the comment box below and I’ll generally have you an answer within two to five business days.

I wish you all a great weekend on this BLACK FRIDAY weekend…careful not to spend all your money shopping!


All The Best,

Jeremy David Wilson, Founder

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8 thoughts on “5 Ways to Still Be Successful in a Low Paying Job – Sound Impossible?

  • Debra

    You have some very good tips to be successful in a low paying job. Basically you need to work your a$$ off, create great relationships, show your worth and dress for the position that you want to have. I can do all these things except create those strong relationships. I’m not a very engaging person when I’m at work. I feel I’m there to work not socialize. But on the other hand so many people socialize at work and don’t seem to have a problem taking that time away from their “work” time. Not being a social person, how do I best work on this?

    • Jeremy Wilson Post author

      Hi Debra,

      Thank you for the compliments on my article, I am forever grateful to you!

      There are many people just like yourself who have a hard time creating relationships, especially in person, so don’t feel like you’re all alone. And as a matter of fact, most people are good at many things but usually not at at least one thing…so there’s usually always one ingredient missing it seems (myself included). And anytime there’s an ingredient missing, it’s hard to “bake a cake without all the right ingredients!” (so to speak).

      To answer your question, a simple way to “socialize at work without taking time away from your actual work” is to find a fellow employee that has a work related problem or issue they are trying to solve but that they’re having difficulty solving themselves. Then help them find a solution to their frustrations/problems and help them devise a plan to conquer it. This will not only “build the social trust & relationship” between the two of you, but it will also be beneficial for your employer because the activities and time that you and your fellow work mate are putting in to that issue is actually benefiting the company or organization as well. So it’s a Win-Win-Win situation and you gain a friend, higher social status at work, and self confidence…as well as some potential “praise” from both your fellow employees and your boss! (which could lead to a pay increase down the road or some sort of team player bonus!).

      Does this answer help give you some good ideas to work with?

      All The Best,
      Jeremy David Wilson

  • jagulba

    I have to say these are all amazingly true and to the point. That’s how you can seize whatever opportunity you will face. I use almost all of them in my work in affiliate marketing and it’s working. Thanks for sharing also your personal experience, people can be unreasonable sometimes. Which one do you think is the most important? To me it must be the making connection and solid relation. If you have that even you make mistake you have someone to cover you up and help you stand again.

    • Jeremy Wilson Post author

      It’s great to see you back here at FiredOrDenied again Jagulba!

      Yeah, I do my best to be completely open, honest and to the point with my articles because there’s just too much “hype” out there and people need to see some “real truth!”

      When you asked me, “which one do you think is the most important” I wasn’t sure exactly what points you were referencing, so could you please reply back in the comment box below and be a little more specific so that I can answer your question in it’s entirety? I just want to be sure I clearly understand your question. Thank you in advance!

      All The Best,
      Jeremy David Wilson

      • jagulba

        Hey Jeremy,
        so the question was, which one of these things you think is more important:
        gain more experience in your work
        make solid, lasting relationship
        timing to get promotion (or timing to gain more money)
        working hard (which I think it’s either in sake of gain experience or making solid relationships)
        or having the right figure for you work

        I hope this time it will be more clear 😉

        • Jeremy Wilson Post author

          Hey Jagulba,

          thank you for making your question a little clearer for me. In my opinion, I would say that the most important of these would actually be two of them together, and those being gaining more experience + making solid relationships.

          Why to I combine the two?

          Because one could focus solely on building solid relationships at work, but then slack on the job because he or she is not working as hard as they could on the job since they’re totally focused on the relationship building…then get Fired which would basically destroy their working relationships at that job since they became known as a “person who just didn’t get the job done.” Make sense?

          So I believe both are equally important, just as there are many important parts to a well oiled engine that make it run successfully, there are also many important parts to achieve a well paid job and in finding success.

          I hope that’s the answer you were looking for. If not, reply back in the comment box below and I’ll do what I can to help you further.

          All The Best,
          Jeremy David Wilson

  • Dinh

    This is a very helpful post on why people have low paying jobs and how to get successful in their low paying jobs.
    I agree with you that people should learn and gain as much experience in their jobs as possible, not just low paying jobs. Doing so will open up more opportunities for them in the long run, whether in a form of promotion or increase in pay. My husband took a low paying job because he entered a new field of business in which he did not have the skills. He learned, gained experience and grew himself in the company so that his job was not a low paying job. He did this by finishing his education and improve his skills at work. He not have his degree and found that his company would pay part of his schooling. This is like getting extra money! He of course took it and now he has that under his resume. A win-win situation.
    What is the time frame you suggest for someone to look into other options (such as a new job) when all the above mentioned tactics fail and you are not promoted, advance and no pay raise? Is a year long enough?

    • Jeremy Wilson Post author

      Hello Dinh,

      Great to hear from you and thank you so much for stopping by my site to read this article…I’m so glad it was very helpful to you! That is a really great story and is a lesson in itself to folks…Thank you for sharing that info, I bet it will help anyone who reads your comment here.

      To answer your question, I believe that anyone in that situation should begin searching for and researching other options as soon as the possibly can…and if they say they “don’t have the time” then they’re either going to have to make time for themselves to do so or begin to understand that they’re just going to be stuck in that situation forever since they’re not willing to do what it takes to get out of it. It really just boils down to their own personal choices and actions.

      My grandfather used to always say that, “Life is nothing but Choices and Consequences; Each choice leads to another consequence whether it’s a good one or a bad one. So if you want Good consequences in your life, make good choices…otherwise you’re stuck with the bad consequences.” (that was para-phrased, but very close to what he used to say)

      Does this answer your question sufficiently?

      Please leave your reply in the comment box below.

      All The Best,
      Jeremy David Wilson