I am working in the IT industry as a technical support engineer, have a 1st class Computer Science degree and have been both able to apply myself to this niche subset of the industry well and have continually had suggestions that were at first dismissed, that ended up being the solution!
Almost every single time I have been on a job with one of my bosses, they have ended up wasting a lot time instead of listening to my suggestion and exploring it in the first place, and coming to the correct conclusion on what the source of an issue was.
To add insult to injury, I am being paid £7 per hour but am frequently sent for on-site work in the city of London and sometimes nationwide in a role which is skilled and very tiring.
The national minimum wage is £6.31 but the living wage (government suggestion) nationwide is £7.65 and in London £8.80.
My previous employer had paid me ~£4,000 more p/a overall than my current position (and was in fact increased by £2,000 a week into the job. When I was, in contrast, with less experience and not yet a graduate.
Despite continually exceeding expectations, having accepted the job, expecting (naively) that conditions would change upon realising that I am a very professional, talented and trust-worthy individual - I do not see things will change.
I made quite a lot of ground in having an open discussion with my boss, but my boss was speculative as to how I would scale with the business and defaulted to a position of yearly review.
What should I do if I feel that my pay will not get significantly better any time soon and my boss does not allude to my prospects in the slightest? I am 3 months into a 6 month contract and I feel I am royally wasting my time.
Backstory: The problem stems from the fact that I have not been actively seeking work since I graduated because my mother (after having battled breast cancer for 17 years) finally took a turn for the worst and became terminal, and died a year after my graduation.
What I fear the most out of this situation is the fact that I am in a dead-end job in which it may reflect bad upon me if I left early.
I know that employers are duty-bound to give an unbiased reference but I highly doubt this is easy to enforce and grossly tied up with the emotions involved in the severance.
My gut instinct and my intuition tells me that my bosses are just plain bad - mismanaging and utilising me poorly and are not amenable to my qualms, unappreciative of my talent and disgustingly tight-fisted.