To truly know when you are in a bad position, look for signs that you may be taken advantage of, or maybe just neglected. I do not think that all "bad" employers are intentionally bad. Some managers just don't know any better. Of course, being taken advantage of on purpose, or through ignorance, both yield the same end result...you being taken advantage of. Look for these signs:
- New employees hired to do the same/similar work, but making more than or equal to you. All while your employer communicates no plan to make adjustments to the negatively impacted parties.
- Managers that discourage their employees from applying for promotional opportunities.
- Employers that give promotional increases based on your current salary; with no regard for the demands of the new job.
- Managers that do not work with you to have a development plan, or who ignore your development goals beyond your current position.
- Increases appear to be dictated by social networking rather than performance.
- New employers that try to lowball you to do a similar job for less money; especially if they have inside information (like your current company is laying off people soon).