Kinda stressed

A few months ago, I realized that my salary was below market by about $5,000. I spoke to my manager about it and she said she'd do what she could to convince the higher ups that I deserve a full market increase. My pay review is in a couple weeks. I asked my manager today if she'd heard anything about my increase. She said they were able to give some, but not a full increase.

I'll admit to you all that it depresses me. I work very hard, get great reviews, and they still won't pay me what I'm worth. I can't continue to work there knowing they don't value me, however the thought of having to look for another job, interview, etc. frightens me. I'm afraid I won't find anything better than what I have now. I'm afraid that I'm not good enough to find something better. I know I have to try, because my anger at not getting the money I deserve is greater than my fears. But still, I'm afraid of breaking out of my comfort zone to end up in a crappier situation.

Backing up: When I found out I was being underpaid, the first thing I did was update my resume, contact a recruiter, and spoke to a couple people in and outside of the firm who have wisdom I respect. They gave me some things to think about and encouraged me to talk with my managers. At this point, now that I know my employer still wants to underpay me, I'm going to reach out to that recruiter again and let them know I'm seriously looking. I'll also look for other opportunities within the firm, talk to some contacts I know in the firm and network, and of course just look at job boards, etc. The plan is to leave when I find a better opportunity. Naturally, that means I will have to take that search seriously.