Thursday, May 8, 2008

Moms Are Not Getting Paid What They're Worth...and Neither Are A Lot of Other People

Are you getting paid what you're worth?

According to, I sure as heck am not. Let me repeat: I'm not getting paid what I'm worth.

In it's annual Mom survey, it has been determined that "the time mothers spend performing the 10 most popular 'Mom Job' functions would equate to an annual salary of $116, 805 for a Stay-at-Home Mom and $68,405 for a Working Mom."

The report says the job titles that best matched a mom’s definition of her work are (in order of hours spent per week): housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, laundry machine operator, computer operator, psychologist, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and janitor. (At my house, that's just what I do before 9 a.m.)

So, I'm not getting paid what I'm worth as a Mom, and I'm not getting paid what I'm worth as a freelance writer and author. Why is this? Part of it has to do with the lousy economy. Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm a woman and am just now learning how to ASK for the things I want instead of just waiting for them to happen. And part of it has to do the fact that I need to quit giving away so much stuff for free.

While many of us job hop in order to get more money, I know of one incident where someone learned a co-worker doing the same work and was making quite a bit more money. He went straight to the boss with it, and immediately received a raise that put him on equal footing.

Will this always work? If you're not doing a great job, no. But if you're really adding value, then there's no reason to just take what you get. Even in this tough economy, employers are willing to pay for talent to keep them ahead of the pack.

Here are three things you need to do today in order to get a raise you deserve:
* Pinpoint specific things you did to earn your company money. Maybe you spotted an error that everyone missed and saved the company money and/or time.
* Find out what everyone else is making. Call some employment agencies, check with your alumni group, Twitter, ask a professional association -- just get a good handle on whether you're making what you're worth.
* Get a mentor. Quit putting it off and think of someone you can ask to coach you and help you grow enough in confidence and skills so that the boss would be a complete fool not to give you a raise.

Do you feel you're getting paid what you're worth? Why or why not?


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Study: Job Hopping Can Affect Wages

There's been some debate about the idea of job hopping. Many younger workers have no problem with it, while older workers fear the perception that job hopping will make them look less reliable to prospective employers. It appears there's some value in both arguments, which I'll discuss further in this post.

But on this first day of Spring, let's start with:

* The Five O'Clock Club provides eight signs that it's time to change jobs. I've added my own insight, and come up with this list on how you know it's time to head for the exit:
1. You don't fit in. In other words, your values don't match the company's. Why is the boss having lunch with Tony Soprano?
2. Your boss doesn't like you -- and the feeling is mutual.
3. Your peers don't like you. You've discovered that high school cliques have nothing on workplace snottiness.
4. You don't get assignments that demonstrate the full range of your abilities. In other words, the boss doesn't seem to trust you enough to park his car.
5. You always get called upon to do the grunt work. Can you say "clean out the fridge?"
6. You are excluded from meetings your peers are invited to. ("Hey...why is this door locked?")
7. Everyone on your level has an office. Your computer sits on the radiator.
8. You dread going to work and feel like you're developing an ulcer. When you start putting vodka in with the Maalox, you know you're in trouble.

* In another salvo aimed at attracting younger workers, Ernst and Young has set up what they call "EY Insight," a fully interactive website that allows someone to see exactly what's in store for them should they choose to work there.

The press release states: "Through customizable tools, such as 'EY 360◦', 'Picture Yourself' and 'Interview Insider,' firm prospects are allowed to tailor their interests and education background to explore career paths that present the best fit for them within the firm. Prospects can also view video testimonials of a 'Day in the Life' or even a 'Year in the Life' of a current employees."

* And, while I'm on the subject on younger workers, there is new research in the latest issue of the American Sociological Review, stating that workers who frequently change jobs generally end up earning less than their more stable counterparts.

The research found that any benefits of job hopping accrue in the early days of a career, and after that, wages can take a hit when you move from employer to employer.

"One reason for lower wage trajectories among high-mobility workers is their failure to accumulate valuable early tenure associated with staying up to five years with an employer. In the first five years of a job, each year of tenure is associated with approximately 2.4 percent higher wages for men and 2.9 percent higher wages for women. However, after five years with an employer, women’s gains from tenure plateau and men’s begin to erode," the study found.

The study also looked at the impact on wages when workers took time off to raise kids.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Job Hopping May Have Consequences

It’s not uncommon these days for an employee to leave a current job for greener pastures. No one faults a person for taking another position that offers more money, greater prestige or bigger opportunities.

But what if this same employee takes the new job after being in a current position for only six months? Does the move still sound reasonable? Or, does it perhaps seem unprofessional, selfish and ungrateful?

That’s the fine line that many workers must walk when they receive another job offer soon after taking a new job. While no one would probably fault the worker who left after two years of employment, leaving a new position after less than a year may have long-term consequences.

For example, say you have three jobs within a two-year span. Somewhere in that job-hopping scenario, a boss or co-workers may begin to wonder why you aren't more committed to a job. Could you be difficult to work with? Only focused on your own goals instead of those of the company or the team? Are you switching jobs because you can’t (or won’t) do the work assigned?

While jumping to any conclusions may be unfair, if you switch jobs too quickly and too often, you can risk looking unstable professionally and personally. Further, leaving a new job too soon also may not be of any benefit to you at all.

Specifically, jumping ship without giving a current employer a chance to show you what’s available career-wise may put you in a worse position down the road. Maybe you're not getting a promotion simply because you haven't been with the company long enough. But instead of giving it more time to see what the future holds, you leave for another position.

Again, the opportunities you want don’t materialize right away because you're new and must earn your stripes. If you had stayed with the former job, might the boss now be ready to give you those new opportunities you so keenly desired?

Further, keep in mind that even if you are not completely satisfied with a current position, it doesn’t mean an exit from the job is necessary in order to be happy. If you can prove to the boss that you are a hard worker and dedicated to improving the company’s bottom line, then that boss might be much more willing to work with you on getting the desired job within the company. By showing your loyalty and commitment in staying put, you can make the boss an ally in helping create a job that fulfills everyone’s expectations.

If you're contemplating leaving a job after only a short time, here are some other things to consider:

• Focus on long-term goals. If a current position doesn’t help in any way to meet future career plans, then it may be time to simply move on. If you want to someday be a veterinarian, it doesn’t make much sense to stay in a job selling advertising if you've been offered a job in a vet’s office.
• Understand your passion. Sometimes people job hop because they don’t understand that the reason they’re unhappy is not the employer – it’s the job. If you love working outside, but continue to accept jobs that keep you indoors all day, then you're going to be unhappy.
• Absolute deal-breakers. If you're working at any company where there is something illegal going on, or feel that the boss or the business environment is unethical, then don't hesitate to look for another job as soon as possible.