It is a tough time for many people to consider whether they're being underpaid, what with so many people not being paid at all, and so much instability in the job market and in the world at large. And for many people who feel the sword of Damocles hovering just above whatever sense of security they have, it truly may not be the best time to try to shake things up.
There are some asterisks, to throw in this mix, though. If you are one of those truly non-fungible workers, you still may be in a strong position to make demands of your employer. And also, there's a scope-creep-thing that happens when corporate belts get tightened, or when there's some sudden spike in attrition, but there is still much work that needs to be done - slack that needs to be "picked up" by whoever is still working and scared of losing their job - and if you are going to be assuming greater responsibilities it would be wise to reconsider compensation and expectations. If you have lost your job (or feel you are about to) you may already be thinking about what will make the next role more rewarding.
There's no hard rule for whether this moment is the best time for you to even think about if you're underpaid - it will depend, of course, on your unique situation and mix of circumstances. But if you are in the position to take a step back and look at whether you're being compensated appropriately, this could be a good time to review some of the tips I recently contributed to an article on StudentLoanHero to help you determine if you're being underpaid and what you can do about it.
Happy New Year! (You can say that for a couple of weeks, right?)
2019 was good! 2020 still sounds like "the future" to me, but I'm really happy it's here and I'm here for it.
There's a lot I'm looking forward to in this year, including new projects I hope to share soon.
I recently contributed to a couple of pieces about interview questions Lynne Goldman wrote for Dice.com - on the jobseeker side, "3 Worst Interview Questions… and How to Answer Them" covers - well, that; on the employer side the article "Questions You Should Never Ask In A Job Interview" goes over some interview questions that might not be illegal but can put applicants in an uncomfortable position that has nothing to do with their ability to do the job.
Here's to the best year yet!
Just when I was thinking I've listened to every episode of every podcast in my feed, rock star psychotherapist Esther Perel has come out with "How's Work?"
Each episode of the Gimlet Media podcast (available through Spotify) showcases a one-time therapy session focused on work-related relationships and issues.
(And I'm shamelessly excited for an excuse to post a photo I got to take when I met her at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in 2017.)
Dorie Clark is my favorite go-to expert for ideas on marketing, networking, and general building-something-out-of-seemingly-nothing. And in her recent Harvard Business Review piece, "How to Reach Out to Someone Whose Career You Admire," she gives some clear and actionable examples of the best strategies you can use to improve your odds of getting a response.
I end up talking a lot about how it's so important to find real-world people doing the type of work that you're interested in doing (or that you think you might be interested in doing) as you research new opportunities, and this article provides an especially relevant perspective on how to approach informational interviewing. While I think authentic flattery is often the best opener, this bit of Dorie Clark's advice made me say "Yes!" out loud to nobody:
Successful people ... (are often) approached by people taking the role of supplicants, who only want to ask questions and glean wisdom. It’s flattering at first, but with enough volume, it can become exhausting.
(I feel like I'm obliged to say that how much you try to present yourself as a peer vs. supplicant depends on your ask - and it's pretty easy to imagine someone going overboard with it, but I love it. What we think of as "networking" can easily slip into the simultaneously boring and gross transactional space, and finding genuine connections with inspirational people is the actual point anyway.)