Less Money, More Problems

Hi There Everyone,

Sorry for the long pause between posts. I have taken some time for myself to enjoy my family and friends and relax a little during the holiday season. I hope you have all been able to do the same and are now ready to finish off 2017 strong and ring in 2018 on a high note.

So without further ado let me get back to giving you my solicited advice…




Dear Stephanie,

I’ve been working at a small privately owned company for about 3 years now and I have been compensated well thus far. I recently had my yearly review and felt it didn’t do justice to how my year actually went. This past year, I worked even harder and more hours than my previous years, because the company is growing and I’ve had to take on more roles than normal. Everyone in the company gets a generous bonus; but I felt my actual yearly wage increase was extremely low, and was not even close to what I got the previous year percentage wise.

I’m extremely disappointed and know I deserve more, but I’m scared to bring it up to my boss because I don’t want to be a complainer and seem ungrateful.

What should I do?

Thanks,

Overworked Under Paid


Dear Overworked ,

Thank you for writing in. This is a tricky one for me because I know in the same scenario I would be unsure of what I wanted to do and how to proceed in a professional manner but still look out for myself.

However,  my gut reaction when reading your question is that you know your worth and what you bring to the company so you should speak up and ask to meet with your boss on why you deserve a larger raise and why you were expecting one. I think that there will be two outcomes, and both positive.

  1. The best and ideal scenario – You get a bigger raise. Woohoo!!
  2. The good and positive scenario –  A constructive and informative conversation where you learn more in depth on why your review when the way it did and why you were compensated as such.

I would say the trick to achieving either of these outcomes is to go into the conversation leaving you’re feelings at the door. You need to come into the meeting prepared with facts and numbers. By that I don’t mean the number of hours you are working, but instead the quantitative results of your work in those hours. For example, you came up with and implemented a new procedure within the company that saved them X amount of dollars or you developed and brought to completion a  new product/ ad campaign/ service that brought in the company in X amount of dollars.

Do you see what I am getting at? You need as many of these relevant examples as possible to make a strong case on why you deserve X% raise over the percentage that they already offered you.

If the dollars are not available for a further increase in salary, be strong and continue to ask how you can further improve as an employee and what is needed and expected from you in order to get the raise you are looking for. Sometimes, no matter how hard we are working it is not quite the exact way your company needs you to work. Creating an open dialog in this conversation will insure you’re moving in the direction the company is going and needs you to move with them in order to get to both their and your end goals.

Now go forth an pick the right time for this conversation, when you and your boss do not have urgent matters to attend to but sometime in the near future so it is still relevant.

I would be surprised if your boss would find you ungrateful. Instead I am sure they will be impressed that you are brave enough and believe in yourself enough to get the compensation and answers you deserve.

We are all rooting for you!!

With Love,

Stephanie

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Working Like a Dog

Dear Stephanie,

Apologies if this is not the right way to write in. I’m having an issue at work where I’ve now basically doubled my hours. Writing in now, I’m still working on projects. ( Editor’s Note: I received this message on a Saturday at approximately 3pm.)

I’ve been asked to help out on something at work with 0 details and have basically been thrown in the shit. I didn’t mind at first, but one of the people on the account is disgustingly entitled and is so disconnected/rude that it is affecting my morale. I’ve been very transparent on how I feel, but at this point I think it is becoming something of an arms race. She knows I won’t take her shit, and she is not my boss, but seems to get more aggressive/passive aggressive as the weeks go by.

I’ve escalated but have been ignored and think I’m going to start looking for a new job because I’m honestly very angry but don’t want to hurt my team. How do I honestly approach this without looking like I’m over reacting. Am I over reacting?

Sincerely,

Unfortunately Angry

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Dear Unfortunately Angry,

Thank you for writing in. Your work situation sounds tough. I bet nearly everyone  can relate with a similar scenario. Doesn’t it always seem like the same miserable person works in every office?

First, I want to point out that you were brought on to this project because someone trusts you, needs your help and your particular skill set to get the project done. You may not have all the facts you want or need, but someone knows and believes that you will be a key player in reaching the goal. Try to remember that as a small motivator when you are in the thick of it.

I do not think you are overreacting, but I do think you’re feeling really emotional about this issue. Which I can totally relate to. I really allow myself to be defined by my career, and because of that, so much feels personal. So, when and if I am working with someone miserable and difficult, like your co-worker, I can easily end up walking away at the end of the day feeling frustrated, sad and angry at the situation. When that happens, I try to take a breath and look at what I am facing as an opportunity for success. Even if it is just the small, but personal success, that I can be proud of the work I did in less than ideal circumstances.

So plow ahead, and keep your head up. Make sure that this co-worker, has no real reason to give you a hard time because you are doing amazing work. She will just end up looking like a fool, after you prove her wrong over and over again.

In terms of looking for a new job, only you will know when the time is right  to move on. If you really love your job outside of this issue, do not let this or your co-worker push you away from something that you love.

Although, I think it might be time for you to ask for additional financial compensation if have been working this much overtime for an extended period of time, not just with this project. You are not a salve, you are an employee and they should care about you in that capacity, if they want to retain talent. Depending on their response and how you feel about it leads to my final point.

Before I left my last job for my current job I felt the same way, you mention above, in that my team needs me and I didn’t want to let them down. However, one event after another made it clear it was time for me to move on.  I realized that I deserve to enjoy my job. You and I will spend most of our adult life at work, and it should be as enjoyable as possible. So my advice is, don’t worry so much about the team, they will be ok. As important as you are, your not going to make or break the company if you leave. At the end of the day the company will be fine if you stay or go, but will you be fine? If that answer is no, start sending out your resume and meeting with headhunters. A better opportunity (more $$$) could be right around the corner.

With Love,
Stephanie

Please feel free to let me now below if you would approach this situation differently. If you liked my advice, submit a question of your own.

Home Is Where The Barn Is

Dear Stephanie,

A little back story— I am 23 years old and currently own and operate my own business at a facility that I lease. At this facility I lease about 20 acres and multiple barns but there are also 2 houses on the property that I don’t have access to.

I’ve wanted to live on the property since I started there but one house is occupied by a 99 year lease and the other is occupied by friends of my landlord. Just before it was time to renew my lease I told my landlord that I might not want to renew for another whole year if it didn’t look like I’d be able to live on property soon. In my line of work, sometimes I have to be available late at night and early in the mornings so not living on farm is less than ideal. He was understanding but I know he is friends with them so I’m skeptical about him actually bringing it up to them.

Now, the people that live in the second house are super nice and I actually like them a lot. Recently, I was making small talk with them and it came up that my business is a hard one to run without living on property but I’ve been able to make do. They replied by saying “they can live any where, and just tell them WHEN”. Well I wish I could go back and say “when” 6 months ago, and if it was polite I would’ve said “when” right that minute but I’m not sure how serious they were or if it’s even appropriate so say “when” at any point. My landlord recently said that he’s going to talk to them about moving but with his track record of dealing with things at glacial speeds I’m going to be waiting until I’m 43 for him to take any action and this is something I’d like to happen by Spring 2018. So I guess my question is, how do I go about politely asking them to move out?

Thanks,
Impatient Business Owner

https://ssequestrian.com/
Photo courtesy SS Equestrian Services

Dear Impatient,

Thank you for writing in and congrats on your success in your career, so far. It is impressive at any age to be an entrepreneur, let alone at 23! Amazing.

But let’s get to the real reason we are here….After reading your question I personally do not think it is appropriate to ask someone to move. It’s pretty rude, even if they say “Just say when”. The only person who can truly ask/make them move is your landlord. However, the next time it comes up in conversation let them know that if they really mean it, you would really appreciate it, since it would make your life easier. I do not think you should push it farther than that.

I do think you should put the pressure on your landlord. If he isn’t making the moves necessary for you to live on the property, drive a hard bargain with him. Let him know you can and will go else where, that is better for you, your business and that you will get more for your money. You could ask that he reduces the rent or maintains the same rent at each re-signing, so that it is worth your while to keep renting from him if you’re not living there. Hold him accountable to taking care of what needs fixing and to be maintained, or again, you’ll look else where. I am sure you are good tenant, and he would not want to lose your business. He might not have a huge amount to gain from you moving on to the property, but he surely has a lot that he could loose if you decided to leave. Since you are so young, I would put money on it, that he does not take you as seriously has he should.

So all that to say, I do not think you should ask your neighbors, of sorts, to move but you should make your land lord give you a good reason to stay. Even if that reason is not living on the property right now, but other perks and benefits.

I know you don’t want to wait, but one of houses will eventually be free for you to move in to. In the meantime be patient with other tenants, and hard on your landlord to get what you want or something better.

With Love,

Stephanie