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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Stealing Time, Not Christmas

Dear Stephanie,

There is one thing I procrastinate on until it is just TOO late, and that is holiday gift giving. It is already too late, and I am only asking you this now! I always end up looking too late, buying things I am not the most happy with, and usually overspending. It isn’t that I dislike gift-giving, but I NEVER prepare early enough to feel like I am getting the best gifts that I could be. Any advice on how to better plan this? How to start earlier? How to feel less rushed at the last minute?

Thank you,

The Grinch


Dear Grinch,

I think this might be me writing in from the future, because I struggle with this every year without fail. I am sure I will for the foreseeable future as more people are added to my list. Adulthood! Yay! (I actually love being an adult and gift giving is the best. I’ll have to tell you sometime about the best gift I ever gave. I made not 1 but 4 people cry. 2 of the 4 criers did not even receive this awesome gift. That’s how good it was.)  So, I am not sure I can tell you how to get better at this, other than starting before Thanksgiving but who does that? I can however, tell you how to deal with it now. You have to start with an urgent plan of action.

Make a List and Check it Twice

First, make a list if you haven’t already, of all the people you need to shop for. If you know what you want to get them, note that next to the person. If you don’t know, list a few things you know they like for some inspiration. Knowing what to get someone is half the battle. Once you have this outline, you will have a day or two to think about what to get for the people you are unsure of.

Look at Your Options

There are so many places and ways to shop. As a millennial, I personally prefer shopping online. You might think that is a risky move, with shipping times and what not, but fear not. Most websites have guaranteed Christmas delivery right up to the 20th!!  You can also visit more stores in an hour online that you can in a day in person, and you will need that kind of mobility in a time like this.

My personal favorite way to shop is Amazon Prime, free 2 day shipping and the world at your finger tips. This is great for all the gifts you can buy right now. If you order today, you’ll have all your gifts by Friday. What could be better?

Get Creative

Half of the fun of gift giving is the chance to be creative. The hard part is being creative in a pinch. A creative gift option that I love is subscription boxes. There are boxes for everything from practical to exotic, and it keeps giving for as long as you choose. — Is your boyfriend is always running out of razors or never has shaving cream? Get him a subscription box. You mom loves to experience new cultures but hates to fly? Get her a subscription box. Your sister is beauty obsessed? Get her a subscription box. Your dad loves salami? Get him a subscription box.

See what I am getting at? There is a box for everyone and all of their interests. This is also a good gift if you procrastinate even further, because it can be explained better as to why it’s not there on time like “Oh, they only send at the end/beginning of the month, sooo you just wait!” As a along as you have little something for them to open you can get away with not having the “real” gift.

Anther, creative option I love in a pinch is getting people experiences. Like tickets to their favorite concert, or to something they would not normally do, like go to the rodeo or treat them to a spa day. They will love it and all you would have to do is print out the tickets or voucher. Quick and easy but a great gift you would be proud of giving.

No matter what, the old saying “It’s the thought that counts” rings true more then ever during the holiday season. Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

With Love,

Stephanie

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