The Question of Salary

Dear employers,

Please include a salary with the job description that you posted, even if it’s a general number, a minimum amount, or a range. Just give me a number.


I recently went to an interview where the salary was not listed with the job description. I thought I did really well at the interview: I got along with the interviewer, I had enough experience, and I believe I showed confidence that I could do the job well.

The woman I interviewed with asked my expected hourly rate and I told her a number that I didn’t think was unreasonable for the position. It was also a comparable rate to a similar position I had at the time. After the interview, the woman told me that I could expect a call from her the next day (Wednesday) to set up a second interview on Friday. I was stoked.

Two days passed by without a call. On Thursday I sent her a friendly email just to ask about the second interview. I got a response back stating that I was no longer being considered for the position. Needless to say I was pretty crushed. I later found out from a mutual friend that the reason I wasn’t asked to the second interview was because I had asked for too much money. The position was entry-level (which also wasn’t written on the job description) and was paying just over minimum wage.

I was actually pretty relieved when I found that out. It wasn’t that I wasn’t qualified for the position. They just wanted to pay less money than what I know I’m worth. Had I known initially what price they were willing to pay I wouldn’t even have applied.

What a waste of my time and yours, Employer, that we had to sit through that interview and send emails back and forth when we both should have known that I wasn’t going to be hired anyway. Who knows how many times this has happened to others as well. I know that hiring someone new can be an expensive process for companies and can take a lot of time, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself.

Posting a salary or hourly rate that you’re willing to pay can weed out candidates immediately. If I see a job is willing to pay $100k a year, I know that I’m likely not qualified for the position, even without reading the job description. Likewise with a job that pays minimum wage; I won’t apply because I am over-qualified. Providing a salary range to potential candidates can allow them to gauge if the position would be a good fit for them before you, the employer, ever has to review their application.

So please, employers, post that salary for both our sakes.

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Where I am Now

So. It’s been a while since my last post.

I last left off wondering whether or not I was going to stick with my current job, or go back to a previous job that I had. I decided to stick it out with my current job, although neither job is worth the stress and anxiety that they give me.

And I have actually just decided that I’m going to hand in my resignation. I’ve been at my current job for exactly a year now, through the slow periods and the crazy busy periods. I had been hoping for some sort of redeeming aspect of my position; some interesting new task or some new responsibility.

I waited a year and I’ve decided that I can’t wait any longer. Life is too short to waste my time on something that is so frustrating and unfulfilling.

A couple days ago I purchased a book called “Roadmap: The get-it-together guide for figuring out what to do with our life.” Now, I’ve only looked through it briefly, but I’ve found it to be really eye-opening. My current career path is not cutting it for me. I need something else, something more fulfilling.

This book is from the creators of Roadtrip Nation, a documentary series. This group of people travelled around in RVs asking successful and fulfilled people how they got to where they are now. This book uses advice from those people to create a dialogue within the reader. I have found myself thinking, “It’s okay to hate the job I have because it’s getting me closer to figuring out what kind of job I actually want.”

This book makes the reader ask herself insightful questions about what she wants out of life. What do I like to do? What am I good at? Not every path toward success will be the same, and success won’t even look the same for every person.

I want something more out of life. I’ll be damned if I stay stuck behind a desk all day doing administrative work.

Now, it’s not like I’m quitting my job and moving to the middle of the woods (is it bad if that actually sounds kind of appealing to me though?). I’ve already had one interview, with a couple more on the way, and hopefully something new will come to me soon. But even if it takes a little longer than I would like, at least it will give me time to figure out a clearer direction in my life.

In my life I’m going to learn as much as I can and find something that I love to do. So in that spirit, I’m going to leave you with a quote from the memorable childhood TV series Magic School Bus:
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!

Creating a Career Plan

I realized why I’ve been feeling so uninspired lately (besides the fact that I hate my job and am supremely bored at my desk, day in and day out). During my final year at university I created a plan for myself – a direction my life would take after I graduated. This plan included taking a year off after graduation to work, save some money and travel; then go back to school and do an internship; and finally to work.

I am in the final stage of my plan: I am working full-time, in a job that is somewhat related to the program that I studied. But now I don’t see what’s next. I’m not working towards anything, I don’t have a current goal in my professional life. So I’ve decided to create a new plan. This one will be more detailed in terms of a specific career I want and how I’m going to get it.

I’ll be doing a lot of Googling and using a lot of sticky notes over the next few weeks, but I hope that at the end of it all I’ve got a clear path and that I can put a bit more purpose back into my life.

**************

And would you believe that just as I’m typing this blog post a work opportunity was presented to me. This puts a bit of a wrench in my  career plan. Isn’t this always the way life works? I have a chance to go back to the job I had before I went back to school. This job allowed to me to save up for travelling, buy a car, pay off my student loan, pay for grad school tuition, and made it possible for me to not have to work while I went back to school.

Current Job

  • REALLY LONG commute
  • Flexible hours
  • Boring and uninspiring
  • Spend a lot of time doing crosswords, playing sudoku, speaking to angry customers, working on the occasional project that goes unnoticed and unused
  • Working late some nights, working some events on evenings and weekends
  • Poor paycheque

New/Old Job

  • Stressful work environment
  • Tons of work to do, always busy (not necessarily fulfilling)
  • Reasonable commute
  • Dirty work environment and small office, no real washroom (port-a-pottie)
  • Really good paycheque
  • Early mornings (would mean no time for running, which I love)

 

Now I have an immediate decision to make. The good thing about this is that it will only affect my short-term career plan.  It’s important for me to remember that a career is a life-long work trajectory and that my current job will only be a stepping stone in my career. A career is a journey and one job will not define who I am or what I want to do. It’s never too late to change paths.

Is it bad if I really want the decent paycheque right now and I’m willing to sacrifice my career direction for a bit in order to save up enough money to buy a house and get an RRSP going? Is it so bad? Not many millennials right now are able to get a decent-paying job. Lots of people go for the bigger paycheque over personal-fulfillment. Would I be a sell-out?

Does this sound like I’m trying to justify going back to my old job? Does it sound like I’ve already made up my mind? Maybe I have.

Uggghhh! What should I do?

The Alchemist

I am a self-professed bookworm and I like reading books that make me think.

So I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho a little while ago. I’d heard about the book and how it was about finding your true path in life. While that sounds a little cheesy to me, I read the book anyway mostly because it was just after I had finished school and was looking for a job; perfect timing, I thought. (Although wouldn’t the best time be to read it before or during post-secondary school? Because then you would get the full benefit of the story’s lesson. Hindsight is always 20/20 I guess…).

Anyway, so I read the book. First let me give you my review and then I’ll dig a little deeper.

The Alchemist was a book that I found easy to read, but that had a deep message. I found that the simple language worked for the story because as a reader with this plot you’re already supposed to be thinking deeply and engaging self-reflection about the main character’s quest and his journey to follow his path in life. If the language used a lot of “big words” I think that the central message of the story would have been convoluted.

Overall, it was an interesting read and very thought-provoking. I read it at a time in my life where I was searching for what exactly it was that I wanted to do with my life. While this book should not be taken as a “how-to” or guide to finding what will be your guiding purpose in life, it was an interesting read and made me want to develop a career and a life that would be personally fulfilling.

And while I did enjoy this book, most of the time while I was reading it I had a nagging, skeptical voice in the back of my head about the whole message of the story. The main character was suddenly met by a king who presented him with an opportunity to follow his dreams. While I understand that this story can’t be taken literally, what is that saying about how I’m supposed to find my true path in life? How do I even know I have a path in life? Or even just ONE path?

There are many things I still want to do with my life. I am starting to realize exactly what I want in a career and a direction, but I’m not totally sure how to get it. I’m pretty sure a random king won’t appear before me with a direction for my life that I suddenly realize I’ve always wanted (although a girl can dream). 

Listen, I know this is a fictional story and that I can’t reasonably expect to have all my life’s problems answered by a shepherd’s quest for treasure in the desert. I know I’m taking out some of my frustration on this story. It is a good story and it made me think more about my own situation and what I want out of life. What more can I ask for from a book? I’ve read a few books that have given me a lot less, that’s for sure.

Have you read a book that made you think about your own situation in life or one that made you realize something about yourself? Or have you read The Alchemist and have a similar or differing viewpoint?

Let me know because I would love to hear how other people are getting through life and finding purpose. Especially if it was through a book’s influence. Spoken like a true bookworm, if I do say so myself. 

I’m Back… And Employed

So after a bit of a hiatus I’m starting up this blog again, and hopefully posts will be more consistent.

Since my last post I have become gainfully employed. It took me six months after I graduated to find a job in my field that I actually wanted and was qualified for. Those six months were probably some of the toughest and most frustrating of my life. It’s hard to get used to rejection and it’s hard when nothing feels like it’s under your control.

I’ve been working full-time for about two months now and while this job isn’t exactly what I want or what I expected, at least it’s a job and it can be a steppingstone to a great career. I’m taking this job as a learning experience. I know I won’t be here forever (probably a couple years, max) but at least I can learn what I like and what I don’t.