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How NOT to Determine Your Salary

Last week I was chatting with a rad young lady who is about to start her final semester of college. When the subject of careers and negotiation came up, I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. (“Teaching young people how to negotiate their salaries” is what I write down on the religion line on surveys.)

I asked what salary range she was asking for, and she quickly answered: “$37,000.”

It struck me as an unusual number for two reasons:

  • First, it seemed mighty low. Many people live happy, stable lives on as much or less—but she was a high-achieving college student entering a STEM field in one of the ten most expensive American cities. I expected double or triple that amount.
  • Second, what’s with the non-round number? Usually when people talk about hypothetical large numbers, they do so in intervals of fives and tens. It’s why the JonBenét ransom note haunts us all to this day! (And by “us” I mean rubberneckers who were alive in the 90s and/or true crime nerds. Surely everyone belongs in one of those demographics.)

So I dug deeper. “Why that number?”

She explained that she sat down with a notebook and wrote down all the expenses she might have in a given month. “Rent, internet, groceries, student loans, car insurance… I added it all up, multiplied by twelve, and added 10% for savings. It came out to $36,200, so I rounded up just to be safe.”

My nurturing altruism joined forces with my baser capitalist instincts to manifest a camera to do a dolly zoom on my horrified face.

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Podcast Episode 001: "Should I tell my boss I'm looking for another job?"

Episode 001: “Should I Tell My Boss I’m Looking for Another Job?”



That’s right. We’ve already teased this information, but it’s true.

Piggy and I stared deeply into each other’s eyes, communicated our love and dedication from a realm beyond words, pulled the condom off, and decided to make a podcast baby together. Here’s hoping it inherits her lustrous hair and my mighty wrists, which can open any jar!

Listen above—or look for Bitches Get Riches in the podcast app of your choice!

Today’s Question

When, if ever, is it good/OK to tell people you’re job hunting in your current place of employment? For example, is it ever a good/OK idea to: tell a friendly coworker, either just for moral support, or to ask them to keep an eye out for opportunities, or help you brainstorm your strengths so you can position yourself well for what’s next?

What about with a superior at your current job? Is there a useful way to bring this up in the form of negotiation to get something you want at your current job? Or does it just put you at risk to let them know you’re looking elsewhere? I have been told that in the world of academia, it’s typical to tell your institution that you’ve been invited to interview elsewhere in order to renegotiate your position. But it’s hard for me to picture doing this in working environments I’ve been in.

Special shoutout to Patreon donor V.B. for this question. And props in general to all of our Patreon donors, who gave us so much valuable feedback on our pilot episode.

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Look how culturally fluent I am!

Ask the Bitches: What the Hell Else Can I Do to Get a Job?

We get a lot of different questions from the loyal citizens of Bitch Nation. But certain ones keep popping up over and over again like some sick game of economic whack-a-mole. It’s clear our darling followers are desperate for advice on getting a job, for example.

Take this question darling follower @evharley asked on our Tumblr:

Hey bitches, I am a recent graduate and have had internships my last year of college BUT I am still not getting any interviews. I use the right sites, follow yours and Ask A Manager‘s cover letter and resume tips but cannot land an interview. I look for jobs 4 hours 3 days a week and it doesn’t feel like enough but I feel so defeated. Is there something more that I could be doing?

What a miserable, frustrating situation.

Searching for a job can easily feel hopeless, especially when you’re not getting any return on your considerable efforts. She’s working hard to get that elusive job and getting nowhere! She’s trying everything she can think of to get hired to no avail! SHE HAS DONE HER TIME.

So what else is there to do?

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Miss me with that Papyrus, James Cameron.

How to Write a Resume so You Actually Have a Prayer of Getting Hired

Resume writing is one of the clearest markers of the generational divide. My dad insists on having a fucking dissertation of a resume, complete with hyperlinks, an “objective” (shudder), and paragraphs of description on every task, no matter how insignificant.

The strategy seems to be “Shock and Awe”: Shock that anyone would think such a cumbersome resume is acceptable, and awe that they made it so far in their career with that kind of overkill.

But as with everything from breastaurants to paper napkins, we millennials have opted to kill the lengthy and dry resume market. Like arrogant, disrespectful kids on the lawn of traditional careerist wisdom, we’re ignoring the advice of our elders and doing our own thing!

So let’s talk about resumes for the modern age. Having sat on both sides of the hiring table, I understand a thing or two about the art of condensing applicable experience into a written document. And it’s time I imparted that wisdom to you.

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I'm nervous to publish this. But you know what? It's okay to talk about your failures.

Confession: I Hate My Job and I Don’t Know How to Leave It

I don’t fancy myself a hypocrite. And yet I haven’t been practicing what I preach.

We talk a lot about career advancement as a path to financial independence here. You’ve got to angle for promotions and ask for raises and, most importantly, switch jobs on the regular.

And yet I’ve been stuck at the same company for almost eight years.

And I don’t want to be.

In that time, I’ve been promoted three times and I’ve received multiple raises. But it’s a small publishing house on a metaphorically small, remote island within the broader publishing industry.

And unless my boss gets torn apart by angry maenads sometime soon, I’ve literally reached the top of the ladder here. There’s nowhere else to go within my company, and very few options for other publishing jobs in the area.

I feel trapped. I feel like a failure. I’m bored, directionless, and frustrated. I want to enjoy going to work again. I want to feel challenged and get paid more.

So because I’m feeling rather… truthsome right now, I want to dissect my current career stagnation. I want to confess my failures and seek absolution. People of the Internet, be gentle with me.

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