Ask the Bitches: “I Took a Career Break to Care For Someone. How Do I Explain My Caregiving Resume Gap?”

Ask the Bitches: “I Took a Career Break to Care For Someone. How Do I Explain My Caregiving Resume Gap?”

Recently we got a question from a reader about how to explain a caregiving resume gap. Meaning, they took significant time off from work to care for someone who was sick or disabled. And now there’s an employment gap in their job history that they worry is negatively impacting their resume.

I haven’t seen this problem addressed much on finance and career blogs. That’s surprising, considering how common it is. One in four American adults is a caregiver to someone with a long-term illness or disability. Millions of them are simultaneously working outside the home.

It’s unendurably difficult to be a full-time employee and a full-time caregiver. But the “second shift” is a reality for many people. Caregivers pay an incredible physical and mental toll to do what they feel must be done. It makes perfect sense that someone would choose to pause one to focus on the other.

But of course that doesn’t stop certain prospective employers from holding that choice against you in your job search…

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Ask the Bitches: How Do I Prepare for a Job Interview on Zoom?

Ask the Bitches: How Do I Prepare for a Job Interview on Zoom?

Dear readers… we’re no Ask A Manager. We’re more like Ask A Bargain Bin Manager. Or Ask Someone Who Once Played a Manager on TV. Even Ask Ask A Manager’s Opinionated Knockoff.

But we do love getting questions we’re barely qualified to answer! Like this one, from an anonymous bitchling:

Hey Bitches! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the amazing advice! On another note, I have an interview coming up next week, and I’m STOKED that I’m being considered for this position. Only problem is… it’s on Zoom. How do I prepare for a job interview over video chat??? How can I stand out in comparison to other candidates, especially through a computer screen? Thanks!!

– A wild bitchling, rampant on a field of goldenrod
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The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

I awoke last night in a cold sweat, gripped with the sudden realization that I have an incredibly comprehensive resignation checklist… and I’ve been selfishly sitting on it, to the detriment of the millions of Americans who’ve walked away from their jobs in recent months.

I recognize that this constitutes a top ten anime betrayal.

許してくれ。

I'm so sorry I didn't write this resignation checklist sooner!!

The thing is… I’ve been daydreaming about leaving my job for years. These plans have been a part of me for so long that I kinda forgot they were plans at all. Like, I don’t necessarily notice my own breathing, stretching, or constructing elaborate fantasies about leaving corporate America forever.

Planning to quit ahead of time is a great advantage, and not everyone gets it. In most states, people can be fired suddenly, for no reason. Other people need to leave their job abruptly because of absolutely untenable issues like workplace safety or harassment. Those people do not have the luxury of planning a soft landing for themselves. 

But if you’re planning to quit voluntarily, you can do what they cannot. You can be strategic. Y’know, like Light Yagami eating potato chips! And in doing so, you can extract a ton of value back from your employer and/or your government before you go.

I’m down to just one month at my job, and I’m systematically going through this list. It will save me thousands of dollars. It will also prevent a lot of logistical headaches for my future self. Because I wanna set her up with a low stress post-job lifestyle. Listening to the hold music for the COBRA continuation assistance hotline is not on my retirement vision board!

Here’s my ultimate resignation checklist…

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Post a Salary Range in the Job Description, You Fucking Cowards

One of my favorite blogs, the ever brilliant Nonprofit As Fuck, has this great piece titled “When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range on a Job Posting, a Unicorn Loses Its Wings.” It’s a snarky, 100% accurate treatise on the evils of not including a salary range in the job description.

When I read it I felt like Bono listening to Hozier’s Take Me to Church for the first time: furiously jealous that I hadn’t written it myself.

Salary transparency in the hiring process has become my sacred battleground. Few things get this money nerd’s hackles up like the unfair, unethical, and straight up bullshit practice of salary secrecy. This righteous fury is bursting out of me and it can no longer be contained!

Because let’s be honest: no one gets a job because they’re enthusiastic about the contents of the company’s vending machine or the color of its cubicle walls. We work jobs for the compensation. We work to earn an income that will support ourselves and our families. Money, health insurance, retirement funds… all of this is far more important to a job candidate than anything else an employer has to say in the job description.

Job candidates want to know they can afford to work a job before they apply. They don’t want to wait through two interviews and a job offer to find out if the compensation will pay their rent and student loans. To pretend otherwise is ludicrous, irresponsible, naïve, and insulting.

So put a salary range in the job description, you fucking cowards.

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Season 3, Episode 12: "I’m Done With Evil Bosses and Toxic Workplaces. Can I Stand Up Without Being Hammered Down?"

Season 3, Episode 12: “I’m Done With Evil Bosses and Toxic Workplaces. Can I Stand Up Without Being Hammered Down?”

Bitch Nation, as the year comes to a close, so does season three of the Bitches Get Riches podcast. As they say, all good things must come to an end! In this case… mediocre things too, lezbee honest.

And we’re going out with a bang! Today’s question covers one of our favorite topics to vent about, and our least favorite to personally experience: toxic workplaces. Specifically: what do you do about them when you fear retaliation in your future job prospects?

The “Great Resignation” is a bellwether for wonderful advancements in labor rights and fair and equitable workplaces. But the very fact that we’re going through what amounts to an unprecedented general strike means… shit’s bad out there! Toxic workplaces are 2021’s other pandemic. And if today’s question is any indication, y’all are tired of dealing with it.

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Season 3, Episode 6: “I’m Going Through a Long Hiring Process. Is It a Red Flag When an Employer Demands Too Many Interviews?”

Season 3, Episode 6: “I’m Going Through a Long Hiring Process. Is It a Red Flag When an Employer Demands Too Many Interviews?”

How many interviews is too many interviews? Y’all, it takes SO MUCH time and energy to look for a new job. You have to research, reach out, tweak resumes and cover letters—then redo all of your hard work in one of their useless clunky portals. That’s not even getting into the most emotionally draining tasks, like panicking about the “what are your salary expectations” question, evilly marked in red as a required field. Honestly, getting to the interview stage is a relief. It feels like the home stretch.

…Until there’s too many interviews.

You’ve done one, two, maybe three… And instead of a reaching out with an offer, they have the audacity ask for your availability to meet with a fourth, fifth, and sixth?!

What the hell is going on here? If they seem uncertain about hiring you, should you change your question-answering strategy? Or stay the course because, hey, you made it this far? Are too many interviews a red flag? Because while thoroughness is good, indecision is not! And plenty of smart people have walked away from a disgustingly long interview process.

Here it is. The episode you’ve all been waiting for—nay!—begging for. For this is the episode in which we reveal our preteen sexual awakenings. Completely unscripted and honest.

Naughty fantasy books from the library! Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing! And of course, there’s nothing like David Bowie in The Labyrinth to make heterosexuality seem so… possible???

What’s that? You literally did not ask? Not one of you? That can’t be right. ROLL THE TAPE.

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Season 3, Episode 5: “I Really Hate One of My Tasks at Work. Is There a Way To Escape It Without Quitting My Job?”

Season 3, Episode 5: “I Really Hate One of My Tasks at Work. Is There a Way To Escape It Without Quitting My Job?”

Collaborative problem-solving. Scalability. Solutions-based tactics. Results-oriented. Verticals. Delegating opportunities for growth. Synergy.

This is just a sampling of the corporate dialectic that inspired our answer to this week’s question on the podcast. Because sometimes, my friends, you have to fight fire with fire in the workplace. And by “fire” we mean “insufferable corporate bureaucracy.”

It’s ok, my sweet. We promise that by the end of the episode, you won’t hate yourself. Instead, you too will delight in using the tools of corporate assholery to dismantle the system and turn it in your favor!

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Dafuq is Networking? And How Do I Do It Remotely?

Last week I went to a charity fundraiser for a nonprofit. It was outside. Under an overpass. Because misinformation about vaccines and masking is rampant and it’s still not quite safe to gather in large groups indoors.

There I chatted with a young woman who was just like her country, young, scrappy, and hungry basically me roughly ten years ago: entrepreneurial, motivated, and trying to launch a career as a freelance editor. (She was also much taller and prettier than I was at 25, but I won’t hold that against her… the floozy.) Lily seemed cool and we had the same taste in charitable causes, so I gave her my card.

This week she sent me an email inviting me to lunch to talk about life and get some career advice. And to complete the time-honored ritual passed down by career strivers over generations… I accepted!

Dear readers… this is called networking. And it’s a critical skill to develop, especially for remote workers. When the stars align, you can form genuine social connections and have actual fun while doing it! But it can also feel fake, tiresome, and painfully awkward. In those cases, you need to bite the bullet, rip the bandage off, mix all the metaphors, and make the best lemonade you can out of these shit-ass lemons. Because if you have to cringe your way through alcohol-free industry mixers and ridiculous team icebreakers, you deserve to walk away with real career growth for your trouble!

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Stop Over-Apologizing at Work

Stop Over-Apologizing at Work

Over-apologizing at work is a plague among our core demographic of readers (young people, women, judgmental introverts).

If you’re anything like me, you were raised to apologize way too often. I grew up in the American Midwest, Land of the Rising Ope. Socially, we value politeness above all else (corn subsidies and casseroles excluded, obviously). I never thought critically about how much I was apologizing. Until, without realizing it, “sorry” became my default response to every conceivable situation, whether positive, negative, or neutral.

  • Me, when I’m five minutes late: “Ope, sorry!”
  • Also me, but when I’m five minutes early: “Ope, sorry!”
  • And me when I’m exactly on time: (Okay, this has never happened to me even once in my life. But if it did, I would absolutely apologize for setting incorrect expectations of future punctuality.)

This habit was especially noticeable at work. For years, I unconsciously gravitated towards soft, supple, accommodating language in every communication I sent, lest my coworkers find me bitchy and unlikable. It was tedious, but I truly thought I was being a polite, flexible communicator.

In reality, I was sabotaging myself.

Now that I’ve recategorized “being bitchy and unlikable” from fears to goals, I have embraced a more authentic communication style. And that’s allowed me to express myself more easily and effectively than I ever thought possible.

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