Turning your passions into work is really popular advice. At my day job, I’m mentoring a fresh crop of school-aged interns. One of them learned that I had a blog and was super excited to ask me about it.
“I run an Instagram account where I talk about beauty and self-acceptance,” she told me, “and I LOVE it.”
And I could tell that she meant it! Her whole face lit up. She was practically wiggling in her seat with excitement. She described the positive, loving feedback she received from doing it, and how it gave her a true sense of purpose. “I want to eventually figure out how to monetize it and potentially turn it into a career. Any advice on how to do that?”
Admit it, Bitch Nation: you missed us and our relentless griping about labor rights during our two-week summer hiatus. Well cheer up, people, because the Bitches are BACK (and still griping about labor rights)!
Today’s topic: discriminatory hiring practices.
One of our most popular articles to date is our list of illegal job interview questions. In that post, we explained how how there are laws in place to mitigate discriminatory hiring practices. An employer can’t ask a job candidate’s age, for example, to avoid ageism when hiring.
If you’re on the job hunt, you should familiarize yourself with the questions a potential employer can’t ask you. Know your rights lest you unwittingly allow an employer to use your personal demographics (rather than your job qualifications) to exclude you from a job opportunity.
Yet despite all the things an employer can’t legally ask in a job interview… some weaselly fuckers still find ways to introduce bias into their hiring practices. In fact, a lot that can happen during job applications and interviews probably should be illegal… but isn’t.
Let’s go over some discriminatory hiring practices that are somehow still legal. Y’know, before we get to the inevitable pro-labor call to action. ¡Viva la revolución, comrades!
Labor shortages? With a 6% unemployment rate? On the heels of a recession and global pandemic? Seriously?
Seriously. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the signs hanging in almost every restaurant, coffee shop, and gas station window you’ve walked past. “Now hiring! Check our website for details!” But there’s something off about them. Usually such signs have a cheerfully neutral tone. But these are radiatingpowerful desperation stink.
“We’re hiring! Like, SERIOUSLY hiring. Literally every role is open! Do you want my job? You can have it! We have signing bonuses. If you show up all five days your first week, I will give you my cat. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat like a son—but if someone doesn’t help me bus these tables, the fabric of my reality will unravel all around me lol.”
When employers are desperate for employees, they’re weak. And when they’re weak, you are strong. You can use this moment as an opportunity to claw back lost ground.
But situations like these have been super rare in recent history. Honestly, unless you’re a Boomer or older, this really hasn’t happened in your lifetime! (Yes, to my eternal surprise, BGR does have enthusiastic Boomer and Silent Gen readers. We salute you—the few, the proud, the kickass—for enduring our 90s pop culture references and ageist hissy fits with grace and poise.) Younger readers will be forgiven for not knowing how to take advantage of it.
So that’s what we’ll teach you today! C’mon, finance, let’s get fin~nancial!
CAREER TRANSITION SUCCESSFUL: THIS BITCH IS EMPLOYED!
As our Patreon community already knows, I, your humble Bitch Piggy, have a shiny new job! This life update comes in the wake of being laid off from a large publishing house a year ago. (You can read about the painful details of that identity-crisis-cum-career-bellyflop here.) Since then, I’ve been rocking the self-employed life as an editorial consultant, literary agent, and blogger. The hustle, my friends. The hustle.
But now I’m very proud to announce I’ve joined the editorial team at The Motley Fool. Maybeyou’veheardofit? I’m the new managing editor for distribution acquisitions. Mostly that means that instead of wrangling book authors for a living, I’m going to be wrangling money writers.
Switching from a career in book publishing to one in financial media was no easy feat! But it did feel a helluva lot like destiny. Here’s how I made the career transition.
When I hear about our followers enduring sexual harassment in the workplace, I wish I had the power to turn into a centaur wielding a flaming sword. I would burst into their workplace to trample the sexist bullies under my mighty hooves. Then I’d destroy filing cabinets and computers and shit with my flaming sword just for good measure. And I’d do it all while screaming the Misogyny Speech at the top of my lungs.
In other words: I feel heckin’ strongly about workplace sexual harassment. It makes me a sad panda.
“Fighting back” or “doing something about it” is easy enough in theory. But when your livelihood is on the line, ending the harassment (and punishing harassers) gets a lot more complicated. It can affect your mental health, your physical safety, and your financial security.
If you’re a rad intersectional ally who wants to make life fairer for everyone, there’s one incredibly easy thing you can do—right now—to close the gender and racial wage gap. It has to do with pay transparency. It’s an incredibly powerful form of activism, and it can be done by almost anyone. Are you ready? Here it is…
Tell your coworkers how much money you make.
Especially women, people of color, disabled people, immigrants, and any one else who is part of a historically marginalized or exploited group.
And be specific and honest! No ranges, no euphemisms, just the exact number that appears on your paycheck. Don’t skip over any bonuses, raises, or other perks you’ve earned or negotiated, such as extra vacation time, remote work days, or tuition reimbursement.
Pay transparency is a tremendous boon to yourself as well as them. And we need it now, more than ever. Here’s why.
A few weeks ago we introduced you guys to our new favorite term: “survival entrepreneurship.” It’s all the rage, now that mass lay-offs and unemployment in The Plague Times have forced so many of us to pivot into being a full-time self-employed freelancer. When you’re out of traditional employment options, survival entrepreneurship is often your only option.
That’s why we brought in Katelyn Magnuson, the Freelance CFO, to walk you through all the concrete steps you need to take to start your own business as a self-employed freelancer. If you missed our interview with Katelyn, go back and read it now. Because unlike your humble Bitches, she knows what she’s talking about!
Did you read it? Ok good. Now that you’ve heard from the professional business-starter, it’s time to hear from me, a decidedly unprofessional self-employed freelancer who has turned flying by the seat of her pants into a competitive sport.
Specifically, it’s time I told you all the freelancing and self-employment hacks I’ve learned through trial and error over the years. That’s right, kids…
In these trying times, it’s good to know we can still come together to celebrate what’s most important in life: raising chickens and naming them after TV characters.
With record numbers of layoffs and unemployment rising like a helium-filled dumpster, a lot of us have turned to what we call survival entrepreneurism. That includes full-time self-employment, freelancing, and stringing gigs together like so many Hobby Lobby clearance rack seed beads. Not only is this #entrepreneurlife a way to make ends meet when absolutely no one is hiring, but it’s a method of advancing one’s career as a millennial entrepreneur. Starting your own business right now is the lemonade many have made out of the nasty-ass lemons 2020 has given us.
I myself transitioned to full-time self-employment when I lost my job just as the coronavirus hit the fan. Yet while this makes me a card-carrying millennial entrepreneur, it’s not something I’ve written (or thought) much about!
To be honest, starting my freelance business and then making it my full-time job was, in the words of our Lord and Savior Bob Ross, “a happy accident.”
As usual… when it comes to being a millennial entrepreneur, I have no idea what I’m doing.
Meet Katelyn Magnuson, millennial entrepreneur and “Freelance CFO”
Every so often when I’m researching money topics, I sigh dramatically and collapse onto my fainting couch, limp wrist held to my clammy forehead in the very picture of Victorian femininity. “Oh woe!” cry I, “This money shit is so confusing and complicated! If only some genuine professional would do the research for me and just let me copy their homework!”
Which is usually when I decide to interview an expert instead of doing the work myself.
Enter Katelyn Magnuson, the self-styled Freelance CFO and Mother of Chickens (long may She reign). Katelyn’s whole thing is working with small business owners and freelancers to take the practical steps necessary to bring their passion to life. Her courses, Facebook group, and free resources are not just full of platitudes and cheerleading… she actually has made her own business out of setting up the businesses of others.
So when Bitch Nation clamored for information on becoming “solopreneurs” (Katelyn’s word, but I’m stealing it), I knew she was the hero we needed and deserved; a millennial entrepreneur to cut through the bullshit and give us some step-by-step guidance.
If you’re new here, let me get you up to speed: personal finance is personal. And as a result, it’s also often complicated—a Choose Your Own Adventure with multiple right answers and mitigating circumstances.
Which is why it is so easy to feel stuck in your career or financial journey. What do you do when you’re just fine… but you want more? How do you overcome crippling stagnation? How do you justify leaving the safety of your established, safe career… and risk everything to leap headlong toward your dreams?
Alternatively: when is the safe and not-super-fulfilling job sometimes exactly what you need? What could you do with the excess creative mental energy that a boring day job affords?
All these questions (and much talk of Spiderman!) on this week’s episode.