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 10: "I Want to Break Into a New Field. How Do I Make Employers See Past My Lack of Direct Experience?"

Season 3, Episode 10: “I Want to Break Into a New Field. How Do I Make Employers See Past My Lack of Direct Experience?”

We, your humble Bitches, are experts in many topics. How to horrifically fuck up one’s finances, for example! We’ve got hands-on experience with that one, and we aren’t afraid to announce it to an auditorium full of people.

Today we’d like to direct your attention to another area of our hands-on expertise: career transitions. Citizens of Bitch Nation will recall that I transitioned from a career in publishing to one in finance early this year. Certainly not as dramatic as some people’s transitions, but it was still a big deal. I had to figure out how to reframe my existing skill set and experience so it would apply outside of my original industry. And I had to let go of the idea that my career defined me. Scary stuff.

Fortunately, I had prepared for my career transition by setting up a second income stream through my side hustle—this very Chris Dane Owens fan site personal finance blog! And that gave me a huge advantage before I attempted to reforge myself in the fires of a career transition.

For my next career transition, I'm going to be Chris Dane Owens.

Listen to this week’s brand new podcast episode to find out how to identify transferrable skills, translate your experience into the language of a new career, and reinvent your professional worksona! We even kinda know what we’re talking about with this one!

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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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How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

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 radiating powerful 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!

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My Career Transition Succeeded When I Gave Fewer Fucks, Made More Friends, and Had More Fun

CAREER TRANSITION SUCCESSFUL: THIS BITCH IS EMPLOYED!

AIR HORNS FOR CAREER TRANSITION

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. Maybe you’ve heard of it? 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.

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Our Best Secrets for a Successful, Strategic, and SHORT Job Search

“I love looking for jobs!” Said no one ever in the history of the world.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I enjoy the job search about as much as I enjoy a hornet sandwich on rye. Or an acid enema. Or a candlelit dinner with Hannibal Lecter. (You guys are imaginative—pick your unpleasant analogy of choice.)

And I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think I’m alone.

At time of publication, 17.8 million Americans are out of work. That’s… a lot of people unemployed, most of whom are probably looking for jobs. Like, a lot. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s all thanks to our friendly neighborhood coronavirus. Which means that a) a lot of us are unemployed because businesses have shut down, b) jobs at those businesses are no longer available, c) there’s incredibly stiff competition for the few jobs that are available, and d) we’re all a teensy bit fucked.

All of which is to say: it’s more important than ever to approach your job search like a Dothraki khalasar riding down a regiment of Lannister foot soldiers.

With terrifying ruthlessness and precision, in other words.

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The process of getting my unemployment check sucked. I'm here to walk you through it too.

Dafuq Is Unemployment and How Do I Apply for It?

As we’re living through The Plague Times, a number of topics have really jumped the writing queue for your humble Bitches. And thanks to the massive wave of job losses, one of the more urgent subjects is, by necessity, unemployment insurance.

As it happens, I’m currently a bit of an expert on unemployment insurance. I’m not just a spokesperson… I’m a member! After losing my job this spring, I applied for and received unemployment insurance from my state.

The process was tedious, long, stressful, counterintuitive, repetitive, and obnoxious. But it worked. And now I’m here to walk you through it too. Because misery fucking loves company.

But before we begin, a note: The UI I’m receiving isn’t completely replacing my lost income. Like everyone on UI, I’m applying for jobs like it’s literally my job. Yet available jobs are pretty thin on the ground until the country opens up for business again.

My bills are still getting paid, due mostly to the generosity of BGR readers. If you’re so inclined, consider donating to our Patreon. It comes with spiffy rewards and our eternal gratitude, which by itself is worth at least $2.65!

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I Just Applied for a Job. How (And When) Should I Follow Up?

In all our copious posts about getting a job and advancing your career, we’ve left out one crucial part of the job application process.

What the hell happens after you’ve submitted your application?

Ideally, you’ll receive a prompt response confirming the receipt of your application. Following that, you’ll be cordially invited to an interview in a timely fashion. And after the interview, within very little time, you’ll receive a job offer. Just a really prompt, dignified process that respects and values everyone’s time and effort!

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS, YOU NAIF. LIFE IS PAIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Of course that adorable fantasy scenario only happens on Wish Fulfillment Island, where the hiring process is swift and painless and dogs never die!

In reality, job applicants are plagued with long, drawn-out hiring processes, unclear communication, repetitive applications, and flaming hoops of bullshit in front of an obstacle course of crocodiles who only scanned your resume for keywords.

In other words, it blows! But you still need to get through it if you have any hope of employment. So here’s what happens after you submit a job application.

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How to Frame Volunteering on Your Resume When You’ve Never Had a Job

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: the hardest job to get is your first one. Or at least, the first one that’s in your chosen field and not, you know, corn detasseling for Moon Pie money. Everybody who grew up in a flyover state say heyyyyy!

See, when you’ve never had a job before…

  • Your resume is as short as a sneeze.
  • You don’t have professional connections like mentors and old coworkers to turn to for help or advice.
  • True entry-level jobs are rarer than they used to be.
  • You don’t have much practice at the basic skills you need to get any job, like nailing an interview and writing great cover letters.
  • You have even less experience with next-level skills you need to get a great job, like learning how to understand your company or industry’s most pressing needs and position yourself with strategic accordance.

(Mmm, you know it’s going to be a good day when you’re an ENTJ and you get to use the phrase “position yourself with strategic accordance” before noon.)

Unfortunately, when unemployment is high, it all gets even harder. Because now you’re competing with a lot more people—and they likely have some of the advantages you lack.

We feel for anyone with a thin job history who’s stuck competing in a tough job market with wicked high unemployment. Y’all are skipping the Hunger Games and going straight to the Quarter Quell: head-to-head, not against other frightened children, but bloodthirsty professional-ass adults. So in the near future, we’ll be discussing lots of strategies that can help mitigate the shittiness.

Today, we’ll discuss how to use past volunteering on your resume to really make it shine! Let’s get into it!

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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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