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When a Dream Job Means Less Money

Category: Business,Finance

That said, no, you should not ask your boss whether your salary is at least equal to that of a man your age or of anyone else who works at your firm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for salary transparency. But it’s not strategic for you to compare yourself directly to a co-worker and put your scattered and/or cowardly boss on the spot.

What you can do, however, is ask friends who work in comparable roles elsewhere what kind of salaries they make. You can also study the market for your role online. Heck, you can even apply for some jobs in your field and see if you get an offer. These methods will tell you as much or more about what you should be making as asking your boss directly about a co-worker’s salary.

It’s easy to get distracted by what is right in front of us, like Twitter or less competent colleagues. But remember to keep your eye on the prize, which, in the case of your salary, is what will end up in the bank. Don’t compare yourself directly to others in the workplace. (Or log on to Twitter, ugh.)

I’ve been in the work force for decades, before email was the bane of our existence. I used to pride myself on keeping all the balls in the air and staying super organized. But once I had a child 16 years ago, that went away. Every year I tell myself I’ll get more organized and stay on track. I try different things: lists, apps, etc. But once the list is made, it’s so overwhelming I don’t want to deal with it and end up getting sucked into easy stuff like answering emails and reading social media.

I get a lot done, but I feel like I’m getting nothing meaningful done. I desperately want something meaningful to do. Suggestions?

— K.G., Calif.

Welcome to the club! And thank you! Because if it weren’t for people like you, which is basically everybody, the work-advice business would be out of business.

In our era, it’s internet addiction, but before that there was paper-shuffling addiction, and addiction to dialing up rotary phones — you name it. And kids can be so gosh-darned cute.


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