Why don't I make more money?

Posted a little while back on MSNBC – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18418454/ – One reason for the pay gap – women don’t ask.  It’s about the stuy on the pay gap between men and women, and even though there is a definite bias factor, the other major reason – women don’t ask and/or don’t negotiate.

I never thought I was one of them, but let’s just say it came glaringly to my attention that other people at the same level are getting more than I am.    Now I thought I was pretty savvy with my career – I ask for feedback and it’s been positive, I can clearly list my recent and not so recent accomplishments in my current position.   My reviews have been positive.  I consistently ask about what’s next, what can I do to get me to the next level?

Job functions are a little vague here, so I focus more on whatever project would allow me to get to the next level, i.e. promoted, to which I assume there will be more moolah attached.  Besides, I also figure it’s what you do, and how much you’re paid for it that matters more than what it’s called (product management vs. project management, for instance.)  And I get answers, and go in that direction. 

But now, after getting a little more information, it seems like just asking about performance isn’t enough.  Perhaps the soft sell isn’t getting me where I need to go – do I need to say, “I don’t care what’s next, or what you ask me to do, I will do, just as long as I get a raise?”

Any thoughts – do you have to explicitly ask for the money to get it – or is monitoring your career without implicitly going for the dollars enough?  And does it really matter whether or not you deserve it?  Is it all about the asking?Is this a man vs. women thing?  How do you ask? 

Is Having it All Worth Having a Few Extra Pounds?

 

 

So as I often have to remind myself, I really do have it all – great kids, great husband, good job, nice house, nice cars, money in my pocket, the freedom to make choices about how I spend my money/time etc.  After I have patted myself on the back, and then check out my waistline. Not what it once was.  I remember pre-kids going to the gym and thinking, gee, how hard it is to fit into my schedule.  Now with two kids, impossible.  So I bought the equipment and it’s downstairs, in an air conditioned room, in front of a TV loaded with cable.

 

 

Does having it all mean having a few extra pounds?  No matter how much exercise I manage to squeeze in or how many cupcakes I avoid, there always seems to be a few more pounds to lose.  My thighs seem to have permanently expanded and to be perfectly honest my stomach is softer than a jello-ring.

 

Do I continue to beat myself up because I can’t quite seem to reclaim my twenty-year old body, and just accept the fact that to a certain extent, vanity comes second when there are all these other things going on?  Because more time to exercise would mean less time with the kids and/or less sleep…and it’s not like I’m overloading on either one.  

Does having it all mean I need to have a extra pounds, or am I just settling?

A little slice of Nirvana

I had the occasion yesterday to find myself sitting in a Starbuck’s drinking coffee at 9 am in the morning.  It was Nirvana.  I wasn’t alone.  My 2 year old was at daycare and his baby sister was going to the doctor at 9:30. I had a half hour to kill, a blissful half hour after the morning rush was done, to sit in the window table at a local Starbuck’s with a sleeping baby and a large cup of coffee.

So this is what it feels like – this manageable state of affairs.  A little time to drink coffee, a break in the busyness of the day.  Is this what it feels like to be a not working mom?  Or would I have had two restless children (no daycare) and/or no money for coffee?

 

Too many deep thoughts for my little interlude – time to focus on the coffee, the rush of people on their way to various things, and the cute little rosebud face in front of me.

Having it All when you're a Lawyer

I was just reading one of the Wall Street Journal’s Blog – LawLife.  And as usual I found the posting to be interesting and relevant.  It was about Women and their rush to exit big law firms because of the high demands (hours, time away from kids) and the “alternate” (read more family friendly) law careers they are flocking too.

 

Of course I read it with interest – even though I am not a lawyer I am interested in how professional women integrate work and family.  And there was some good stuff in there, especially if you were a lawyer – the contract law positions that pay pretty well and allow you to choose flexible schedules (10-50 hours, chunks of time vs. long term part time).

 

But what I always find most interesting are the posts – some of the venom in there is just amazing – “Women can’t expect to have it all.”  “How nice that these women are in a position to choose to work less for less money.”  “Why should the big firms have to change?”  “Just shut up and deal”  etc.

 

It seems to me that there is so much rancor out there between the haves and the have nots (not about money, but about things – lifestyle, work arrangements, a well-incomed spouse, a stay at home spouse).  It’s as if, in order to feel good about the choice one has made, you must hurl insults at all other choices to bolster your position.  Not good – smacks of fanaticism – and we know where that leads…

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