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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Love this skirt! Rare to see a floral skirt that is office appropriate…
Love this, but a large floral print on my hips flowing to small flowers on the rest of my legs is not what I would consider flattering on my hippy self. If you’re tall and skinny I’m sure it would look great. But curvy hipped me would look horrible.
Agreed, this would be a great look for someone with almost no hips. Someone who wanted to give the illusion of a more curvy silhouette.
Love this. I also love the a-line version for those of us with larger bottoms, although it might be too short IRL.
Love both skirts! Although the poofiness of this one and the narrowing of the pencil are iffy on whether they’ll flatter my big booty. There’s a perfect amount of poofiness and a perfect amount of narrowing that works for me. Any variation and I look huge. I must make it to the store to try these on.
Ah… would that I had a glamorous party to which to wear that A-line one. How did they style it? I mean, is the model secretly wearing a crinoline to make it stand out like that?
I have a different WHBM a-line, and they are fabulous. Something about the cut and pattern allows them to really hold their own shape and flatter (even on less than perfect figures). I’d encourage anyone who likes this skirt to try one on in-store.
I don’t work for them or anything, I just really like mine (an impulse buy) and it feels so nice wearing it.
Also love both skirts and really tempted to order! Can anyone speak to WHBM sizing?
It is very generous. Size down.
Oh I love that one too! Too bad I don’t have the cash to spare. I’ll just have to cross my fingers that they eventually find their way to the local WHBM outlet store.
Oh.My.Stars. That big white target on my less than flat belly would be a fashion disaster. Overall it is a too “cute” for me but would work on the right person.
What is it with all the self-hate around here lately? Not commenting particularly on W. Anon’s comment, but in general I’ve seen a lot of commenters saying they’re too fat/thin/busty/bootylicious/whatever to wear a given item. Relax, ladies! You’re all beautiful.
The butt flowers are just too funny. Did they do that on purpose?!
I love this. Great print.
Me too. Gorgeous.
I just want to thank fellow Corporettes for their advice yesterday on the black tie event! I loved your suggestions and tried a few of them on at Macy’s. They didn’t have much in my size. Most of the other stores in the area closed early due to the Snowpocalypse and shipping for RTR was delayed. However, I ducked into Nicole Miller last minute and found this…
Originally $389, but on sale for $75! It fits great- it just needs the straps taken in…Off to find a tailor who is open in this snow
Gorgeous! Love it – and such a bargain too:) Good luck w the tailor and have fun!
Fantastic find! Beautiful dress. Hope you have fun at the event!
gorgeous! enjoy the event
Wow – great score! Have a wonderful time at the event.
Love the peep toes! Anyone have experience w/ WHBM shoes?
I bought a pair of 4″ peep toes from WHBM for the company christmas party. I typically wear an 8.5 but buy heels in 8 so with stockings on they are tight so my heels dont slide in them. They ran true to size for me, I bought the 8 which were tight, but the way I like my high heels.
I adore this skirt. Might have to visit WHBM this weekend…
Awesome find Kat!
Off topic: would something like this bun cover, but in black, be professional? http://khromeatplay.blogspot.com/2008/02/flower-and-stripe-bun-cover-crochet.html
My ends always stick out of buns, but these keep my hair looking neater.
Sorry, but a slightly messy bun is much more professional than wearing one of these IMO (even if not cream/crocheted as pictured). They remind me of food service hair nets and the girl in my HS who was super into attending renaissance fairs.
Yeah, fwiw, it reminds me of little old ladies at church meetings. It’s a little quirky for the office.
Anon in the Snow
I was going to point out that certain religious groups wear these. So the OP may not want people thinking she is associated.
There are plastic versions of this in drugstores, etc. — maybe try that.
IMO, crochet anything is probably best kept far away from the office.
Something similar to this, maybe.
Oh, good find, AIMS. That would be a much better choice.
As an avid crocheter, I’ll be the first to admit there aren’t alot of crochet items that I would consider office appropriate (a handful of sweater patterns and winter hats and scarves are about all I’d consider wearing to the office). I do like AIMS’s France Luxe suggestion though.
I would say that it’s not very professional. It looks too crafty and homemade.
The ends of my hair frequently stick out of my bun but I have discovered Goody spin pins and they are amazing! Just screw them into where your ends usually stick out and it really holds them in place. http://tinyurl.com/2885s5q
surrounded by lawyers
Interesting. I use these, and inevitably I have some ends sticking out. I may be alone in the opinion that it isn’t that big a deal…
You’re not; if anything, I think it can look better that way.
Yeah – slightly messy looks better for buns. You’re not a ballet dancer. (I assume.)
I was so looking forward to trying those spin pins after Corporettes recommended them, but I could never make them work. That part where you flip the pin over to secure the bun to your head – I never got that right, and the bun would fall off my head AND the pin would stay tangled in my hair. The YouTube videos I watched for help all had demonstrators with hair at least a couple of inches longer than mine. Hooray for Walgreens’ return policy.
(I don’t wear my hair up at work anyway, but playing with gadgets is fun.)
surrounded by lawyers
Mella, it sounds like you might be talking about the updo pin. Shaped like a U? I am a convert, but many people here share your frustration with it! Anyway, if I am right, you might have better luck with the spin pins. They are not as hard to use, and make a bun rather than an updo twist.
Oh – thanks surrounded, you’re right! It was the updo pin I couldn’t master. I’ll keep an eye out for the spin pins.
I have both the spin pins and the updo thingy. The updo thingy is a lot harder to master. I would recommend finding a store that sells those sparkly updo pins and asking the ladies there to teach you how to use them.
The spin pins can be used in addition to your regular bun technique so no learning required.
Seconded, these are amazing. They don’t catch everything, but who cares – good enough.
If I saw a woman wearing that I’d assume she was a Mennonite. I know a lot of really great Mennonites, but if you aren’t one, you might not want people to assume you were.
Agreed. It looks like a prayer cap.
Exactly what I was thinking.
PSA: You can find really super awesome pie filling and jams at the Mennonite stands at farmer’s markets. And it’s inexpensive too! :-D
I miss the Old Order Mennonite ladies who sold freshly-made hot pretzels at the farmer’s market near my law school. Mmmmm.
We may/may not have gone to roughly the same law school… :-D
@Another Sarah – go Irish?
Ha! Are we all three of the Irish? I loved that farmer’s market (assuming we’re all talking about the same one)!
I would politely agree with the other commenters that cloth bun-covers seem a bit matronly. And, unfortunately, the the plastic or other more decorative bun-covers remind me of synchronized swim teams.
However, according to my much younger and much more stylish sister, messy buns are pretty “in” right now. So, your current bun probably looks great!
No, it would not be professional. Just leave your ends sticking out–it probably looks great.
I found a set of 5 color-coordinated Scrunchies on sale at the new TARGET for only $19.95.
They come in GREEN, BLACK, WHITE, PINK and YELLOW.
The manageing partner likes to see my face, so I usually wear Scrunchies at the office.
Sometimes, when I want to work in the library WITHOUT being disturbed, I take the Scrunchie off, so my hair is DOWN, but most of the time I wear a Scrunchie.
I also wear the Scrunchie after work when I go to work out at the gym. They are VERY handy to keep my hair away from my face and the machines, too.
Go with the Scrunchie. It is MUCH more professional. Even the judges on the Supreme Court wear Scrunchies.
surrounded by lawyers
This has to be at least one of Ellen’s TOP FIVE COMMENTS. I am APPLAUDEING.
Yes. Absolutely made my day!
I feel like someone should be compiling a book of these for posterity…
Ah, here we go. Needed this on a snowy day. Also need Ellen to meet Sarah Jessica Parker for the Scrunchie conversation.
That was my exact thought when I read it! I was replaying that entire scene in my mind :)
Ellen’s right. Ruth Bader Ginsburg totally wears scrunchies!
surrounded by lawyers
As does Scalia.
Best mental image ever! Anyone talented with photoshop?
When you’re Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you can do whatever the heck you want.
Purple would be better though.
Oh Ellen, I didn’t REALIZE until just now how much I missed your comments. Please TRY not too stay AWAY for so long.
Anon in the Snow
Wow. I guess I am the only one who thinks Scrunchies are for teens.
Scrunchies should not be worn by anyone, but Ellen is our favorite troll so we like to indulge her. I’m certain 99% of the people on this site agree that professional women should not wear scrunchies.
Troll? Take that back; he’s a bona fide community member now. He’s the only reason I read the comments here anymore.
If you get irritated about ends sticking out, drugstores often have invisible hair nets that you can wrap around a bun. I used to use them in ballet class where all wisps and ends were verboten, but I do still occasionally use them in situations where ends would not be acceptable. They come in various colours to match your hair colour and look a lot better than the crafty/crocheted versions.
I also don’t like my ends sticking out all the time, so I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Scunci-Effortless-Beauty-Expandable-Ponytailer/dp/B002QA52V4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296149875&sr=8-1
Basically, I just put my hair in a low bun (ends sticking out), and then put this on top of it. They make it in black, too.
How thick/long is your hair? I want to try that one but worry my hair won’t hold.
My hair is long and medium thickness, straight. It only works if you make the bun first just like you would do if you weren’t going to put any bun holder over it, and then just put the holder on top. It’s not holding the bun in place, but is really just keeping the stray ends in. It’s got teeth on the inside, so it sticks in there just fine.
Oh, I love it! I have a couple WHBM skirts, and I’ve been very happy with them. I might have to check this one out.
They also have a cute cardigan in a similar pattern. Obviously not to be worn together though!
I have been very happy with separates I’ve purchased from WHBM lately. Some of their merchandise is a little too spangled, but I have found some excellent basics there. Love this skirt.
That is really, really cute. If all my clothing purchases at the moment weren’t earmarked for maternity stuff, I would snap that up!
Ooooh, just saw the note downthread that there are butt flowers. Way to ruin an otherwise really interesting print! Sad!
The service was so odd the one time I went to that store. I don’t really intend to return any time soon.
Really? I love the service. Everyone is always so nice, and then they actually check in on you in the dressing room and swap out sizes, etc. I found it very courteous and downright civilized (at 2 nyc locations and a CA location).
P.S. the last time I went in I was in yoga clothes and sneakers. I was trying on some tops and the saleslady brought me a skirt and heels so I could see the whole thing together. Awesome. In general, I have found some great stuff there.
I have to agree. Once I asked for a discount on a dress that had a tear in the seam to cover getting it repaired. The manager refused, saying that the dress was already discounted enough and that it would be cheaper for the store to damage it out rather than sell it to me. And this was after her salespeople followed me around the store trying to outfit me with accessories (which is a normal occurrence). I try not to go in unless I’m guaranteed to find what I need or there is no where else to go.
Admittedly I’m usually at stores in various suburbs and not in any city proper but I’ve always thought their in-store service was good. On the phone, they are amazing. I saw a shirt in a picture on the website but there was no link to it anywhere on the site. I called their customer service and described the shirt and she told me it was no longer available online but that she could try to find it in a store for me. Turns out the shirt was also no longer listed in their online inventory so she would have to call around to a couple stores (which she willingly did). She found it in a store in HAWAII (I’m on the east coast) and connected me to them. They shipped it that day (8-14 days) for free. Genius.
Threadjack: does anyone have advice for someone whose nails will.not.grow? I have the weakest nails on the planet – they will split and chip when they are less than a millimeter long. I have tried vitamins, all different kinds of hand creams, nail polishes, etc. and they just do not grow. I can get them to be about 3 millimeters long and they break, usually down into the quick of the nail, which is painful.
I do a lot with my hands – I garden, I play with my kids, I usually shower twice a day because I work out in the evenings. I am not looking for talon-length nails nor do I want to do fake ones, because I don’t like how they look and I don’t have the patience to maintain them. I just want to have fingertip-length nails that I can groom and polish to look professional, rather than these little stumps and stubs and at least two nails that are broken off down into the nailbed. Anyone else have weak nails, and successfully did something that helped them grow? Thanks!
Ouch! Sounds like it hurts when they break. My best advice is Sally Hensen growth – looks light pink in the bottle or the Nail Tek (not sure if that’s spelled right) you can get at Ulta.
But, you may have already tried these…
Nail Tek is the only thing that works for me.
K in Tulsa
I have very weak nails too, so I feel your pain! My mother swears by using prenatal vitamins, and I have had okay (not amazing) results with regular use of Sally Hanson’s Hard as Nails.
Have you seen a dr to check that you don’t have any vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems or anything? I would check that out first. Assuming you’ve asked a dr about it, I would try adding more fats to your diet – salmon, fish oils, walnuts, flax, avocado, etc. Also, if you exercise a lot and don’t eat enough (particularly fats), that can contribute to weak nails. (Not saying you do, but that happens to some people.)
A dermatologist is the place to go for nail issues.
I second the prenatal vitamins, if you haven’t already tried them. I used them for years (to make a drastic haircut grow out more quickly) and recently stopped taking them. My nails have definitely taken a turn for the worse and I’ll probably continue the vitamins for that reason.
Also try OPI’s nail strengthener. It’s not cheap, but friends of mine who work in the beauty industry swear it’s the best.
They are growing, just slowly, and probably breaking before you have the chance to get any length.
I’d recommend finding a good manicurist and making a weekly appointment with them. Keep up with the healthy habits, including vitamins. This is an expensive option, but is sure to keep your nails looking professional. If you find one week is too long to wait (i.e. nails start looking bad after 3 days) then schedule your appointment accordingly, and then try to slowly space them out as time passes.
When I was in high school I would get acrylic nails put on for prom. When I would have them taken off, my nails were extremely damaged and weak underneath. What worked for me was to buff and file my nails every night. It helped to build up strength.
All the other advice sounds good; here’s one more suggestion: Barielle nail strengthener cream has completely transformed my nails! They used to tear or chip if I so much as looked at them funny; now I have to trim them weekly. Can’t say enough good about it.
Thanks for the tips everyone! I had some credit from a gift card at Amazon so I ordered some Nail Tek products (had heard of them, but never was able to find it anywhere to buy it locally) and the Barielle cream from Amazon. I have used Sally Hansen in the past and it didn’t do anything, but maybe the Nail Tek will have an effect. And I have been on prenatal vitamins in the past, when I was pregnant, and I found that when I took them when I wasn’t pregnant, they made me nauseous. But maybe I’ll try a different brand and try them again. Again, thanks for the advice.
You mentioned trying vitamins in the past, but for what it’s worth, I take an MSM supplement (I use the Jarrow powder, and just throw a scoop — it comes with a tiny spoon/scooper — into my morning smoothie, or mix into a few sips of water and chug it down), and it has done wonders for my nails. It’s not instant, but after a few weeks/months my nails seemed to be growing a little faster, and were thicker/healthier and less prone to peeling. Jarrow also makes a silicon supplement that they recommend you take with the MSM called Biosil, and I did buy that, but it has a kind of unpleasant taste and I don’t bother with it most mornings.
I used to take MSM in a tablet form (some brand from Costco) but it caused me to break out, and my “results” with the powder have been much better. A few months ago I was traveling a lot and didn’t bring the powder with me so was “off” of it for probably 3 weeks or a month and I definitely noticed a difference in my nails — they started peeling and ripping more, took longer to grow back, and were not as strong or healthy. Now that I’m taking it regularly again, my nail health is definitely improving.
Vitamins make me feel nauseous also. I complained to my doctor about this, and he suggested I take them at night right before I go to sleep. That works for me.
I’d say, don’t fight it – just keep your nails short.
My nails aren’t that weak, but I keep them about 2mm shorter than my fingertips – a habit from my piano playing days. The trick to making short nails look nice is to take good care of the cuticle and push it back regularly (or carefully cut it). That basically gives you an extra millimeter of length (or even more over time). Put on a little nail polish and they’ll look gorgeous :)
Anon in the Snow
Take a look at your diet. Sad to say but lots of fresh veggie, fruits, water, water, water, regular exercise and avoiding all the things we know we should avoid like the plague will do wonders. I have to cut my down every week otherwise, I can not type.
Your nails may be tying to tell you something about your health.
Sorry, don’t think so. I eat a varied healthy diet with plenty of lean meat/fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and grains and then also take in supplemental protein via smoothies and protein bars that I use as snacks before working out, which I do at least 4 days a week. I take a fish oil supplement daily, drink plenty of water, eat very minimal junk food, etc. I just had a checkup with bloodwork and all of it came back normal, including thyroid and iron levels. Thanks for the suggestion but not applicable in my case.
don’t get defensive or anything – yikes!
She didn’t get defensive, she was just stating facts. Maybe you’re the one who should relax.
Threadjack – What Would You Do, Corporettes?
This is a bit long, but please bear with me, as I need some advice.
FYI – I’m in my early twenties. I finished undergrad in December of ’09 and started working full time immediately after, so I have a little over a year of full-time work experience.
In college, I landed a fabulous paid internship that was only supposed to be for a summer. However, at the end of the summer, they asked me to stay on on a part-time basis while I was in school (and then full-time in the summers). I did, and worked as an intern for this company (a major Fortune 50 company that you’ve probably heard of) for 1.5 years.
One month before graduation, they offered me a full-time salaried position. I gladly accepted, because I loved the company, my coworkers, and the work I would be doing. However, the salary was significantly lower ($15k-20k lower) than what the other people on the team (doing the exact same job) were making. I didn’t negotiate (dumb mistake, but I was young and nervous about graduating in such a terrible economy, and the job I was being offered was more advanced than an entry-level position, so I felt thrilled to have a shot at it with my limited experience).
Now, I’ve been working in this position for over a year, and the huge pay discrepancy between my teammates and myself is really starting to discourage me. (For example – last year, one of my teammates took a two week European vacation and the other bought a 2 year old Lexus. In my case, f my parents weren’t helping me out by paying for my car/related expenses, I’d be seriously struggling. I can’t even fathom taking a vacation.). I just had an exemplary performance review, and was given a 5% raise (but I’m making so little that 5% is works out to a little more than an extra $100/paycheck). However, I’m still $15k to $20k behind my counterparts. My boss acknowledges I’m extremely underpaid and has told me that she’s working on leveling it out, but she’s a new manager and her boss controls the budget and is known for being strict on salaries.
I’m starting to get really frustrated and I want to know what you ladies would do. I absolutely adore my job, but my one complaint is my pay, and it’s really starting to demoralize me. What would you ladies do? Start hunting for a new position? Have a serious discussion with my manager? I feel very stuck and I would really like to stop taking financial assistance from my parents. Thanks for your help.
OP here. My 5% raise works out to an extra $100/month (not per paycheck). Wishful thinking on my part. :)
That’s rough. I am sorry to hear that because it sounds like your job is otherwise perfect. I think you have to start looking for a new position, however tentatively and carefully, before you can have a serious discussion with your manager. Whatever you are getting paid is better than being unemployed, and it is a tough market right now. Make sure you have something to turn to if you leave.
As for what to say, I would say that you love your job, coworkers, etc., but can’t afford to stay on at this rate; that other job prospects would offer you X; and you would like the company to match that. In the alternative, maybe you can ask for some other benefits — like flextime or reduced workweek; maybe extra 401k contributions. Basically, something to make up for the reduced paycheck & make staying at this job financially worthwhile to you.
How long have the other people on the team been there compared to you? I think that’s an important consideration. Perhaps they started low too and have been rewarded with increases over the years. Also, do you know for sure that these people are making that much more money, or is that just your impression based on your spending patterns? You have to consider that people who have been working longer (or who are married or partnered) have different spending habits than new single grads. They may have saved, have family money, or have a spouse that contributes a large salary. Unless you feel as though you are being completely underpaid for what you do as a whole considering the region and marketplace, not just your compatriots, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump ship in this economy.
The people working with you may have received similar pay increases over the years, thus accounting for their higher salaries. If I were you, I’d try to negotiate other types of compensation in place of the salary bump, as your boss has made it clear that they want to increase your salary and cannot do so at the time. Then, do great at your job, and at the next performance evaluation, ask for more than a 5% raise.
I have been in your shoes, and it is very demoralizing. I’m sorry you have to go through this!
I would start exploring what’s out there. You need to know how much the market is willing to pay someone with your skill set. You can interview, meet with a recruiter, etc.
Most employers won’t just give you more money simply because you ask for it. And, it seems like your boss is unwilling to stick her neck out for you at this point.
You should do some market research and find out how much you could get elsewhere. Then go back to your boss and tell her that you’re aware that you’re seriously underpaid compared to your peers, and also relative to the market. Outline all of the things that earned you your great performance review, what you’ve done since then, what you’re doing now, and that you think a salary closer to $X would be more appropriate.
If she gives you pushback or tells you that it can’t be done right now, tell her that you’d like to revisit the issue in 3-6 months. Then quietly go about looking for another job (or perhaps have one already lined up).
And someone else raised a good point above – do you actually know your peers are making 15-20k more than you? I knew because someone had told me, but otherwise I would not have known.
Yes, I actually have confirmation from both of them that they make significantly more than I do. And while they do have a few more years of experience, we all have the same degree. I also know that my performance rating last year was the same as or higher than theirs too.
A few years can be a big deal. In my line of work, 4th years make about 2x 1st years (though your raise does not put you on this trajectory, still worth pointing out). Do you know what they made when they started?
Whoops, just saw your additional info below.
Do your colleagues have more experience than you or an advanced degree? If they’ve got about the same experience and have the same education, I would talk to HR/your boss/whoever, and ask about a time frame for fixing the situation. It would help a lot if you could have another job offer in hand to use as a bit of leverage–don’t make a threat or anything, but it’d be great to be able to say “listen, I love it here, but I’m being offered more money at this other place and I wanted to see what we could work out.” So I would work on a two front plan: ask your manager/boss what the time frame is for fixing this problem and say you’ll check back in then AND apply for other jobs asap and try to have something to use as leverage.
OP here with a little more info: The other counterparts on my team both have more experience than I do (but 2-3 years more, not an incredible amount, and if you count my internship, I technically now have 2.5 years of industry experience). I know for sure that they make that much more than I do because they’ve told me. Both are single women (like myself) a few years older than me. I also know that they did not get the salaries they earn through raises, they were offered higher amounts from the get-go.
1. Often internship experience does not count towards your years experience.
2. They have MORE experience and should make more than you. Maybe they didnt get a raise and you did.
3. 2 to 3 years ago teh economy was different. It sucks but it’s true.
4. If your boss said it’s not possible DO NOT go to HR. That’s like trying to go over someone’s head. your boss WILL NOT APPRECIATE it. It’s as if they said no, you dont like the answer you go, so you try going to the other parent. HR will contact your boss about it.
5. Either find another job and take it or use it to negotiate. No other choice.
I’m not sure I agree with the advice to not go to HR. Then again, I’m not necessarily telling you that you should go over your boss’ head – I think it depends on a lot of different things, and you know your company better than we do.
You said: “My boss acknowledges I’m extremely underpaid and has told me that she’s working on leveling it out, but she’s a new manager and her boss controls the budget and is known for being strict on salaries.” If you have any reason to believe that there are other factors at play here and you can do it in a round about way that doesn’t make it appear like you are deliberately going above anyone’s head simply because you didn’t like the answer your boss gave you (perhaps by making it a policy-based issue, not a you-based issue), maybe you need to talk to someone higher up than your boss. But again, you know your company better than we do. I’m only suggesting this because I was in your shoes once and, at my company, it took going way above my boss’ head to get things moving in the right direction.
Anon from 2:54
Thanks for giving us more info. I’m going to modify my answer. You likely will not be able to get a 15-20k bump in your salary. However, I do think it’s still a smart idea to see what the rest of the market pays for someone with your experience, and if you are underpaid relative to the market to start searching for another job and also speak with your boss.
2-3 years of experience is a considerable amount of time in a field – especially when it comes to salary. I don’t think that you deserve to be underpaid, but I think it’s reasonable for there to be a 15-20k pay difference between someone with 1 year of experience and others with 3-4 years. And, maybe this is just me, but an internship doesn’t really count in terms of substantive work experience that justifies a higher salary.
Also, another thing to think about is that 2-3 years ago the market was in much better shape. It’s only natural that starting salaries would be higher because employees had a lot more options. Unfortunately, when you started the company was able to start you off at a lower salary because there were fewer options.
Thanks for all of your advice. I’m not expecting a $15k-$20k salary bump (no way), but we do have salary ‘minimums’ in place & it would be nice to be at (instead of well under) the minimum. I’m going to do some research and start talking to recruiters and see what it is reasonable for someone with my skill set and experience in the marketplace. Thanks!
I agree that you shouldn’t go over your boss’ head–I just meant contact whoever you contacted before and ask for a time frame.
I remember when I first graduated from college thinking that my one year of experience teaching English abroad would count for a lot–it counted for nothing. Internships don’t count in this sense–and usually for good reason: you’re often not given real responsibilities and your time in the office is usually limited hours-wise. Sadly, 2-3 years experience is a huge jump from a recent college grad even if you interned there. Sounds like they deserve a bit more.
That said, if you think you deserve more, ask for it. Just make sure you’re right about it and ready to walk away if you don’t get it.
This market sucks and there are few jobs for recent grads, let alone ones that would set you up professionally. I think you should stick it out and after you’ve been there 2 years or so (post-grad) try to move on. Or try to move on now but don’t advertise that you’re looking to anyone you work with–you may find it’s harder than you think.
Lastly, when I first graduated, I took a huge salary hit and was really broke for about two years. It sucked and I made less than people I worked with who did less substantive work. But at the end of the day, that job still helps me get jobs (ten years later). Just try to make the most of it and tough it out–sorry, I know it’s hard.
“Lastly, when I first graduated, I took a huge salary hit and was really broke for about two years. It sucked and I made less than people I worked with who did less substantive work. But at the end of the day, that job still helps me get jobs (ten years later).”
Has your role shifted or expanded at all? A former co-worker of mine negotiated a salary bump when her responsibilities shifted. She never moved officially moved departments, but she assumed responsibilities that correlated to a higher pay grade (and different department) than the one at which she had been hired. If you have a concrete example like that, it might be helpful. But, it also completely depends on your workplace. If they have a specific salary floor for your role, though, it seems like you should be making at least that much.
In her case, she went to HR and explained to them how her role had changed and how her pay no longer matched her responsibilities. I’m not sure that HR is universally the right call, but at that company, they were the right people to approach.
To clarify, it was more than a “this is a natural progression of responsibilities in this position” situation–she had been hired into an administrative role and was assuming responsibilities well beyond what was standard for her department.
If you have more responsibilities, but it still falls within your job description, that’s completely different.
Also, I agree w/ the previous posters who said that $15-20k difference is not unreasonable given the additional experience you co-workers have.
Whatever happens, best of luck–I know it’s a difficult situation to navigate.
Hi K –
Given that you know you’re under the salary range minumum, I think that is a big clue. Either they still “think” of you as an intern or there are other forces at work (i.e. internal strife, management problems). For example, your new “inexperienced” boss may not be willing to fight for you. Or the other two people are overpaid for their worth (or due to the decline in the economy) and rather than rock the boat and lose them, your manager chooses to pay them more in order to keep them: Hiring new people to replace them would be a big strain on the manager. You are more expendable.
Ideally, you would have received a bump in pay (yes, even $15-20,000) when you got your degree and stopped being an intern. So, what you did was change your personal status without changing your place in the organization. There’s an old adage that you have to leave your employer to realize the benefit of the degree that you earned on the job. It’s not always true but is sometimes. But what to do now?
I agree with the advice to start looking quietly in the marketplace to see if the market can support a higher wage similar to the published minimum salary range at your current employer. Check salary.com – they have a free Salary Wizard by job classification and zip code. Recently, I used it for a friend and the ranges from the wizard were identical to her company’s published minimum/maximum for three levels of a position. Depending on your field and location, you may have to play around with it for a while.
The other thing is that if your manager is inexperienced and/or has little clout in the team, you may be better off leaving sooner rather than later. This is doubly true if the team/department is at all disfunctional.
And given all the above, this might give you reason to talk to HR, not as a way to go around your boss but to see how you are viewed/classified by the organization.
You may decide to stay for the two year period that someone else mentioned but in that time, you can join professional organizations, keep a record of your accomplishments and really stretch the envelope of your current position. But you’ll at least feel like you gave it your best shot and explored your options.
Good luck to you. Be sure to let us know what happens!
Also, seems like it would depend somewhat on the overall health of the company. Have they been laying off people or hiring people? How have their revenues/profits been? Given the economy is still very much in recovery, if the budgets are not there, they’re just not there. It has nothing to do with fairness or your value. On the other hand, if the company is hiring people, then they’re just taking advantage of you. An earlier poster said that your best negotiating position would be to find another job and then approach your boss again. I agree.
I think your manager is not doing her job. New or not, she needs to make sure that her people are fairly paid.
I would ask her, “What can I do to help you make the case to your manager that I deserve a market salary”? Perhaps you could put together a set of slides outlining your value to the company, datapoints on market salaries, and what you think you should be paid, and offer it to her to help in this negotiation.
You can also ask, “Would it be helpful to you if I asked HR to help make this case to your manager, so you don’t have to do all the negotiating?” Basicaly, make your boss your ally in convincing the person who needs to be convinced.
If your boss still doesn’t do anything, ask her if it would be OK to talk to boss’s boss yourself.
If all these fail, you can take the risky step of going over your manager’s head, or the less risky step of finding another job. I’d go with the latter.
I think it’s reasonable to want a raise at least to the minimum level for your position – it sounds like they really lowballed you. If your boss won’t entertain the idea of at least giving you the proper salary for your position, I say start looking for a new job. As you’re already aware, you’re going to spend your entire career behind if you start at a low salary; better to move on to someplace where you’ll start on an even playing field.
Ooo am I the only one who thinks that this skirt is terrible? The print coupled with the fit! I would NEVER even consider purchasing this, let along letting colleauges see me in it. Sorry for dissenting! Also WHBM I find is generally over-priced for synthetic fabrics.
I agree. I think it just screams, “I’ll make anyone who isn’t 5’8” and under 120 lbs look fat.
I actually agree with you. I don’t think the tapered cut is flattering (not on the model and certainly not on me) and the pattern is too much for me, especially the huge flowers toward the top.
The fit doesn’t bother me, but the print does (LOUD, and what’s with the large white flower on each cheek?).
Oh no!! The butt flowers totally ruin it. I didn’t click on the view from behind.
Ooh, that is bad! It looks like someone garbbed your ass and left flower palmed prints behind. Certainly not a good idea to wear to the office!
Oh no, I missed the butt flowers! Maybe it would lay differently on a different body?
I hope so! I’m gonna wait for a trip to the store now, can’t risk ordering online with all the hassle of returning…
I’m not sure that I’d wear that skirt to the office (maybe on a Friday), but I love it just the same! Would be great for a date night.
Just saw the skirt last night…it is cut more straight than i thought … not good for this hourglass gal. But lovely, lovely pattern. Even has a satin binding of bright blue at the waistband. They are selling a cardi with the same print.
I chose to buy the “poofier” skirt in the black and white print. It is better for me. Both in sturdy cotton. The black and white has layers of 2-3 strips of the small print material at the hemline. A nice touch. I do wish they had done it in the other print though!
Threadjack: Any tips for negotiating federal salary? It would be for a legal fellowship open to current 3Ls or clerks (I am the latter). TIA.
As a general rule, and maybe the rest of the commenters will have different experience, but my understanding/experience is that there is relatively little wiggle room in federal government pay. Positions are categorized by GS level and within that there are certain steps…and depending on your credentials you’ll be placed at that step. You should get credit for having graduate level education, etc.
Not sure this helps, but good luck getting the fellowship!
Thanks. I should clarify that I’m trying to figure out how I can get myself a step or GS level above what someone without a clerkship would get.
I think this is automatic, no? Your step or GS level should be made clear when you get the offer and it’s normally based on your previous experience.
I’ve been part of federal hiring and it is possible – though not guaranteed – to negotiate for the specific step within the grade. Example: we hired a GS12, who would ordinarily come in at step 1. S/he had special qualifications and documented a prior salary history, so we wrote a “superior qualifications” letter and were able to offer a step 5. Worth a try to ask.
Eponine, I thought it would be automatic based on the fellowship description, but apparently it’s not when they actually make the offer.
Thanks everyone for your advice, I will keep emphasizing my qualifications.
I fell in love with that skirt awhile ago. There is a jacket, too.
But I wouldn’t wear both together and probably neither piece to work. Maybe 1 or the other on a Friday.
the skirt is pretty eye candy, absolutely. but wardrobe item? only if you wish to be remembered as the lady with the printed skirt. extremely memorable. just saying.
Love this skirt! I’ve been shopping at White House Black Market quite a bit lately!
On the view of the back, the placement of the large flowers — one on each cheek — is bad. Kinda sorta looks like handprints.
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