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Posts tagged with: raise

Holy Crap – ANOTHER Raise!?!?!

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Guys. I can’t even. Pinch me, because I don’t even believe it.

I got another raise!!!!

Well…..kinda.

You know how I work 2 jobs (a full-time one + a part-time one)? Well, I just got my contract in from my part-time job and something that has literally NEVER happened before occurred. Without even being notified/informed/asked, one of my classes was large enough that apparently they opened a second section. To be fair, this has happened once before, but I was asked about it ahead of time. I think this time it just slipped past because my boss is on maternity leave so either she approved it knowing I would say yes or someone else may have dropped the ball in asking (at this institution I teach the same 2 classes every semester and they are considered to be “mine” in ownership of intellectual property, materials, etc. So if a class is full, they ask me if they can add students. If there’s enough demand, they ask if I’d be willing to teach another section, etc.). Here’s the thing – I totally wasn’t even expecting it! I was caught completely off guard!

I immediately logged into my instructor dashboard to check the enrollment status and verify whether this could possibly be true. Yep. Section #1 is maxed out (30 students) and Section #2 currently has 20 students (max is 30, but 20 is still in the “safe” range. I only worry about sections being cancelled due to low enrollment if we’re down in the 10 or less number of students).

So here’s the good and the bad.

The good is that even though this is just a second section of one of my existing courses (meaning no additional prep and the courses are merged in the LMS so it’s really, truly like teaching one big class), I get paid like it’s an entirely new course!!! Yep! I was only getting paid for 2 classes previously and now I’m getting paid for 3!! AHHHH!!!

The bad news is that the class is writing intensive. So although there’s no additional prep-work and it’s easy in terms of the day-to-day stuff (e.g., emails, announcements, etc.), it’s going to be SIGNIFICANTLY more time invested in grading. Gah! What am I going to do?! I’m strapped as it is!

Thankfully, at my full-time job I’m only teaching 1 new class this semester (I teach 3 classes total, but 2 of the 3 are repeat courses, which are always easier than teaching a class for the first time). Hopefully given the 2 repeats, it won’t be too much work to keep up with.

So now I’m teaching 3 classes at my full-time + 3 classes at my part-time. 6 classes total in one semester. I know adjuncts who have had to teach more as a way to make ends meet, but for those not familiar with academia, that’s a boat load of classes in a single semester! Thankfully, 5 of the 6 are online classes. Another big sigh of relief, because there wouldn’t physically be enough hours in the day if I were needing to teach in-person, hold in-person office hours, etc.

But this is good news! I now have my contracts for BOTH of my jobs for the 2016-2017 academic year (at least kinda….my part-time job is semester-by-semester but I have a lengthy employment history with them at this point). PLUS, both of my contracts reflect a pay raise!!!

Time to get on with the house hunt! AHHHHH SO EXCITED!!!!!!!


Happy Friday!!!

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Happy Friday, friends!

Just peeking in quickly today with some fun news…I got a raise!!! Wahoo!!!

My university is implementing institution-wide raises for ALL benefits-eligible employees as a way to try to address the compression that our university experienced during all the rough recession years and increase salaries to be competitive with other large research-1 universities. The mandatory raise was announced a few months ago, but the minimum raise figure was only $500/year. My department head has been working with our business manager to try to figure out the raises internally for my department. $500 is the mandated minimum, but my boss wanted to provide raises for everyone of much more than that (anything over and above the $500 minimum was performance-based).

It took some time for them to work through the details, but I just received notification that I’ll actually be receiving a 3% raise – significantly higher than the minimum $500 that was required.

SO YAY!!!

The raise doesn’t go into effect until September and, spread across the entire year, a 3% raise doesn’t come out to too much more per paycheck (and, turns out, is a pretty average sized annual raise according to here and here). But even so, I’m excited. It’s great to have only been there for one year and already be recognized for my contributions, receiving a salary boost commensurate with my performance.

That’s it for now. Just had to give you guys the fun Friday morning news! I hope you have a great day!

Do you receive annual raises? What (%) does your typical raise look like?


Making That $$$

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Did everyone see Hope’s awesome post yesterday? Fingers crossed for her to get her choice between the two different jobs!

To piggy-back on the good news train, I’ve got some good news of my own!

Remember how I asked for a title change and a raise way-back-when? I first brought it up with my boss in early December, then had a meeting in January, and things kind of went stagnant (see last update here).

Well, we met yesterday and my best-case-scenario* happened!!!! (**kinda…see below).

For the time being I stopped pressing about a title change because I was more concerned with my actual salary right now (but the title change is still in the forefront of my mind. I’ll be working on that behind-the-scenes).

Remember that, last time, I mentioned one of my negotiation tactics was to frame my “raise” like it wasn’t a raise at all. Instead, I was simply asking for more time to work. Instead of a 9 month contract (which I’m currently on), I wanted the same exact rate of pay (no raise), but for the additional 3 months of the year. This is equivalent to a 33% raise in terms of annual salary, but it’s the same bi-weekly pay rate that I currently receive so it’s not a raise in the sense of an increased pay rate. Make sense?

The decision wasn’t solely up to my department head because funds had to come from another source on campus. In the end, what was decided is that I’ll get a short-term contract this summer. That means I’m still officially on a 9-month contract overall (so, next summer I’ll be “off” work with no obligation to work). But for this summer I’ll continue working and will receive my same exact rate of pay.

I’m thrilled with the results!

I was always a little bit torn because 12 month contract = significantly more money (literally 33% more on an annual basis!). But I also really love the academic 9-month schedule. I’d been looking forward to having summer off with my kiddos, etc. So I actually think this is a great compromise of sorts because it allows me to make extra money this year, without the requirement or expectation of working every summer going forward.

So 2016 is officially dubbed the year of “Making That $$$$$.” I’m a little shocked and blown away by exactly how much I’ll be making this year. Between my full-time job (and now the summer pay) + my part time job, I will be making over six figures on my own (not counting hubs’ income). This is absolutely insane to me given that, literally a year ago, I was making peanuts (false:  at the time I just had a part-time job, but I’m lucky in that my part-time job does pay very well. But you know what I mean. It’s nothing compared to my current salary).

This comes at such an opportune time, as we are not used to this level of income so we can continue living on significantly less and throw all this extra money toward debt and savings for a house.

I’m still having a bit of a “pinch me” moment. I mean, I figured they would pay me for the summer (as I said in my previous post…they really need me for some pressing and time sensitive work). But I honestly did NOT expect to get my full rate of pay. My current pay rate bumps me WAY above several of the tenured faculty members and it just blows my mind. I mean, I’ve literally only been in this position for a semester and a half. Mind-blown.

But I also don’t want to act like it’s all dumb luck. To some extent there was a “right place, right time” aspect. But this is also due to my hard work, experience, and trying to make myself invaluable. I’ve taken active measures to network across campus, meet the various powers-that-be (not just in my department, but elsewhere) and set myself up for success. Sometimes this has meant doing additional work outside of my job description just to build some good will and favor from others and (hopefully) position myself to eventually grab that title I want, too. All in good time.

For right now I’m very busy, but very happy. I’m lucky that I genuinely love what I do. It makes a world of difference, too, having my Dad safely settled in Texas. I don’t think I even realized at the time just what an impact the Dad-stuff had on my day-to-day stress level and functioning. We still have ongoing issues with that (e.g., we’ll be putting his house on the market within about a month or so, and that will be a BIG ordeal), but now that he’s closer to my siblings and able to be watched over and cared for, the stress has reduced dramatically.

So there you go. Hopefully good news all around in blog-land (I can’t wait to hear an update on Hope’s job situation, too!!!) I hope you readers are having great success in your careers, too! Tell me about it!

Any advice on job advancement or career opportunities? Any good book recommendations in this regard? How are things going in your career?

Edited to add:  I forgot to address vacation because someone had asked about that on my last post. Since I’m technically not on a 12- month contract (still just a 9-month contract + a short-term summer contract), there’s nothing like a 2-week vacation, etc. However, I do get vacation pay normally (as part of my 9-month contract) so that will still continue. Plus the beauty of my summer work is that it is 100% online. I still plan to be on campus here and there for meetings, to hold workshops, etc. But I should be able to do the majority of my work from home. We also aren’t planning to travel this summer. Since we have Cruise 2016 in April, we’ll be staying in town over summer. In lieu of any big summer travel plans, I’ve invited my family to come out and visit in June for the girls’ 4th birthday (can you believe it!? When I started blogging they were 18 months old!). We’ve never had a party for them before but are thinking of renting a pavilion at a park or something and having a proper party for them this year. Nothing crazy over-the-top, but at least acknowledging and celebrating them a bit with family and friends. Nothing set in stone yet, but that’s our thought/plan. And, of course….we’ll probably be looking for new homes around that time as well! Eeeek! Crazy year!!


7 Things To Do After Getting a Raise

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By Holly Tomlinson

If you’ve recently received a raise, or you’re planning on having the talk with the powers that be soon, congratulations. This is an exciting step in any professional career, and the money earned shouldn’t be regarded lightly.

Look at Your Budget

You’ll need to look back at your budget and do some spring cleaning of sorts. Assess your budget as it is now and determine where you could decrease unnecessary spending. Take a look at your credit card statements from the past few months and take note of any purchases that you could have done without. Once you’ve reviewed your budget, consider where you could put your raise funds and make the biggest practical difference. Be sure not to automatically spend your raise without deciding the best place in your budget is should go.

Emergency Savings Fund

If you don’t have an emergency savings fund, then now is the time to create one. I would recommend having a six-month cushion in case of job loss or emergency. The expenses your emergency savings fund should be able to cover are extensive; from rent, mortgages, and utilities to food expenses, even health care to transportation. There seems to be a never-ending list of items you’ll be responsible for even in the unlikely case you lose your job. Establish automatic transfers when receiving your paycheck; you won’t miss the extra money that automatically goes into your savings account, but you will be glad you have it when a rainy day inevitably comes.

Pay Off Pre-Existing Debt

If you have debt hanging over your head, use the extra funds you’ve been given to start paying off those accounts, focusing first on the ones that are charging high-interest rates. The sooner you get out of debt, the less you will pay over time in interest, and your credit score can start improving the second you settle your debts. Some choose to pay off accounts in the opposite manner; by knocking off smaller debts, your list of accounts gets smaller quicker and may make the debt seem less overwhelming. If your debt is serious, then your raise should definitely go towards paying back what you owe to get you out of hot water with the IRS. If you’re in need of financial advice how to settle outstanding balances with the IRS, use a company like CTax to figure out the best option for you.

Give Back

Now that you’ve been given more, make sure you give back if you have the extra funds available within your budget. Donating to charitable organizations makes you eligible for tax deductions and will relieve the negative effects of decreased deductions and credits that may have come with your change in pay grade.

Consider Retirement

Once you’ve determined how your raise can be factored into your daily and monthly expenses, give a glance to the future. Putting more money in your retirement fund means you’ll have higher retirement income and potentially be able to retire sooner than expected. Consider contributing to a Roth IRA. You’ll pay upfront taxes on your contributions, but once you pull it out, you can grab it tax-free. If your employer matches your 401k contributions, make sure you put more into when possible.

Make Strategic Purchases

Just because you now have more money, it doesn’t mean you should spend it on anything. Rather than hit the ground running by throwing your hard-earned income towards frivolous purchases, it’s imperative to think before you buy. Try to make purchases that will pay you back in the long run. Maybe it’s time to get a new energy efficient appliance that will pay for itself with the amount of energy it saves in the long run. As you look at purchases you want to make, prioritize those which have the potential to save you money in the long run.

What Not to Do

There are several things you shouldn’t do, at least not in the first few weeks and months of receiving your raise. Signing the lease on a more expensive apartment or home, funding a business venture, and loaning out money may seem doable once you’re making more money, but these expenditures can actually come back to bite you. Be responsible with your raise, and don’t spend more simply because you have more money coming into your account.


Everyday I’m Hustlin’

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First, a funny story…

When hubs and I first moved to Arizona he didn’t immediately have a job. He rustled up all kinds of side-gigs, though, including buying/selling stuff online (which can be quite lucrative if you’re good at it), working security at fraternity parties and clubs, doing random odd jobs that mostly included manual labor (e.g., wheel barrowing rocks from the front of a house to the back, laying flagstone, etc.). Early that first semester a new grad school friend asked what my hubs did and I told her, “He hustles!” Her eyes got all wide, “Really!?! Like…he sells drugs???” LOL!!! Apparently I’m not gangster enough to realize that “hustlin’” is a slang term for slinging drugs. I laughed and explained myself – “No, husband doesn’t sell drugs! He just does a ton of random things right now to earn an income!!!”

But I still like to think of the term (hustlin’) as referring to working your butt off to try to make money (through legal means, of course)!

So, all this to say…I’ve been trying to figure out some ways to hustle up some extra income for myself.

Initially I thought I might try to apply for other online teaching jobs. But after discovering how well paid I am compared to other online teaching institutions, I didn’t think it’d be a sound investment of my limited time. A better use would be to continue trying to beef up my research program, publish, and land a better long-term position (more on that discussion in this post).

But in the meantime…what could I hustle up?

Well, I’d love if I could do more work for my current online teaching university (since their compensation is more than fair). The problem is that I’ve been trying to get extra classes from them for over a year at this point and every time I’ve been granted an extra section, it’s been canceled due to low enrollment. I haven’t been able to get new classes altogether because the instructors have been hanging onto their classes (no surprise since everywhere else pays peanuts in comparison).

So I emailed my boss today with a novel idea.

“Hey – what if I developed an entirely new course for the department? I have a great idea for one that I honestly think would be a valuable asset to the program and, as luck would have it, it just happens to be my own area of expertise! wink, wink!”

(Side note: obviously my tone was more professional, but that’s the gist)

Annnnnd, I received a pretty prompt reply:

“As for your question about a [redacted] class – you are correct, no such course exists in our curriculum. The idea of developing one is outside of my direct control – as it would need to be something the department deemed appropriate and worthwhile. That said, I know they are always considering additions to the curriculum as appropriate and possible. Let me float the idea around the department and see if this is something they’d be interested it. It may be that developing it for [online dissemination] would be a nice way to make it available to students across our campuses. Let me think on this and get back to you.”

YEAH, BABY!!!

I mean, let’s not get all excited and count our chickens before the eggs have hatched! But I would just LOVE if I had the opportunity to create this class. Not only is it an area I’m passionate about, but then I’d be able to add a 3rd class to my online teaching portfolio! Hello extra money, get in my bank account (False. You won’t be in my account long enough because you’ll be busy paying down my debts). You get the point.

So there you have it. Just putting out feelers, planting seeds of ideas, and trying to hustle up a little extra cash. Now, let me get back to grading. I have exactly one week between Spring and Summer sessions and I plan to use my entire 3 preschool days being CRAZY PRODUCTIVE with research. If I say it, it will happen. And all that good stuff. ; )

Hope you’re kicking butt at work lately!


A little good news

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I feel like lately I’m all “fight, grind, repeat.” (quote credit: Bobby Bones).

Sure I’ve had some times out last month, but to be 100% honest and open, they aren’t events I would have chosen to group together into a single month for spending purposes. In choosing how to spend that money I would have preferred, for instance, a date night out with the hubs.

And in spite of these times out, I have maintained a pretty steadfast focus on chipping away at my debt. Slow and steady, slow and steady, slow and steady. It’s like a mantra that keeps playing in my head.

It was so much easier last year when our income started to sky rocket during the summer. We had two months where we actually made over $10,000 in a single month! That’s more money than we’ve ever made in our lives and it felt so great to be able to throw it at debt and completely eradicate our $10,000 worth of credit card debt in just a few short months! Living the dream, friends! (side note: I just re-read the post where I wrote about making that final credit card payment. Put a smile on my face just re-living my little dorky celebration dance! 😉)

So this year’s tax bill has certainly made me feel a little “blah” about the summer. That, coupled with the fact that our income has most certainly not gone up so far this summer…at least not to the extent that it had last year at this time.

But then today I got a piece of good news that puts me in a more positive head-space.

I got an email from my boss at the teaching university. The department has decided to do something a little unusual. One of my classes is completely full and they’ve received a lot of requests from students wanting to add it. There’s not enough interest for a full second class (classes are capped at 30 students), but they’ve decided to do a half-section (capped at 15). My boss asked if I’d like to take it on. Since it’s half the students (and, therefore, half the grading), it will be half the pay of the 30-person class. But, again, it’s a class I’m already teaching (just a second mini-section of it), so it’s incredibly easy for me, as it’s already completely prepped and ready to go. OF COURSE I jumped at the chance for some extra cash this summer! I feel so grateful that this extra money is coming at a time that we need it more than ever (with the IRS breathing down our necks). So, I’m not sure this will really translate into a big boost in income with the figures I report on the blog (since I’m taking out tax debt off the top instead of including the debt in my monthly debt update), but it will certainly provide a nice buffer to pay off that debt and still be left with a nice, solid income over the summer months. Thank goodness!

Nothing like a little good news on a Monday! ; )

Have you had any good news today (or lately)? Share!


This Doesn’t Happen In Real Life!

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I have been having a particularly stressful day. Lots of “blah” stuff not worth going into.

And I open my email and see THIS in my inbox:

 

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Can I just reiterate how much I love working with “University A” (teaching based job)!!! Not only are they saying that I’m getting a raise (totally unheard of for adjunct faculty! Who’s even heard of this?!?), but they are retroactively dating it so that, even though I’ve already signed a contract agreement for the semester, they’re going to go ahead and start the raise effective immediately!!

I teach two classes, so this is a raise of $1,000 for the semester (approximately an extra $250/month). Not too shabby! If I continue teaching at a rate of 2 classes per semester (3 semesters: Fall, Summer, Spring), then this equates to an extra $3,000 per year. I’ll take it! : )

I needed this little ray of sunshine today!

Hope you’re all having a good Tuesday!

Seriously, though (I know many readers are in academia) – has anyone even heard of raises being given to adjuncts??? I’ve been teaching for 7 years (4 different institutions) and never once received a raise! This does not happen!!


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