:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: employment

Making That $$$


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!!

Coffee Date #2


As a reminder, this post style (the coffee date concept) was an idea I borrowed from the Fitnessista (with her knowledge and permission). If you’re into fitness, check out her blog. She offers tons of FREE workout guides, videos, healthy recipes, and more. See my last coffee date post here


If we were having coffee right now….

  • I’d tell you all about the drama in mine and hubs’ families right now. There’s been a LOT. Hospitalization, rehabilitation (not the drug kind, the physical/health kind), threats of lawsuits, and icky job-related stuff. Nothing that directly impacts me or hubs and (knock on wood) things are going well with us, but these issues have been in the forefront of our minds as we’ve been having LOTS of phone calls home recently to discuss various issues.
  • I’d invite you and the kiddos to the zoo with us! We’ve been making great use of our family pass, going once a week for the past several weeks. The girls’ favorite thing is to see the gibbons swinging around (and they now know the difference between a gibbon, monkey, and gorilla). A close second is seeing the peacocks (since they wander freely the girls always try to chase them), and feeding the giraffes! It’s so fun to talk later all about what we saw and did.


Intently watching the gibbons!

  • Speaking of doing stuff with the kids, I’d probably try to convince you to go camping with us in April! The town where we live hosts a big family camping night once per year and I really want to go this time. It’s super cheap ($5 for a family of 4), and the town does a big-screen movie in the park, has a huge bonfire, does tent decorating prizes, has a storyteller, offers crafts, and lots more (all for just the $5 admission). Hubs and I used to be big campers pre-babies but haven’t gone a single time since the girls were born. This would be our first family camping experience and I think it sounds like a lot of fun.
  • I’d have to tell you that I didn’t get the job I recently interviewed for. They haven’t sent an official rejection, but I was told the decision would be made the first week of February. Seeing as its now the last week of February…I think its safe to say I didn’t get it. It’s a big bummer, but not the end of the world.
  • Speaking of jobs, I’d tell you about my current employment situation. I’ve hinted at it before, but things went a little downhill with “University B” (the research job) at the end of last year. I got my last paychecks in January and haven’t worked for them since. Things with “University A” (where I teach online) are still going well, though I’ve had some frustrating class experiences. The past 2 semesters in a row I’ve had a class cancelled due to low enrollment. That’s not my employers’ fault, but its super frustrating when I’m expecting “X” number of dollars from 3 classes, but then get downgraded to only 2 classes. Next semester I’m going to insist/beg/plead/whatever it takes to move up to 3 classes (even if it means changing up the classes I usually teach). I really do get paid very well from them (like…. literally twice as much as the local community college pays), but I need a third class to boost my income a little after my loss-of-income from University B.

If we were having coffee right now we’d probably be chasing the kids around the park and trying to keep them from hurting themselves. It’d be a coffee date and playdate rolled into one. I’d thank you for meeting me and hanging out on such a beautiful day (sorry to those of you in cold places….it’s been in the mid-70s in Tucson). We should do this again soon!

If we were having a coffee date, what would you tell me?

PS: What do you think about the stock photo (of the coffee cup)? Trying to decide if I want to start sprinkling in additional photos to my posts. I’m a TERRIBLE photographer, so my own iphone-quality photos have been few and far between. But there are lots of free photos available through various websites that I can use (for free, duh!), but not sure if it would seem cheesy or if you guys like the pics to break up the text? Tell me what you think!

Pay Cuts….Again


I thought it was about time for an update on my employment situation.

As a brief reminder, I work predominantly for 2 separate universities. I do online teaching for University A and research for University B. (For more detailed information, see these posts where I have written more in depth about my employment situation: first employment post, employment update post)

Anyway, I reported recently that University B was changing their payment structure. Instead of paying hourly, they decided to pay per project completion. This translated to a bit of a pay cut for me (given the number of hours worked per project, and averaging out the new flat rate). An update to this is that I’ve been able to recoup some of the loss of income….by working more. Isn’t this the way life works? Lol. So far my monthly income from University B is holding steady, but that’s simply because I’m completing more projects each month. I have figured out a way to try to streamline the process so it hasn’t taken me quite as many hours per project as it did before, but overall it still averages out to less per hour than what I was previously making. At least the net take-home pay is the same.

So what about University A? I’ve been pretty open and honest about how much I love working with University A. They have been an absolute dream to work with and I really feel so, truly fortunate to have the relationship that we have. Much of this is due to the fact that my boss is actually an old graduate school colleague of mine. This person is an incredible boss and I am so proud of how well she has climbed the academic ladder at such a young age and has really blossomed in her position. All this being said, sometimes things don’t go as expected with online courses. One of these dilemmas is low course enrollment. I was expecting that this Fall semester I’d be getting to teach a third class, effectively raising my pay by 33% (I’ve previously been teaching 2 classes per semester/summer session)!!! But I just received the unfortunate email that enrollment was too low to justify continuing with the third course and it would have to be cancelled. So back to only two classes. Also, the pay structure is hugely different between Summer and Fall semesters. In the summer I received my pay in two separate lump sums, so they were relatively large payments. I mentioned that this meant I would not be receiving a paycheck in August because the dispersements were in June and July (even though the classes extended until mid-August). The Fall payments are dispersed in four equal payments (September through December), so even though the pay per class is the same, the classes are more spaced out and the pay is, similarly, spaced out. So its going to look like my pay has really declined over the next few months simply due to the schedule of payments (and having one less class than I’d expected).

So our summer heyday of awesome pay may be coming to a close. I don’t think this is going to drastically change our overall income (since I only give you guys the combined figure of my income + husband’s income), but instead of consistently breaking the $10,000 mark, we may be coming in closer to the $8,000ish range. Only time will tell. Husband has been busy working out-of-control hours so his pay may make-up for some of my lower paychecks.

Anywho, just wanted to give an update on the employment situation.

Also, for any curious – I still haven’t heard anything about the job I recently interviewed for. This past Monday I sent an email to follow-up (basically, “I just wanted to see if/when hiring decisions would be made”). I heard back immediately (less than 5 minutes) that decisions would be made that week. Well…the week is over and still no word. I’m really pretty bummed, particularly since the job sounded like such a great fit and the interview had been so great! I’m assuming this means I’m on the “B-list.” Like, they made an offer to the first round draft pick and are keeping me on the sidelines in case that person turns it down, so they will then offer it to me. Does this make sense? Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on that but I don’t think its a great sign that I still haven’t heard anything yet. Booo!!!!

Hope you have a great Monday!


Ashley’s Employment Situation


First, I’ve got to express my internal struggle….

I have SO MUCH I want to share with you guys. I feel like the better idea you have of my life/work/financial/debt situation, the better equipped you will be to render advice, suggestions, and just provide comments and/or support. But I also don’t want to overwhelm you with ALL of this information at once!

So, bear with me. I have planned a mix of “content-heavy” posts (where you learn more about my financial situation), and “content-light” posts (where you can celebrate some of my successes – like paying off my Capital One CC today!!!! – or get an inside peak at things I’ve been doing to save money!)

Right now, let’s talk my job status.


If you recall, I graduated in August 2013 and have been unable to find full-time employment since then. My “dream job” is to be a professor, but in lieu of full-time employment, I have been working part-time jobs in the meantime.

Currently, I work on a contract-basis (meaning, not an official “employee”, not eligible for health care, no job security) for multiple employers. My work is 100% online and gives me the flexibility to work how I want, when I want, and where I want (I choose to work in my yoga pants at home) ; )

My work is still in the area where I got my degree (teaching online and doing research). In addition to my paid work, I also work unpaid in a couple realms. First and foremost, I’m a Mom. My girls are currently in daycare 3 days a week, but I’m planning to talk to our provider about reducing to 2 days a week to save money. Either way, being a Mom is full-time and certainly requires a great deal of my time and attention. My other unpaid work (discussed below) I see as an investment in myself.

Soooo, I’m in a bit of a precarious situation currently. I have had advisers tell me that I can “free float” for one year, but if I haven’t found a job in that time I’ll basically be considered unhireable (have I mentioned the stiff competition in my field?) So to try to keep my hat in the ring, I have continued working on various projects with colleagues from my alma mater. These are 100% unpaid and do require a fair amount of time (trips to campus for meetings and to use specialized software I don’t have at home). Right now, my commitment is predominantly one of time, as my costs aren’t too significant (e.g., cost of daycare when I go to campus, nominal costs of gasoline and parking on campus). However, staying active in academia can boost my resume (we call it a “CV”) and help make me a more attractive candidate, so I see this as an absolutely imperative venture at this point (money and time be damned).

I plan to give the job-search my “all” for another full year. Remember, most positions hire in Nov-Jan for the following August, so my plan is to continue being active and applying for positions until August of 2015 (side note – There is still a tiny chance I could get hired this year…there are 2 schools left that I applied with who have not yet made hiring decisions). If by August 2015 I come up empty handed, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that could potentially be quite lucrative. I hesitate to discuss it further at this time (on the off-chance that a potential future employer stumbles across this blog, I don’t want to disclose this information). If we get to that point, I’ll be happy to open up with you at that time. But currently, I’m committed to pursuing my dream job and giving it whatever time investment is required.

So, even though my work is “part-time”, it really feels like I’m working all the time because I’ve always got some kind of project going on and some kind of deadlines on the horizon. I don’t make a ton (the majority of our household income comes from my husband), but I make a pretty decent wage considering my paid employment is only a part-time, online gig. I feel very fortunate to have it so I am able to be home with my girls the majority of the time, particularly while they are very young (they’ll be 2 in a few months!)

A couple take-home points I’d like to make regarding my paid employment, in case anyone else is in a similar situation or could benefit from the advice:

  1. Network, network, network. Even if you don’t network, make sure you never burn any bridges with the people you meet.
  2. Let people see your work ethic, but also let them see that you’re “human.” No one wants to work with a machine.
  3. Be open to outside-the-box opportunities.

I never sought out my part-time employment situations, they all just fell into my lap. This was 100% because these people (former colleagues) knew my work and my personality and, even after moving on to other universities, they knew they could “count on me” on various projects, that I am personable and easy to work with, and that I am task-oriented and will work to complete projects in a timely manner. Never did I ever think I would be here – working at home, online, sitting in my PJ pants and wrangling twin toddlers. And of course I want the coveted professor position. But you know what? My employment situation is actually pretty awesome! I consider myself lucky, for sure!

As a random aside, I also have a few tricks up my sleeve to increase my income even currently….but those will be shared at another time.

Guess I’ll Save Money On Botox…


In my business dealings, I’m used to getting comments about my age.

‘Beks won’t understand this reference, she’s too young’


‘You are doing this project all by yourself?’

I feel like saying, ‘Yes, and those crazy folks at the DMV let me drive without parental supervision too!’

I keep my mouth shut, work hard, and let them re-evaluate their opinions based on my performance.

Today, someone fairly high up made a comment about ‘kids born in the 90’s like Beks’ and I thought I’d cough up a lung.

I’m all about looking young. I’ve thought about Botox as ‘preventative maintenance’ for crows feet. But now I’m worried I won’t get taken seriously without a few wrinkles.

I know. Complaining about not having enough wrinkles seems silly, but it gets old having to prove myself over and over again.


I’ve learned to work harder than I should have to work and maybe that has made me a better employee. Maybe prejudices have pushed me to push myself to prove folks wrong.

Guess I’ll skip the Botox for now… but if I’m feeling lazy, I guess I could always spend more time in the sun and damage my skin.

What’s Going On At Work?




I was promised my salary would be adjusted by the end of the year but here we are three weeks into January and I haven’t seen anything.

Sure, it’d be no big deal if I hadn’t already started the work, but I have. I thought I knew better to agree to higher work responsibility without compensation, but I fell for the line, ‘We promise a new salary later.’

‘Later’ never came.

I’ve addressed the issue with the powers that be, and all I keep hearing is ‘soon’.

Somehow I went from having all the cards to having none.

Has Anyone Seen My Husband?


About two months ago, hubby and I agreed he would only work three nights during the week and one weekend day doing side work. The other two nights and other weekend day, I would work from home on my side work while he ‘relaxed’ and watched the baby.

Over the last month, he’s been gone every night since folks wanted to get that ‘one last thing’ ready for the holidays. Right now, he’s installing lighting in a kitchen and since the homeowners can’t use the kitchen while he’s working on it, he’s been over there every night.

I’ve been doing my side work from home while our kidlet keeps himself entertained with toys our neighbor gave him – I’m SO thankful to have a happy, mellow baby – but I work slower than usual since I have to juggle feeding and rocking him while typing. We are tired – definitely hubby more than me (poor guy!) – but all this extra work makes a huge difference. We were forced to rely on our guestimated tax refund to pay off the rest of our debt but now it looks like we may have enough to put us on our way toward saving a larger emergency fund.

I just keep telling myself, it won’t be like this forever. We won’t always be this tired and we won’t always be blessed with this much work. Yes, I see all this work as a blessing – especially in this economy.

Two more months.