I started a new full-time job in February of this year. Before this, I had stopped working full time 16 years ago when I was laid off during my first pregnancy. I decided to stay home and raise my kids.
Before staying home with my kids, I had worked several years in a management capacity. I have a Master’s degree, as well. And during the time I was home with my kids I wrote a couple of books, wrote several blogs, started a small business where I sold my products at events, ran an Amazon shop – basically I worked for myself, kept my skills fresh, and remained relevant. I also worked part time at a school.
Yet despite my very full resume, I had difficulty finding full time work after the 16- year hiatus.
Eventually I had to take a position with the only company that offered me a job despite the red flags during the interview and extremely low pay. (I am recently divorced and just bought a new house.) What were the red flags? Well, during the interview I was told by the manager that she hated Millenials and it worked in my benefit that I was older, and that I would be replacing a person who didn’t know she was going to be fired. Also, they would only take me on as an hourly employee and wouldn’t give me a salary until after my first 90 days. Also, they were working on the employee handbook, so they couldn’t tell me about benefits or PTO until it was completed.
Still, I accepted the job. And they were (and still are) very happy with me. Yet, the red flags persist. Here are just a few:
• The company is very small consisting of the owner, a manager, and 3 employees. Since I’ve worked there 2 people have been fired for the same position (Millenials, btw.) After the second firing I’ve been given the responsibilities of that position along with my own.
• After only two weeks of working at the company, management announced that paid lunch was no longer a thing and that we were expected to work an extra ½ hour a day.
• When the employee handbook eventually came out, the PTO was pathetic and I probably wouldn’t have accepted the job if I knew how miserable the benefits were.
• We aren’t allowed to use our phones (I’m a single mom and have two teenagers who need to be able to get in touch with me), we have to ask for permission to make personal calls, and I’ve been spoken to about the appropriate times to take bathroom breaks.
• Even though I was given a salary after 3 months, I haven’t been given my review because we were working from home during COVID and the owner wanted to push it back another three months. And since I’ve been given a salary, I’m now expected to work late.
• The owner is never there despite being an integral part of the team – he is solely responsible for sales and no projects can move forward without his approval. Yet he comes in 2 times a week and makes no bones about the fact that he’s at the beach or out with his friends/family. In the meantime, I have only gotten one paid day off in 6 months and will only accrue 3 more before the end of the year. Next year I’ll only get 5 vacation days.
• The owner only employs women it seems, and he calls us “the girls.” (I’m older than him.) He has cameras everywhere in the office and can watch what we are doing even from home.
I really could go on, but I’ll get to the point: Is it too soon to start looking for a new job? I’ve only been there since February and this is my first full time gig in a long time. I feel that I experienced age discrimination when I was looking before I got this job, but I also don’t feel I should just settle on this position because it’s “as good as it gets.” I know I have a lot to offer, but should I hold my nose and stay until I hit the one-year mark?
I look forward to any insight you can give me.
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Hi All - I wanted to share about a substack I'm writing called Memoirs of a Working Girl.
Personal work and life ruminations, critiques, and commentary.
I wanted to share in case anyone was looking for a fun read:
*please let me know if such a post is not allowed
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I struggle with some challenges in self-worth based on others perceptions. While i'm working on it - it will be a lifelong challenge.
I was hoping for some insight. I started at an organization that it didn't take long to see that it was a toxic work environment. I was seen as a threat by the sales team, and for the five years I was there, I had my ideas stolen, I was challenged at every turn, thrown under the bus and bullied. But let me say - I wasn't alone. They didn't treat anyone in the organization with respect, and unfortunatley upper management failed to address it.
Anyway - I brought in millions of dollars, and the ownership knew that, even though the sales team did all they could to sabotage the data within the CRM - again, management failed to address it. Fast forward, the company is sold. The new company has its own Marketing in another country, and the new leader has NO idea about marketing or how it works. Even though the prior owner told them Marketing was the secret sauce to their success.
I'm out of a job because the new leader was given incorrect data and not all of the data and she didn't feel it was worth it to keep me around. Never once did she ask for my insight, my thoughts on how to get the new brand off and running. She didn't want to hear anything from me. Mind you I had been given free reign to do what I needed to do after submission of my marketing strategy, planning and budget was approved for the year - the new owner micromanged me to death. But again, I wasn't the only one.
In the six months she had me stop doing what I was doing, sales rapidly declined. In the months following my departure it increased, and she didn't understand why it was so slow I was told. Its been almost a year and there is no newly branded website, the sales team doesn't have business cards, no marketing AT ALL has been done. She did hire a contractor that used to work for me back on a project basis to help refresh the website (basically do what I told her she should do), but the cost is minimal.
Why do I feel so rejected that I was the ONLY one to be let go. After all the abuse I had taken and the success I created, despite being loved by everyone else except the sales team, i'm the only one without a job.
If I look back, I can see where she was setting me up to be let go. So I was on the cutting block since day one.
I have to wonder is it this leaders ignorance, or did the sales team have me ousted and she believe them? The biggest scam artist got promoted. I would think maybe she had influence, but it turns out she's being micromanaged way beyond what I was. The new leader is basically telling everyone how to jump, when to jump and how high. If you don't wait for her direction, there will be hell to pay.
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I have been interviewing since April.
I am working but I am making about $15,000 less then I was.
I have been over-qualified for positions but I am not getting hired.
Now, not sure if it is my age, I am 60 but look 50. Truly do!! Been blessed.
I think I blow it in the interview. I get very nervous for some reason. I don't know what I am doing wrong! You would think after all the interviews I would feel comfortable or used to them.
Does anyone have any hints for interviewing? All of mine have been over Zoom or Teams. Thank you!
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I made a small error at work.
No harm was done. I placed a message that a patient needed blood work on the wrong chart. This was questioned by my manager. Upon reviewing the chart, I realized my error and the patient never had the blood work done.
I am concerned this could become a written warning. If it is a written warning I plan to request it be a teachable moment instead of a warning since no harm was done. Any other advice on how to handle this?
My manager who spoke to me about this issue has made two huge mistakes that I am aware of. If this becomes a written warning should I question if her errors were also written warnings?
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Can I even negotiate pay at this point?
I entered into an interview process after knowing their comp range which was below what I desired. When they asked if the salary range would work for me, I said it was below my desired range but am interested in learning more. I thought perhaps learning the total comp package would make it better but it didn't. For reference, this is a very large private university, not a small business. After learning more about the role, it's clear that the responsibilities are way higher than the title calls for (I'm very confident of this). This role title would be a "step down" for me but the responsibilities match, or perhaps exceed, my current role.
It's a new role they created and frankly, I'm not sure they know exactly what they want/need. I honestly don't know how many folks would do that job with those responsibilities for that price. It seems like an easy "PASS" and move on but I met the whole team and they are so wonderful.
Here I am at the job offer; can I even negotiate a higher salary considering they told me salary is $XYZ - $XYZ? If so... how? What the heck do I say? This people-pleasing gal is stumped.
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I am on my way into maternity leave (29 weeks) and don't want to return to my job. I want to start a new job after my leave. How common is this? Does anyone else have any experience with this?