Author Topic: How to handle employment situation  (Read 1801 times)

asrta2008

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How to handle employment situation
« on: March 12, 2019, 12:29:30 PM »
Hi all. First time poster here after finding this forum a few weeks ago. I am looking for advise on what to do about my current employment situation, as it has recently become complicated. Warning: it's also a bit of a rant. Sorry.

I have worked at Company A for 2.5 years. I've been really happy with it because, while it doesn't offer any benefits, I get an okay salary ($40k) and flexible schedule with a normally very easy going boss. I was originally hired for light bookkeeping and mainly admin type work but since it is a small company I have taken on more work and wear many hats now. I now am handling all aspects of the accounting and administration as well as estimating and sending quotes for new contracts. This is a full time workload in itself. I do get a 5% commission on certain contracts but it is small amounts (totaling $2600 pre-tax) over the 2 years. Otherwise, I have never asked for a raise in these 2.5 years.

Recently, my boss and his business partners opened Company B (restaurant), which is not even the same industry as Company A (construction) and have added bookkeeping for that company into my current workload. Now starts the time where I went many weeks staying late at least 4 days a week to keep up with the new work load. I ask for a raise. Boss begrudgingly says he'll bump my salary to $45k. I say that is not enough and negotiated up to $50k. I'm still not happy with that considering I am doing 2 jobs for the price of 1 but I left it alone because it was better than nothing. Flash forward to a few weeks later, my boss asks if he can cut my pay back down because one of his partners found out another restaurant pays their accounting person much less. I later find out that the other person only comes in once a week to do invoices and payroll, nothing else. I spend a lot of time on a daily basis in financial meetings going over sales reports, labor, supplies, and employee issues, as well as handling all taxes, invoices, receipts, payroll, and HR AND I have to drive back and forth from Company A to Company B on my own fuel. I point this out to my boss and he agrees to keep my raise as-is.

Fast forward again, a couple weeks later my boss says that since I kept my raise he wants me to help out more with Company B by handling the inventory. This will add several hours a week on to my already top heavy work load and will require me to travel between the companies much more often. The bosses are all super stressed about running 2 companies and it makes for a miserable workplace now. On top of that, neither company is doing well so some weeks I am concerned if I will even get paid at all. I live paycheck to paycheck at the moment and cannot afford to not get paid even just for one week. I'm at my breaking point. I no longer enjoy working in this high stress - low pay environment. Knowing the state accounts of both companies, I don't think he can afford to give me much more of a raise, nor do I think he would even if he could (even though he and his partner just gave themselves large raises- but that's whole other issue). Another manager let me know they cut his pay as well.


So my question is: Am I wrong for thinking I am way underpaid for this workload? Research on craigslist, monster, and indeed shows that local salaries for bookkeepers are $45-65k and estimators are $50-75k. I talked to an old accounting manager at a previous employment who managed multiple companies and she was making 6 digits doing only accounting. Going on the low end of these ranges because I am young and could use more experience, I would be at $95k for the combine roles of accounting and estimating.

Knowing this information, what would you do in my situation? My gut instinct is obviously to leave and find something better paying. I'd even be happy at the same pay and less stress but since I have no savings, I have to find another job before I can quit. This will be hard to do considering its hard to get away from the office at a decent time these days. Or should I try to ride it out to see if things will get better? Although, I seriously doubt I will get any more money out of this position, only more work.


Dogastrophe

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 12:50:56 PM »
Barring any background info not mentioned, they are nickle and dimeing you with the belief that you will just live with it.  This will continue because they do not value what you are doing for them and are oblivious to what it actually takes to do your job well.

My advise, go on a stealth job search, get new job, then give your notice.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 12:56:53 PM by Dogastrophe »

TexasRunner

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 12:54:41 PM »
Barring any background info not mentioned, they are nickle and dimeing you with the belief that you will just live with it.  This will continue because they do not value what you are doing for them and are oblivious to what it actually takes to do your job well.

My advise, go on a stealth job search, get new job, then give your notice.
Modify message

Exactly this.  They will continue to pile on until you break.  Then you'll quit or be fired without another plan.

These people obviously do not have your best interests in mind.  Stick to your guns on 50k, no additional workload, and be working on a way out.

asrta2008

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 01:15:17 PM »
Thank you for the replies!

I've done research and seen what other jobs were out there, but I have not started applying to anything. How do you handle scheduling interviews when you already work full time? Do you take days off? Or do you let interviewer know you work and try to meet them outside of work hours? I have been very fortunate that both of the jobs I've had in my adult life I have been approached by management directly. I did not apply to them, they just kind of fell on me through friend of friend connections. My first non-retail job was offered to me by a neighbor because they needed admin help. I worked my way up through various roles with that company for nearly 5 years before being approached by my current boss. While this makes me feel I have a great network and reputation that could easily get me a new job quickly, I have no experience with actually interviewing while also currently working.

SunnyDays

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 01:15:39 PM »
Put the extra money you're making away to give yourself some breathing room, cut your expenses down to the bone, and start looking for another job.  You can't keep up this pace for long; you'll end up burning out.  Tell them that and ask who they think they will take on your responsibilities for  your current salary if you leave?  Then simply refuse more work.  If they fire you, you would probably qualify for some type of unemployment insurance, or at the worst, welfare, which will at least give to time to find something else.  NEVER indicate that you NEED this job.

Dave1442397

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 01:19:09 PM »
Yeah, start looking. If they are on financially shaky ground now, it could take years to get into the black again, if they ever manage it.

As my wife says "Not your circus, not your monkeys".

Sibley

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 01:30:11 PM »
You've got skills. Start looking for a new job. Doesn't hurt to look, you can always turn down an offer.

Dogastrophe

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 01:30:49 PM »
As my wife says "Not your circus, not your monkeys".

Love this quote - consider it stolen! 

asrta2008

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2019, 01:30:58 PM »
Put the extra money you're making away to give yourself some breathing room, cut your expenses down to the bone, and start looking for another job.  You can't keep up this pace for long; you'll end up burning out.  Tell them that and ask who they think they will take on your responsibilities for  your current salary if you leave?  Then simply refuse more work.  If they fire you, you would probably qualify for some type of unemployment insurance, or at the worst, welfare, which will at least give to time to find something else.  NEVER indicate that you NEED this job.

The one good (or possibly bad) thing about this is that they are terrified of paying unemployment, so it is highly unlikely that they will ever fire me. I guess could use this to my advantage if I need to take time off while job searching.

asrta2008

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 01:34:48 PM »
You've got skills. Start looking for a new job. Doesn't hurt to look, you can always turn down an offer.

Yes, I'll need to touch up my resume and start looking. I unfortunately turned down a great job offer an old boss approached me with last year only because the schedule didn't allow for as much flexibility. I now wish I had accepted. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Dogastrophe

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 01:35:17 PM »
Thank you for the replies!

I've done research and seen what other jobs were out there, but I have not started applying to anything. How do you handle scheduling interviews when you already work full time? Do you take days off? Or do you let interviewer know you work and try to meet them outside of work hours? I have been very fortunate that both of the jobs I've had in my adult life I have been approached by management directly. I did not apply to them, they just kind of fell on me through friend of friend connections. My first non-retail job was offered to me by a neighbor because they needed admin help. I worked my way up through various roles with that company for nearly 5 years before being approached by my current boss. While this makes me feel I have a great network and reputation that could easily get me a new job quickly, I have no experience with actually interviewing while also currently working.

If I think the interview will take up a good chunk of time I will book off 1/2 day otherwise I say that I have an appointment.  I have also met with prospective employers in the early evening. 

If you are comfortable that word won't get back to your current employer, use your network.  Let a couple of people know that you are considering a change and if they know of anyone looking for your skill set.

leavesofgrass

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 01:35:46 PM »
How do you handle scheduling interviews when you already work full time? Do you take days off? Or do you let interviewer know you work and try to meet them outside of work hours?

Definitely look for a new job. Like others have said, they don't value you.

I find it's best to schedule interviews either as early in the morning or as late in the afternoon as possible. You could tell your current job you have a personal appointment (doctor/car maintenance/whatever - you may not even need to specify necessarily) and that you'll need to come in late or will have to leave early.

Interviewers usually understand that the interviewee may already have a full time job, so it's acceptable to request an interview time that works for both of you. Hopefully they will be flexible.

sailinlight

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 01:40:06 PM »
It sounds like you are paid a straight salary and often work overtime. From your description of your job, it seems that you are not an exempt employee. I would either stop working for more hours than you are paid for or demand that you're given overtime for extra work. A subtle hint to your boss that you were doing research and found out that the company can get into a lot of trouble for mis-characterizing your employment status could be fruitful.

use2betrix

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 01:42:57 PM »
I'm still not happy with that considering I am doing 2 jobs for the price of 1 but I left it alone because it was better than nothing.

Half the problem here is your mindset. No, you are not doing 2 jobs for the price of 1, unless you went from 40 hours/week to 80 hours/week.

At a minimum, your pay should be increased to reflect your added hours. If you’re going from 40 to 45 hours, it should be reflected accordingly. You didn’t give exact numbers for hours, but that is how I would negotiate at a bare minimum. You can also negotiate for the extra value you are adding. That being said, for example, if your workload doubled, but you only went from 40 hours/week to 50 hours/week, it will raise questions as to what exactly you were doing during your down time previously? Did it impact the quality of your existing work that you are now unable to perform the work sufficiently due to the added work load?

Not trying to be so negative here, but last year I worked 72/84 hr work weeks for 6 months straight. I was hourly so that was ok. I started a new job last year and I’m working 50 hrs a week. Technically, I’m working “4” positions in terms of title, which they have since hired 2 people to replace half of the tasks I was doing. I was not “actually” working 4 positions, I was working 25% of 4 different positions.. Big difference.


My final suggestion would be to attempt to switch to hourly if you are indeed working extra hours. Let them know that if they want you to adequately perform more job duties that will require extended hours, you believe you should be compensated fairly on an hourly basis.

honeybbq

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2019, 02:05:15 PM »
As my wife says "Not your circus, not your monkeys".

Love this quote - consider it stolen!

I always say "Not my monkeys, not my zoo."

robartsd

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 02:08:39 PM »
So my question is: Am I wrong for thinking I am way underpaid for this workload? Research on craigslist, monster, and indeed shows that local salaries for bookkeepers are $45-65k and estimators are $50-75k. I talked to an old accounting manager at a previous employment who managed multiple companies and she was making 6 digits doing only accounting. Going on the low end of these ranges because I am young and could use more experience, I would be at $95k for the combine roles of accounting and estimating.
Yes you are being underappreciated/paid! I think 95k is high for what you're doing for the construction company (you aren't doing two full-time jobs, you're doing both jobs part-time). I'd title what you're doing for construction company as office manager, which might be worth $65-75k (you probably have enough knowledge of the business to know if it can afford an office manager at this rate). As this work is already full-time; the restaurant work is overtime - they really should hire someone else to do this work or compensate you at a premium for the overload. Employment laws require paying 1.5 times regular rate after 40 hours - which works out to about $50/hour near the bottom of the office manager range; thus it makes sense for them to hire someone else to do this work at $25-30/hr.

You have to decide what you want and demand it or they'll keep doing what they're doing (with the knowledge that they might be dumb enough to let you go - so have a contingency plan ready).

asrta2008

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 02:53:45 PM »
I'm still not happy with that considering I am doing 2 jobs for the price of 1 but I left it alone because it was better than nothing.

Half the problem here is your mindset. No, you are not doing 2 jobs for the price of 1, unless you went from 40 hours/week to 80 hours/week.

At a minimum, your pay should be increased to reflect your added hours. If you’re going from 40 to 45 hours, it should be reflected accordingly. You didn’t give exact numbers for hours, but that is how I would negotiate at a bare minimum. You can also negotiate for the extra value you are adding. That being said, for example, if your workload doubled, but you only went from 40 hours/week to 50 hours/week, it will raise questions as to what exactly you were doing during your down time previously? Did it impact the quality of your existing work that you are now unable to perform the work sufficiently due to the added work load?

Not trying to be so negative here, but last year I worked 72/84 hr work weeks for 6 months straight. I was hourly so that was ok. I started a new job last year and I’m working 50 hrs a week. Technically, I’m working “4” positions in terms of title, which they have since hired 2 people to replace half of the tasks I was doing. I was not “actually” working 4 positions, I was working 25% of 4 different positions.. Big difference.


My final suggestion would be to attempt to switch to hourly if you are indeed working extra hours. Let them know that if they want you to adequately perform more job duties that will require extended hours, you believe you should be compensated fairly on an hourly basis.

Thank you for the honest input! You're probably right, it's a mental state. I commend you for working those hours. I don't think I could do that without burning out. I am definitely not putting in near as many hours, mostly because I don't want to work more for what feels like working for free (even though it's not). I'd probably not be complaining as much if I was paid hourly, though, and able to make overtime.


mm1970

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 04:18:19 PM »
Quote
Knowing this information, what would you do in my situation? My gut instinct is obviously to leave and find something better paying. I'd even be happy at the same pay and less stress but since I have no savings, I have to find another job before I can quit. This will be hard to do considering its hard to get away from the office at a decent time these days. Or should I try to ride it out to see if things will get better? Although, I seriously doubt I will get any more money out of this position, only more work.
This is your answer.

Look for another job.  Don't worry about "how hard it is to get away from the office at a decent time."  Take vacation, PTO, or whatever.  Depends on how long the interview is. 

"I have an appointment"
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 04:20:16 PM by mm1970 »

teltic

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2019, 04:34:33 PM »
I bet you are worth $60-$65k in the current market.  (I started $40k in finance, 2 years later, got a $58k job, but that was 3 years ago).

I'm currently interviewing for other jobs... What do I tell my boss?  "I have a doctors appointment"... "annual check up".  "dentist appointment".  I don't even take paid time off, I just do it and then stay late that day to make up the time.

There have been 2 interviews that took longer than I expected, so I took 3 hours PTO for each of those.


I have a virtual interview tomorrow... I have no intentions of telling my boss.. I've marked off my calendar and put "Meeting with program managers".

Your day to day tasks can wait an hour or two on the days you're interviewing. If not, be a rockstar and go to work really early to get it all done before you go to your interview.


100% apply and interview elsewhere.  I expect to hear updates every week until you land that $65k job :)

Edit: Being finance/accounting... I would strongly suggest you go work for as big of a company as possible.  I went from a company of 5 employess, to 3400.. The benefits and work/life balance are AMAZING. Huge difference.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 04:39:55 PM by teltic »

RWD

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2019, 04:55:03 PM »
I live paycheck to paycheck at the moment and cannot afford to not get paid even just for one week.
Long term this is a big problem. What have you been doing with your $40k+ over the last 2.5 years? It sounds like you should take a serious look at your expenses.

asrta2008

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2019, 05:15:30 PM »
I live paycheck to paycheck at the moment and cannot afford to not get paid even just for one week.
Long term this is a big problem. What have you been doing with your $40k+ over the last 2.5 years? It sounds like you should take a serious look at your expenses.

Yes, this has been a recent unfortunate happening. I was doing good before, had an 8 month emergency fund and was able to start contributing to a Roth IRA. Then we ran into rough times, had to drain the savings and rack up the credit cards. The situation has been resolved, so now we are just slowly climbing out of the hole.

Gremlin

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2019, 07:29:49 PM »
You've got skills. Start looking for a new job. Doesn't hurt to look, you can always turn down an offer.

Yes, I'll need to touch up my resume and start looking. I unfortunately turned down a great job offer an old boss approached me with last year only because the schedule didn't allow for as much flexibility. I now wish I had accepted. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I would also reach back out to the old boss.  He/She may have already filled that position, but maybe they haven't.  Even if they have, it may not be working out the way they want or they may have other positions that they need addressing.  You already tick their box for someone who they would be happy to employ so you've crossed the hurdle that is the hardest for most to overcome.  If they don't have anything, they may also be able to recommend you to someone else they know.  Don't underestimate how far a well directed recommendation goes...

Gremlin

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2019, 07:30:52 PM »
...and post a case study on your "living paycheck to paycheck" problem.  This is seriously impacting your choices right now.

Kayad

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2019, 02:55:29 AM »
The attempts to claw back your previously agreed upon raises is a real bad sign about where these companies are headed.  That alone is a reason to head for the exits ASAP.  (And yes, you are being undervalued and underpaid)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 04:43:38 AM by Kayad »

happyuk

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2019, 07:26:47 AM »
You've got skills. Start looking for a new job. Doesn't hurt to look, you can always turn down an offer.

Yes, I'll need to touch up my resume and start looking. I unfortunately turned down a great job offer an old boss approached me with last year only because the schedule didn't allow for as much flexibility. I now wish I had accepted. Hindsight is always 20/20.

No harm in getting in touch with him, especially if you got on with him.  It also doesn't mean that the position is filled or that he doesn't have similar positions as well.  Give him a ring.  In the meantime sharpen up your resume, and practice your interviewing skills.  In particular rehearse in such a way that you are able to recall in detail ways in which you made problems go away for your current and previous employers, achievements etc.  Which what you are currently doing now.   This always impresses prospective employers.

Joel

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Re: How to handle employment situation
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2019, 07:36:31 AM »
Do you actually have an accounting education that led to this role? If not, could you consider taking a few classes to get your degree and eventually your CPA. It’s very easy to make six figures plus doing a similar role for a company that values the work.