How I Tripled My Worth.


IMG_3729.JPGIMG_3729.JPG

As a woman or color, I honestly feel the “Olivia Pope Pressure” in which I have to be twice as good as everyone else; my excellence isn’t celebrated, rather expected 🙇🏽‍♀️ If I don’t assimilate fast enough, I will be pushed out. In addition, it feels somehow easier to treat me like an assistant or secretary. While my co-worker might not care about doing menial or grunt work, I can only put up with so much for so long. I need to feel like I’m growing or excelling in my career and like there are opportunities for my growth. I know “black don’t crack”  but I prefer not to be considered based on my appearance or age. I’ve been at my current job for 5 years now and I was passed over twice. I’ve had enough 😤

I try to take time to  count my blessings;  I live in New York City, a place people dream of. I also have a job people dream of. The shittiest part about it is that no one knows how difficult it is to be here. The rent is too damn high and there are way too many people, many of who don’t have the best intentions. On the road of my life, I’ve run into people who want to use me because of my supposed success — in business, friendships and relationships. After a while, I started to see all relationship the same. Any relationship I take part in must be positive and my feelings must be reciprocated. I think society has (women have) started to take better care of their selves. With things like the Me Too Movement and Mute RKelly, we’ve seen women start demanding the respect they deserve in relationships… but how about work?

In just 9 years, I have tripled my worth. When I was little, I always wanted to make “six figures”,  and everyone thought it was impossible, including myself —I mean,  that’s why I said it. When I graduated from college, my first student loan payment was due and I learned the hard way that it’s unlikely to come out of college making enough money to actually pay it back 🙄🙄🙄 Life (that thing what college was supposed to prepare you for) is going to test you at every turn and make you prove yourself, especially for some money.

When I first graduated from college, I made about $38,000/year. I thought this was a great offer but it was a great opportunity though which I would have to make great effort. In NYC, a studio apartment might cost $1000/month, if you’re lucky. But in order to qualify for the lease, you have to make 40x the rent = at least $40,000/year.  That said, I lived in my sister’s spare room from August-December until I found a room at a affordable price. “Affordable” ended up living in some guy’s bedroom (he lived in the living room) for $850/month 😒 I lived there for about 2 years until I moved into a Brooklyn 1 bedroom basement where I paid $925/month until it flooded. I’m now in the Bronx and what Ive learned is that you can’t tell people what you pay in rent until you move out 🤣. NYC is deadly when it comes to simply having a roof over your head. Once you find good rent, you never move & try to avoid gentrification at all costs. & cost of living is relative… if you want a doorman and a gym, you’re going to have to pay for that. You get what you pay for — I don’t need much 🤷🏽‍♀️

When almost your entire paycheck goes to making sure the lights stay on, life can be tough. I have to be honest and tell you I’ve cried to my mother because of how hard it is to be a single person — Sometimes I wish I had a baby to claim on my income taxes, a baby daddy to push my bills onto or a sugar daddy to fly me out 😖😫😣but when you’re just trying to go to work and go home, life feels fairly unaffordable. To put the cherry on top of your stress, you’ve got to master the art of war (read the Office Politics and Mind Games blog next!). You’ve got to understand how long this (job, relationship) is going to last and what your next step is. Thank God, I’ve never been laid off and I pray it will never happen. But my method thus far has been to exit before I’m no longer needed.

Lateral moves are job changes within a company, where you haven’t changed your “level”. So if you’re a coordinator in finance, maybe you’d make a lateral move to become a coordinator in marketing. The pay might not change drastically between these moved, but it’s a great option if you love your company and just need a new task. It’s also great if you’re looking into changing industries. You might be able to change departments within your company & gain experience before you change companies. 👩🏽‍💻

When I left my first corporate job, I went to a startup and I’m so happy with how it worked out. Start ups recruit really smart, independent people 🤓 because they can only hire but so many people with limited budgets. Still, they tend to pay well in order to lure great talent away from a more recognizable company. The shitty part might be lack of systems or having to wait long for your health benefits to kick in. But if you’re looking for a stepping stone, think start up. You’ll learn a lot from working with a new business! It’ll also help raise your salary a bit so when the big guys come knocking, you can ask for even more 😉

My current job has going through “restructures” which left me unclear of my roles and responsibilities & job security. This was the toughest part of my job as I had to offer to help and try to raise my hand for opportunities without any true promise of compensation and, in the end, no recognition. Basically, I took on the tasks my teammates wouldn’t, as to be a “team player”. When a position finally opened up, I was overlooked by someone who “raised a hand” first — and also did not ask for an increase in pay. 🧐Sometimes, you’ve really got to think from the perspective of the business to understand your job security.  Would you continue to pay yourself your salary, if you could cut it? There comes a point in your career where you are the only one who can do something about it. When I realized that there was no chance for a promotion, but I was getting more work added to my plate, I decided it was time to go.

I start my new job in two weeks. I’ve drafted my resignation email and am waiting to press send at the end of day today. Not only am I getting paid more, but I’ll have more autonomy and authority. Pay and title are just important as job description. My job title isn’t changing but my responsibilities and pay will increase. I am a team of one and  I report directly into the VP of the department, which means there is plenty room for growth for me for the next few years. While I was looking for a new job, this was very important; I don’t really want to work somewhere I don’t want to be. Opportunities will come about, but it is important to build relationships and it take a few seasons (in fashion) to really get in sync with a team. I’m looking forward to dedicating myself… maybe it is the money. 🤷🏽‍♀️ 💰 After checking my salary on GlassDoor, I was feeling like I wasn’t being paid my worth. Once you find out what you’re worth is, you’ve got to demand it. My new job initially couldn’t afford me. I gave them a range that even I was afraid to say but, after the interviews, the team thought it was important enough to revisit the budget to meet me at my minimum and hire me. I had a few interviews where they were offering much less than I was looking for. Instead of letting this deter me, I allowed it to simply weed out the opportunities that weren’t for me. With a lot of patience and double the confidence, I was able to triple my worth.

People seem to look at me nowadays and think that I’ve always had it made. I’ve lived within my means. I’ve put in work. I’ve made calculated decisions… I think we all should, so I thought I should share a little bit of how I got here. Please drop your questions or thoughts in the comments 🤗

These are just my thoughts… just what I was feeling at the time.


EllaThought.jpgEllaThought.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: