I Need To Make A Decision About Work Soon…

Many of you know, I work for a local newspaper, which I really like as a job but not as a salary. I understood that initially, they were taking a chance on me. I had no newspaper or web design experience. I was new to the area and, from the looks of my resume, seem to move every two years. I understood (or at least I thought I did) the low salary as a way to test my performance and my loyalty.

COSEED 2006 063 As a result for the past year, I've put my heart into this job. To be honest, I feel more successful at this job than I ever have at any other. I've accomplished and surpassed the goals I set for myself. I have tried to go above and beyond when possible, and am proud when someone says something to the effect of  "Give it to Nicole; she'll get it done." I genuinely enjoy the people I work with, my boss in particular. He's honest, positive, gives feedback when I ask, and lets me try out my ideas. My coworkers teach me a lot and make me enjoy going to work everyday.

So full disclosure time. I went to Boston last weekend for two informational interviews. (To be clear, I didn't go looking for a job; I just met someone who knew someone and boom! it was set up.) The digital PR companies I interviewed at were modern and filled with creative, smart people. They had a whole department of web content creation (which is what I really enjoy) and offered a great salary in addition to great benefits and professional development opportunities. One company said if I relocated, they would offer me a position while the HR person for the other company wanted to follow up with me later in the week.

It felt really weird not telling my boss about my trip. I wasn't sure if there would be anything to tell but after my interviews, I felt there was. So I told him. I wanted him to know what I was thinking and I also wanted to make sure he didn't have an offer from our company in mind. My year review is coming up and I was thinking it would be time for a raise.

I sat down with him yesterday for my review. I was offered a commission if I would sell advertising on our web site as my raise. I know that their offer was meant to give me more money than their typical raise and as a compliment to my people skills. But I walked out of the meeting feeling bummed. Not even a cost of living standard 3% raise?

The thing is, I wouldn't feel comfortable upgrading my lifestyle in any way if my extra funds were based on commission. You never know what's coming in moneywise. I also thought that I was productive enough at work in what I was doing to warrent a raise free and clear. But I don't think the company works that way. The low salary wasn't a test of my loyalty; it is how things were going to be.

This is a tough one. Clearly I have a lot to think about this weekend…

How did I get hooked up in the first place? A classic informational interview. To learn more about informational interviews, see this article "The Informational Interview: A Job-Hunter's Secret Weapon" at Get Rich Slowly.

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