Ask Bing: I'm worth more than $28K a year
I'm sick of interviewing people who, having just gotten out of school, want a vice president title and bag of cash just for showing up.
I am a recent college grad with my BA degree in marketing with a minor in business administration. I spent the last four and a half years going to college and now it seems as though I will be spending another four and a half looking for a career. Everyone wants experience but no one is willing to give it to me. Not to be arrogant I just genuinely believe that I am worth more than $28,000 a year. Got any suggestions?
Well, I don't want to be rude, Bud, but you could brush up on your spelling (which our editors here have been gracious enough to fix for you, so as not to embarrass us all). I know we're online and everything, but if that's the way you come across in your communications, that could be the source of at least one of your problems.
Assuming that you just dashed off your question while you were, say, waiting for a bag of Chinese take-out and typing with one thumb, I'll also tell you, I hope not too brutally, that it may be that no, you aren't worth more than $28,000 per year. That was my starting salary. Okay, it was a few years ago, but I made do on it for quite a while. In fact, I was thrilled to get it, having earned about $5,000 a year as an actor for the years prior to that.
The fact is, my friend, that nobody owes anybody anything. I can't tell you how many people I interview these days who, having just gotten out of school, want a vice president title and bag of cash just for showing up. My advice to you is to find a job you're passionate about, that you feel good doing, that, in a way, you might just do for free.
Then you can be happy about whatever they pay people who come in on the ground floor, and look upward with drooling anticipation at all the good things that lie ahead. If you get the right job, you can be moderately happy (albeit impatient) while you wait.
An employee saves a company $5 million in four months (when it has been losing tens of millions every year). The company terminates the employee for poor performance but then uses the former employee's work in a corporate competition. What rights does the former employee have in seeking restitution from the company?
None? I would say... none. Unless your company is very different than mine, or any company I know of, the company will maintain that it owns the work that you did when you were there. Think about it. If the corporation did not own the product of your labor, it could be sued by every single person who ever left the company after having done anything important whatsoever. Companies would grind to a halt! Exploitation of former employee's work product is what makes organizations function over time.
However. The work that you do when you're on your OWN time -- on a pad during a boring meeting, for instance, or on the train going to and from the office, or over the weekends on your home computer, or even, for that matter, on the company laptop when you can spare a few moments... in my view, that work belongs to you.
I know there are corporate bylaws that say differently, but I think they're unconstitutional and fascist. I've been employed by a very large corporate entity for many years. If they owned the product of my poor, fevered brain there would be no Stanley Bing. Not that that would be a tremendous loss for humanity, but I would miss him. Your professional function belongs to the people who pay you for it. The rest is yours, and good luck with it.
I've been interviewing for some big name content and solution providers in the interactive space after becoming one of the many victims of a company-wide "work force reduction" at a firm that was eventually sold. I built up a tremendous but, unfortunately, unconsummated new business pipeline of terrific Fortune 100 company target prospects. But there was not enough time to close this business in light of many of my former company's massive faux pas.
This story has become a "deal killer" with potential new employers. These hiring authorities treat me like I'm contagious. It's been recommended that I lie about closing some of that business, given how far it had progressed, but I know that would come back to "bite me". What's the solution? Thanks in advance.
Well, don't lie. Never lie in interviews except about stuff they can't really check... like the fact that you're "a nice guy." That's hard to disprove so you can lie about that at will. You can also say you're "rarin' to go" about stuff you're not, for the same reason. I guess I would call those kinds of things "soft" lies, statements that actually fall under the umbrella of "positioning" and "self-marketing." So go ahead. Make your day. Invent yourself.
It is wrong and stupid, however, to tell people that you attended a college you didn't, graduated when you didn't, achieved things you didn't. If you worked with Bill Gates on the re-packaging of PC-DOS into MS-DOS, for example, it would be dumb to say, "I invented DOS."
People make fun of Al Gore because he may possibly have slightly exaggerated his contribution to the invention of the Internet. Hey, guess what. He was TREMENDOUSLY important in the invention of the Internet. But somewhere along the line some people reported that he had claimed sole responsibility. I don't know if he ever did. The press has a lot of fun with Mr. Gore and people just love to poke fun at him for just this kind of over-weening stuff. It's a lot more enjoyable than, say, reporting accurately on weapons of mass destruction. But I'm off the point. Sorry.
Anyhow, I guess if interviewers know about your involvement in a big industry snafu, the best thing you can do is fess up to it and be really forthcoming about 1) the good things that you did on the way to the bad stuff and 2) what you've learned from the experience. The only thing that really big business types admire more than a huge success is involvement in a huge failure. Just wait to see what Stan O'Neal's next job is. I'm sure it'll be da bomb.
I have a sales assistant that is now out of all vacation time and personal time and sick time. This totals about 5 weeks. She has told the manager of our office that if she needs to miss more time, she will not expect to be paid(?)! My boss is a short timer running out the clock and does not want to rock the boat. He seems to be OK with the situation. I have no authority over this person.
I am an independent contractor for the company. I try to stay out of the politics, but some of my stuff is not getting done. I am friendly with her, and she has a special needs child. But work is work. I want to tell her to take the job seriously. What can I do?
You are at a critical juncture. Two roads have converged in a yellow wood and you have to choose one. Take the left road, and you will end up being a Dick. Take the right road, and you'll be a slightly less successful nice person. I warn you. There is ABSOLUTELY NO CORRELATION between being a nice person and being a success in business. There is, however, A DIRECT CORRELATION between being a Dick and being a success in business.
On the other hand, being a nice person may make you happier. Likewise, the relationship between happiness and success has also never been proven. Two roads. They never meet again, until at the very end of your life, when any monster can become a revered philanthropist. Good luck. Let me know how it works out.
Ask Stanley Bing
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