National News

Your wallet: Wearing too many hats at the office

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 12:42

Do us a favor, take a look at the job description for the job you currently work. Do you notice anything missing? Maybe, the 4 or 5 other jobs you work at the office?

Since the recession, many workers have had to cover roles that were once filled by more colleagues. According to Gallup, the average number of hours Americans work per week is 47, almost a full workday longer than a standard 40-hour week.

Gallup

We asked Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance writer and author of "When She Makes More," about what you can do to survive an ever-increasing workload:

"I think you want to take your emotion off the table, and be strategic about the position you are in. If you're the last man standing at your job, at least if you feel that way ... you need to let your employer kindly know that you're happy to take on the extra work, but you'd like to be fair about it. Before you even go to that meeting, gather some research. Go into HR, and find out what is your salary range. If you just got hired and are at a starter salary, and suddenly you're taking on a lot more work, find out the potential increase you can earn."

Click play above to hear more advice on asking for a raise, working from home, and for handling a freelance career

 

Examining women and confidence in the workplace

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 12:40

You may have heard this statistic before, women apply to jobs when they fill 100 percent of the listed qualifications. Men? Only 60 percent.

Those numbers are cited as evidence that women need to be more confident in the workplace, but author Tara Sophia Mohr thinks that's the wrong conclusion.

She did her own study and wrote about it in the Harvard Business Review.

I was skeptical, because the times I had decided not to apply for a job because I didn’t meet all the qualifications, faith myself wasn’t exactly the issue. I suspected I wasn’t alone.

So I surveyed over a thousand men and women, predominantly American professionals, and asked them, “If you decided not to apply for a job because you didn’t meet all the qualifications, why didn’t you apply?”

According to the self-report of the respondents, the barrier to applying was not lack of confidence. In fact, for both men and women, “I didn’t think I could do the job well” was the least common of all the responses. Only about 10% of women and 12% of men indicated that this was their top reason for not applying.

My money story: Storyteller Brian Finkelstein

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 12:37

Every week, we have someone tell us their story about money. This week, Los Angeles-based storyteller Brian Finkelstein tells us about a time when the bubble bursts.

The first time I made a lot of money, I was in my twenties and I was broke. I was that broke in your twenties where you have sleep for dinner. You know that feeling where it’s like, “Oh, it’s 8 o'clock and I'm just gonna go to bed because I have no money."

And that’s the way I lived my life. I was living in Brooklyn. And I moved there because it was an arts scene. I didn’t paint or have any sort of artistic desires, but I wanted to be part of that community, so I moved there. And I was living in Williamsburg and I just would go to different jobs all the time. Make a few dollars an hour then leave. And then go on to the next one.

And I got a job at this place Kiehl's, which is a skin care store on the East Village in Manhattan. And I didn’t know what it was, I’m not the type of person who uses skin care. But I got a job as a door man. And that I could do. I went to Queens college, so I had enough education to say hello and goodbye. And I was doing that, I was making $8 an hour and after like 6 months, I quit.

[That night], I get a call at my house from this woman who owned Kiehl's, and she told me to stay. She wanted me to train people on skin care. And I was like, “No, no. That’s not for me. I’m a schlubby white straight dude.” And I worked in a place with fabulous beautiful woman and gay men. They sold skin care. I couldn’t. no one would want to buy it from me. I was not a poster for a good living. And she was like, “but you represent a certain demographic that we don’t have and we want to keep you there. We really want you."

And, so now I was making $8 an hour, I was living hand-to-mouth and she goes, "Well, we will pay you $90,000 a year to start , plus commissions. Which came to over $100,000 a year. She gave me her American Express black card to go shopping in SoHo, and buy myself "fabulous clothes," her words. A gym membership to Equinox. And benefits including a 401K.

That was the first time in my life that I made a lot of money. And that just sort of changes the way you feel about things at that point … like, the art idea just went away. Like any sort of integrity I had was bought that night in that phone call for the rest of my life. 

I worked at that job for seven years. And it was great. I got myself out of debt. I paid my friend’s rent. I was very sort of the guy in that group of artists that had money.

I lived in Williamsburg, and I worked in the East Village, and both places were still independent and mom-and-pop. Kiehl's was this independent place that was owned since the 1800s by [one family]. But then one day we held this meeting, and [the owner] had told us that L'Oreal had bought it.

When L'Oreal bought it, they loved the brand of it, and they did everything they could to change it, because of course they were not going to pay people that much. They just fired all of us.

Slowly, as I looked around, Union Square was this beautiful place where there was very independent restaurants and stuff.  But the L'Oreal-ization of New York happened. There was two Starbucks, a Toys R' Us, a Barnes and Noble, a Virgin Megastore, it just happened overnight where it was all over.

So, I just spent all the money I had over the next five years pursuing a job as a comedian and a writer and I started doing a lot of shows and then eventually moved to Los Angeles.

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