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Archive for April, 2019

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Ugh – Negotiations Part 2

I had a sinking feeling about my salary negotiations when I sent off my email.  My inner source had mentioned something about that they do their research carefully when it comes to salaries.  That had been weighing in the back of my mind.

I didn’t get an increased salary.  I got a signing bonus that will help with my move.  I got more time off.  I didn’t get the title I wanted and I’m sitting in a cubicle, not an office.

The recruiter asked me if I had questions about the job description.  I repeated back to her what the job was about.  I guess they were concerned about me coming on board with higher expectations.

I get a Profit Sharing bonus that will be between 3% – 10% of salary based on performance among other things.  I got the 20 days off.  Now I have to think about this.  If I wasn’t saddled with so much debt, I would be hunky dory.  When you add the modest $$ I give to my son together with debt payments, it adds up to a chuck of change.

I have to think about this.  The benefits are very reasonably priced and it would definitely be less than what I’m paying for my personal plan.

I contacted my landlord and they will allow me to transfer my lease.  There are hoops (aren’t there always), but they have a defined process and it’s quite fair.  The signing bonus will be helpful for this.  The other good part is I can wait until I find a rental I like before engaging in the process.

Am I disappointed?  Yes.  Do I still want the job?  Yes.  I just need to crunch my numbers a bit more to make sure I won’t be operating in a deficit.  That would really suck.

Maggie & Co. is generating enough income to fund a tight 3 month emergency fund and tackle about 37% of my overall debt.  It could be slightly more, but let’s leave it at that.  This includes budgeting another $5,000 for moving and incidentals, so maybe I could squeeze the debt repayment up to 40%.

It’s good to have a Career Coach through this, but it sucks when he is all “rah rah, you got this” and then I don’t got this.  I’m kicking clods of dirt in disappointment.  I know my BFF is going to tell me to seriously reconsider taking the job.  I won’t take her advice.  I can’t.  I need this job.  I need some stability in my life right now.

My thought process is that I’m moving off the fast lane and I’ll just be tooling along in the right lane of life.  I’ll be like everyone else — working for the Man.  And you know what?  I think I’m OK with that.

I am seeing younger folks getting big career boosts that I didn’t even know were out there.  I’m missing out on lots of things in my professional world.  I don’t feel like there is a place for me in that world anymore.  It hurts a bit, but I also know that there are many, many other people who have left that crazy life for something else.

This job moves me further away from Miami and its insanity.  Trust me, that town is CRAZY and getting crazier every day.  What’s funny is the inmates living there don’t even see it.  I’m happy about that.  I welcome the slower pace.  I welcome going to a job, coming home and knowing that every two weeks I will get a paycheck.  Right now I have no idea when I’ll get a payday.  It’s a lot of stress.

I have to weigh all of this and think about it, but I think it’s a done deal for me.  It’s time for me to grab hold of the lifeline that has been thrown to me.  I might not be jumping on a luxury cruise ship, but this little freighter will bring me safely to shore if I am careful and smart about it.


Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash


I negotiate a lot of things in my current profession, so I have learned that it never hurts to ask.  However, when it comes to advocating for myself, I hesitate.  Just like many women, I struggle with negotiating strongly for myself.  Why the hell are we like that?

My offer from my new employer was the bottom of the range I provided.  Sigh.  I wasn’t surprised — why negotiate against yourself when you make the opening offer. It made me a bit anxious because I don’t know how they will respond when I respond at the top end of my range.

I have found that some people accept negotiations as the normal course of business and others take things a bit personally.  Fortunately most take it as normal.

I turned to Google to read up on salary negotiations.  Yep, everybody needs to negotiate and everybody needs to ask for more.  OK, I can do that.

I spent the weekend deep in thought.  What else was missing from my offer letter?  What else did I want them to cover?  How can I give them some items that they could refuse and it wouldn’t matter to me?

That’s actually a key strategy in my world — put some things on the list that are great if you get them, but fine if you don’t.  You have to be able to compromise on both sides, so why not layer my response with some things they can reject without me getting my panties in a bunch.

I had to remind myself over the weekend that I am worthy and that this negotiation is part of the process.  I also had to remind myself that I need to speak up and ask for a fair salary because I don’t want to start the job unhappy about my compensation.  Plus the only direction the salary can go is up!

I had lunch with my BFF and she was quite vehement about several points I brought up.  I appreciated her confidence boost.  I also talked to my Coach and, although he has a nasty cold and was on a quick family trip, he too reassured me that I was on the right track with my thought process.

This morning I drafted up my response and am now waiting for my team to dissect it before sending it over to the company.  I came up with 7 discussion  items:

  • The title of the job.  I wanted to add something to make it more accurate.  If this job doesn’t work out, that extra bit will help me find a similar job.  I never told them they had mislabeled the job because I didn’t want the competition.
  • Time off — they opened with 15 days and my insider told me I can get 20.
  • Salary — they started at the bottom of my range.  I countered 6% below the top of my range to show some movement.
  • I asked for them to pay for my professional organization including annual dues, monthly luncheons and an upcoming national convention.  I gave them the wiggle room of all or some of those costs.
  • Since the tax reform eliminated the deduction for relocation expenses, I asked for a one-time allowance of up to $2,000 for me to move closer.  I added in the email that the tax deduction had been eliminated so they can see why I was asking for it.
  • Quantify the insurance costs
  • Will I get an office or a work station?  My BFF was adamant that I insist on an office.  This company is fairly balanced between offices and cubicles.  I don’t care so much, but I get her point.  I’m mostly curious on where they will put me anyway since space is tight.  I can determine if I want to stick on the office or not when they respond.

To me, I don’t have this job until we get through this process.  It’s hard for me to celebrate and say “Yippee” until we cross the t’s and dot the i’s.  However, I did go buy myself a cute lunchbox and a salad bento container.  I plan on being very, very frugal so I might as well have something cute to transport my lunch.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!!!


Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash


I Got the Job

Hallelujah, they have extended an offer to me.  OK, OK, I need to negotiate the salary and PTO, but that’s to be expected.  I got the job.  I start in four weeks.  I am stunned, happy, nervous about the salary negotiation and don’t want to spread the word until I get the negotiations completed.  And the background check.  And the drug test.

I am so relieved.  So thrilled.  And now so busy.  I have a lot to do in the next four weeks to close up Maggie & Co.  I have to figure out what to do with those clients who have projects that will extend past four weeks.

But for now I have to tell myself to enjoy this victory.  It’s a big accomplishment and it does give me my second chance.

The way things are looking with Maggie & Co.  I could pay off about 75% of my debt this year.  The balance would be paid off by the end of 1Q2020.  Dave Ramsey will be proud of me.  Screw him — I will be proud of me!

I am trying so hard not to get ahead of myself.  I am trying to keep my boundless optimism tapped down.  But man, am I nervously relieved — I know it’s an oxymoron, but that’s how I feel.  It’s all a bit surreal this afternoon.

Wish me luck on the salary negotiations….I’ve been making a list of questions, wants, etc. so I can put together a succinct counter proposal.  Oh boy…..


Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash



The Tree of Life. Think about positive attributes, relationships, life experiences, and beliefs that have fostered contentment in your life (i.e. satisfaction, fulfillment, gratification) and create a metaphor of your life. This exercise was courtesy of Paula Hammond. Consider: SYMBOLIZING YOUR LIFE AS A TREE Roots Write down where you come from. This can be […]

via THE TREE OF LIFE: DRAWING YOUR STORY… — Success Strategies

I just read this and what a fascinating exercise.  I’m re-posting so I can save it to do later.

Second Chances

I feel like I am being given a second chance.  A second chance, a do-over, for this chapter of my life.

I embraced my singleness when I separated from my Ex six years ago.  Then I leaped into a relationship with the Hunter four years ago.

The singleness was great until I got too lonely.  That was my fault.  I needed to embrace the loneliness so I could learn from it.  I was so horny and desperate to find love and great sex, that I scrambled into the dating world full of naivete, impatience and bravado.  I stopped listening to my inner self.

I jumped into the relationship with the Hunter and when I re-read early posts, I see small red flags.  I knew they were there at the time, but I chose to ignore them for I had found a man who was amazing in bed, made me dinner and was handy around the house.  He listened…. at first.  He wanted to take care of me and I loved being cared for after spending a lifetime of being the caregiver.

I jumped out of my old job and created Maggie & Co.  I did this also somewhat impulsively.  I didn’t stop to talk to my peers and see what other options were available to me.  I thought I didn’t have enough to offer, so I didn’t allow others to reject me.

My friend yesterday at lunch said that I compromise too much.  She’s right.  I compromised too much in my marriage and too much with the Hunter.  I have compromised too much often.  Another example right now is taking over a prominent committee with this professional organization I belong to.  She’s right.  I am a Pleaser.

But I woke up this morning and realized that Karma is possibly giving me a second chance.  A second chance to try this single-life adulting again.  A second chance to slow down and think before I leap.  A second chance to learn the power of no and to not compromise unless it really works for me.  A second chance to stop waiting for life, but to embrace it how I want to embrace it.  A second chance to get my finances in order and prepare for retirement.

This job is a game-changer, a life-changer.  No wonder I have been an anxious mess.  Yesterday I sat in the interview/meeting with the woman who will eventually be reporting to me.  She is wonderful with the skills I lack.  We are the same age.  Twice she said she wants to be at this job until retirement.  Me too.  I think we will be a Dynamic Duo.

The sun is rising.  It’s time for me to take a walk and think about this more, but I am thankful today that Karma seems to be arranging a second chance for me.


Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

It’s All Good?

I had my second interview and it was lovely.  I met the woman who will eventually be reporting to me and we hit it off immediately.  She laughed and asked my sign.  I said Cancer and she replied she’s a Pisces and that’s why we get along — water signs.  My Ex was a Pisces….

Now it’s time for some more waiting.  My potential Boss-to-Be was eager to learn if I was still interested and what my timing would be.  I’m excited about the job. Nervous about all the change that is about to take place.  Nervous about shuttering Maggie & Co.  Nervous about the big changes ahead of me, but I feel relieved.

Relieved to be wanted.  Relieved to potentially have income security for the first time in years.  Relieved to finally get this second interview over.

Now, I think a celebratory cocktail is in order.  Excuse me.  I think I earned it today…..

My Mom

Myy mom’s birthday was this week. My mom loved me. I know this and she told me over the phone as she laid dying in hospice care at home. She decided not to wait for me and passed away two days before my planned trip. I held a funeral instead.

My mom was a difficult woman. Very bright, very compulsive, very selfish at times. We moved incessantly once she divorced my dad. My dad is another story — I’ve written about him. Great dad for adults, but not around hardly at all for upbringing. Anyway, this is about my mom. I’ve written about her before.

We moved and moved and moved. Without stability, it was hard for me to keep friends and maintain relationships and this has probably been the biggest impediment for me in adulthood. I watch Taz effortlessly be a great friend to her high school, college, med school, etc. friends. I am so proud that I broke the cycle there.

What did my mom not teach me?

  • Relationships
  • How to deal with men and what makes a good man
  • Good parenting
  • How to handle money
  • How to trust family and be able to tell them what’s hurting without it backfiring on me

People liked my mom, but she would say and do some really shitty things to me. She was demanding and often put me in uncomfortable situations. She was incredibly shitty to my Ex who, of course, hated her (justifiably I must say). This lead to so many unpleasant situations. I have to say that he was the better person often and never denied her access to the kids, holidays, etc. We just gritted our teeth and put up with her. It was funny because friends liked her. She could put up a great front in public. My kids loved her, for which I was happy. I told my daughter that I was glad she enjoyed her grandmother and loved her. I didn’t want to interfere with that.

So RIP, Mom. I am glad you brought me into this crazy world and gave me the intelligence and resilience that has made me who I am. We did have some good laughs and I know you loved the grandkids to distraction. I hope you are in a better place.


My mom loved to play the piano — it is one of my earliest memories. Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

Who’s to Blame?

I’m pissed off. Just flat out angry. Why? Waiting for one. Then I’m pissed I don’t have enough money for the IRS so now I owe THREE years of back taxes. WTF!?

How have I gotten myself into this bind? As I drove to the post office, my mind wanted to blame the Hunter.

Blame him for our two moves, blame him for the money I have given him to keep him afloat, blame him for not doing better financially, blame him for it all, but I can’t.

I have to take responsibility that I participated in those bad decisions. I didn’t manage my money or my relationship with him better. I have made some awful mistakes and now the heavy price has drained my bank account.

I’m terrified about the “what if” I don’t get this job. Yes, I have money coming in and I’ll stay afloat, but my ship is a rickety raft.

If I get the job, I stand the chance of actually gaining almost a year of income from Maggie & Co at the same time I will be drawing down a salary. I could get solidly back on my feet.

Right now I need to control my anger. I need to channel it into something productive. I’m hiding at the library so I don’t explode at the Hunter. I’m not good company right now. Another reason I should live alone.


Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

I’m Waiting

Ugh, I have spent today just waiting.  I have spent the past week just waiting.  Waiting for things to fall into place so I can move forward.  Waiting for people to make decisions.  Waiting for checks to arrive.  Waiting for my second interview with OppC.   Just waiting.

I feel like I’m stuck in neutral and I have no motivation to shift out of neutral.  My career coach wants me to make a list of other companies where I could potentially work.  Blah, not exciting.  I did make a list but it doesn’t excite me.

I contacted all my active clients to push projects down the road, but with little results, so now I wait.

I finished a proposal for a new client and now I wait for them to decide if they want to hire me.

I wrote my weekly newsletter along with some other marketing materials, so now I wait for it to go out and hopefully I get some leads from it.

I have to pay the IRS and I am hesitant on if I want to use up the $$ in my checking account.  I mean, I will be on fumes if I do this.  Actually, I just checked my bank account.   I don’t have enough money.  I already owe two years of back taxes, what’s another $1600 tacked onto my bill?  Sigh.  Yep, I’m down to the wire here….

I have things to do but there is not fire in my belly to do them.  All I want to do is daydream about moving, getting this new job and starting afresh.  That’s a problem.  What if I don’t get the job?  Then what?

OK, more action is needed.  Perhaps cleaning out some clutter like old paperwork and photos.  Oh boy, that sounds like too much excitement.  Time to get outside.  I’ve barely left the house in the past three days.  Let me put on my sneakers and take a walk….without the Kracken.  Then perhaps I’ll feel like doing something productive…..


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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