What to do when you aren't being properly compensated... - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > What to do when you aren't being properly compensated...
mandica's Avatar mandica 09:18 AM 11-26-2010

Okay. Please help me because I am getting sort of discouraged in my job, holding resentment over the fact that I am being paid very little for the job I am doing...

 

Two months ago (when my dd was 6mos) I applied for a job - and got it! My job title is Operations Manager and I work for a not-for-profit company that helps communities set up children's nutrition programs. I have started a program that delivers nutritious meals to 6 elementary schools in my community, solely. I am the CEO, the office administrator, the customer service rep, the marketing specialist, the fundraising specialist - the list goes on. This job sounded great in the job ad, but after the interview, I learned the hourly wage and was weary that it was too low. They said they wished they could pay me more, but don;t have the money, and promised that once there were lots of orders daily (like 100) they could pay me more. I was just so excited that they wanted me... ME to do the job.. I didnt want to say no!

 

I thought the job would suit my lifestyle, in that it is part time (except it totally isn't, I've learned its impossible to be a part-time 'manager' of an entire organization) and is work from home, mostly. (This I thought would be great, but I can't seem to stop working some days, other days I am totally unmotivated, and upset that I am ignoring my baby to work)

 

I am being paid $14/hour for 25 hours/week. I live in Ontario, where minimum wage is $10.25/hr. I think a shift leader at McDonalds would probably make the same as me.

 

I feel stuck because I would feel terrible quitting... it would make more sense to at least see the school year through.. but when I think that I could work only 2-3 'shifts' a week somewhere else, give my baby my uninterrupted attention when at home - and make MORE money... yikes.. shes just a lil baby and I do want to foster our attachment more (we co-sleep and seem to have a good attachment.

 

 

On the other hand - this job is -great- experience, that would look awesome on my resume and I'm developing some great skills (I do have post-secondary - but not in anything related.. or useful.. really)

 

Also- I might add, that sometimes my husband does say he wishes I didnt have a job - it does stress me out.. and housework has totally taken a back seat.

 

 

So do I ask for a raise? -Demand- a raise? Look for another job? Quit and Run?

 

What would you do?



la mamita's Avatar la mamita 11:26 AM 11-26-2010
My experience in the nonprofit sector is that really low wages are common among small nonprofits. Have you checked to see how your wage compares with similar nonprofits in the area? It's very likely they are paying right around what the job is worth, sadly.

If you are working more than the hours paid, have you tried billing for more hours? It sounds like you don't want to be bumped up into a full-time job though.

If they said they would pay you more when orders picked up, have orders picked up yet? If so, then you definitely have the right to sit down with your board and remind them of the terms of your hiring. If you are doing so much for a small organization, it is probably in their best interests to start paying you more instead of you quitting and having to re-train someone else, so definitely make that argument. If you can point to ways the organization has improved under your leadership, even better.

I would argue for the raise and then make a decision based on their response. If the money isn't there now but definitely will be in a few months, I might hold on and stick it out. If they seem wishy washy and expect things that are totally unreasonable, then cut your losses.
Kyamo's Avatar Kyamo 11:42 AM 11-26-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by mandica View Post

 

I am being paid $14/hour for 25 hours/week. I live in Ontario, where minimum wage is $10.25/hr. I think a shift leader at McDonalds would probably make the same as me.



Not sure if it would make you feel better, but I also live in Ontario and when I was a supervisor (not McDonalds - but prob a similar level job) I was making $11.20 with the minimum at $10.25.  If I were you I would insist on being paid for the hours I was actually working, but I don't think I would ask for a raise after only working there 2 months.  I would look for something better though, and quit when you find it.    


mandica's Avatar mandica 11:51 AM 11-26-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyamo View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mandica View Post

 

I am being paid $14/hour for 25 hours/week. I live in Ontario, where minimum wage is $10.25/hr. I think a shift leader at McDonalds would probably make the same as me.



Not sure if it would make you feel better, but I also live in Ontario and when I was a supervisor (not McDonalds - but prob a similar level job) I was making $11.20 with the minimum at $10.25.  If I were you I would insist on being paid for the hours I was actually working, but I don't think I would ask for a raise after only working there 2 months.  I would look for something better though, and quit when you find it.    


This does make me feel better actually! I've had other jobs in the past that were much more simple, easy, less responsibility.. and paid more. It seems to be getting to me this week.


mandica's Avatar mandica 11:55 AM 11-26-2010


Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

My experience in the nonprofit sector is that really low wages are common among small nonprofits. Have you checked to see how your wage compares with similar nonprofits in the area? It's very likely they are paying right around what the job is worth, sadly.

If you are working more than the hours paid, have you tried billing for more hours? It sounds like you don't want to be bumped up into a full-time job though.

If they said they would pay you more when orders picked up, have orders picked up yet? If so, then you definitely have the right to sit down with your board and remind them of the terms of your hiring. If you are doing so much for a small organization, it is probably in their best interests to start paying you more instead of you quitting and having to re-train someone else, so definitely make that argument. If you can point to ways the organization has improved under your leadership, even better.

I would argue for the raise and then make a decision based on their response. If the money isn't there now but definitely will be in a few months, I might hold on and stick it out. If they seem wishy washy and expect things that are totally unreasonable, then cut your losses.


Thank you for your response... maybe you're right about the nonprofit sector. And yes, I would just rather it -actually- be part time. I think I will ask for a raise in January, after working for them for 3 months. I do think I am too valuable for them to lose me (maybe thats why I also feel resentful about the wage?) I am starting to get doubtful though of ever reaching the number of orders they want to be able to pay me more..


milletpuff's Avatar milletpuff 05:16 PM 11-28-2010

I sometimes feel like that about my job, but then I am often reminded WHY I chose to work in the non-profit sector - I have made a decision to accept a lower hourly rate for a higher level of flexibility, the ability to partially work from home, and a work environment that I feel comfortable in and that matched my values. I do occasionally consider going back to the private sector, but very very very briefly!

 

Also, when I began by job I was offered a PT, temp job at a lower hourly rate. After 4 months, we negotiated a permanent position that included a 25% raise and I got to choose if I wanted FT or PT (I am currently 32 hrs per week half the year and 40 hrs per week half the year). I learned a lot about the organization and about my job in those 4 months, so I considered it a sort of "internship".

 

And one more point: working from home is a great benefit for some (I love that I can work a bit from home currently) but in my last job I was about 80% working from home and I HATED IT! Sometimes it really is the worst of both worlds! It sounds like you might be having some second thoughts as to how much of a benefit that part is for you too.

 

Good luck with your decisions.


meemee's Avatar meemee 11:37 PM 11-28-2010

mandica is it truly just about money?

 

look at all the other perks you ARE getting at the cost of money.

 

in my WOHM experience more money = more work - for the most part - esp. in regular office type work - esp management. 

 

i have chosen low paying jobs primarily because of certain factors 

1. doing a lot of different challenging jobs that really looks good on my resume

2. flexibility for childcare reasons, so i could work 12 hours one day and 4 the next so my dd doesnt have to be in afterschool care

3. stressless more friendlier work environment

 

i have worked for big companies and i have worked for smaller companies. i am. never. ever. going. to. work. for. another. corporate. giant. AGAIN (oh please superpower out there - dont make me eat these words). they are sooo inhumane i never, ever want to work for them again. 

 

before you ask for a raise, make sure you know they can afford that. otherwise if you go with a raise or quit attitude they cant really do anything because they dont have the extra funding.

 

and yes where i am the true non profits cant help but pay less. there ARE big non profits who pay better money but i have found i have ideological differences with them. 

 

to me it seems like you have painted this life of what you should be entitled too. it seems to me you just have to find the balance. and you are primarily a mom trying to struggle a job and child at home. i hope you didnt make the mistake of thinking you can work from home AND also take care of your child all at the same time. with a one year old - esp. if they are mobile and high energy. once you find your balance as a worker, mother and wife you will be at a better place. i hope your dh is pulling his socks up and helping with the house cleaning too. THAT is very important. 

 

and excuse me mama. i have worked with underpriviledged children. esp. those of single moms who are working 2/3 jobs and dont even have time to read 20 mins at night to their second graders. i have found those families bonds are far greater where the mom isnt even there that much and of course they dont cosleep. but the mom makes the effort and the children KNOW that. in fact the less the mom was physically present the closer they seemed to bond because the mom wasted NONE of the moments they got together. 


mandica's Avatar mandica 07:16 PM 11-29-2010

Thank you for all of your insight...

 

I thinkI was partly just having a bad day when I wrote this note. I talked with my husband, and he ensured me he is happy with my job, says its great that i can work from home and that I make enough money - not to worry.

**sigh**

 

I am also thinking my money hungry moments may have stemmed from my mom telling me about my older sister (the successful one.. in the family's eyes) has two job offers on the table, both promising $15000 raises.. etc. I cant help but be a little envious when I won't make much more than $15000 total in the next year. Ugh, trying not to be flakey.

 

I do value workingin the non-profit sector. I enjoy the work I do, the freedom of only reporting to a board of directors monthly or quarterly, and being at home.

 

Thanks again


meemee's Avatar meemee 11:43 PM 11-29-2010

Quote:

Originally Posted by mandica View Post

 

I am also thinking my money hungry moments may have stemmed from my mom telling me about my older sister (the successful one.. in the family's eyes) has two job offers on the table, both promising $15000 raises.. etc. I cant help but be a little envious when I won't make much more than $15000 total in the next year. Ugh, trying not to be flakey.

aaaaaaaaah mama. the  classic story. look into your sister's life and see if that raise is worth it. with my education and expertise i could make lots of money - but it all comes at a cost.

 

i know exactly how you felt at that moment, because i have been there too, esp. being the black sheep of my family. the funny part was that my cousin with the rich jet set lifestyle was v. envious of my simple, joyous life style. she lives a highly stressful lifestyle. she has a great gym membership that i dont have, yet she doesnt have the kind fo time to read a book taht i can.

 

money - always, ALWAYS comes at a cost - and honestly it is not worth it at all. imho.

 

glad you are feeling better mama. but you still have the childcare issue adn its something to start looking into - like a nanny or teenager helper.


shayinme's Avatar shayinme 08:31 AM 11-30-2010

To add to what others have said what you are dealing with is pretty much the norm in the non-profit sector. I have been in this sector 15 years now and I am the Executive Director of an agency where we all work way more hours than we are compensated for. The thing is unlike in the for profit sector, finding extra money is hard in this case where you are in a fairly new program, my guess is the money is simply not there. I just lost an employee because of these very issues though in her case it was nor a good fit but I think she was resentful of the level of work and the fact that it would be at least a year before I could bump the salary. (funding cycles, etc...takes time to find the money)

 

That said as someone who made the switch to the non profit sector by and large I would not go back. Most of the time I have a level of flexibility that would be hard to come by otherwise and I generally like my work.

 

I would talk to your supervisor and board of directors and get a feel for where they are financially and go from there before making any decisions. I also find that when I compare myself to others is when trouble starts. If you are at a small agency comparing yourself to someone at a larger non profit or for profit corporation is really not a fair comparison. I have friends in larger agencies that make like 4-5X what I make doing comparable work with similar backgrounds. Yet these folks are at places with budgets in the millions where as I have a small budget, so comparing myself does nothing but to make me mad so I stopped.

 

Good luck.


Up