Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kind of a shocker

Yesterday I took advantage to the fact that my boss and co-workers were gone at the meeting. I've been doing more and more accounting-type work and there was an invoice with amounts charged for the month by the salaries of each person in the office. Do you know where I'm going with this?

Yes, I was bad and first figured out which numbers I'd need by calculating out my amount, which I know the hourly and yearly wage. Using those numbers I figured out how much each person in my office makes per hour and per year. Yikes! It gave me a really weird feeling to know how very much they get paid! It explains a whole lot, too. Not only are there age and appearance differences but they are in a whole other class from me!

Oh, I know talking about class makes people here (and probably everywhere) rather uncomfortable. But there is a difference, and money is usually the deciding factor. I'm barely out of the poverty range, even though I'm at the top of the heap for secretarial and receptionist salaries around here. It would be difficult to find a job in my field that would pay as much as I get now. And yet it's a pittance compared to what the others in my office make. And that's just base salary, not even taking into account the massive overtime they all put in and the fact that all of them but one are married and have DUAL salaries!

Wow, it made my head spin and gave me much to think about. No wonder I'm not able to go and buy clothes like they do! Or shoes or all of the other little things that they are constantly buying. I wasn't trying to keep up with them as much as I was trying to blend in, somewhat. Now I see that it's impossible. They are at a whole different level than I am or will ever be in my present career.

And the computer field--which is the first recommendation that people make-- doesn't pay that well around here, either. That was another mild shocker that the IT guy, who has been there longer than me earns barely more than what I make! He's the only one who earns anywhere near as low as I do, most earn double and triple our salaries. But his wife earns quite well, I've heard.

So what's the conclusion of all of this pondering? I decided that I need a better-paying career field! While I'm not hung up on money, like most people I'd certainly like to earn more and live comfortably. I have a four-year college degree but it's in a pretty generic field. What's your advice, should I go for a Masters and switch career fields? What pays well or at least better than secretarial and administrative assistant salary? Career advice?

8 Comments:

Blogger Dale said...

In the end, PB, I think it's more a question of job satisfaction than salary. If you feel your talents are being wasted or not recognised, or you feel totally unfullfilled at work, then yes, get out and try something new.

Wow! The salary information you saw could be both a curse and a blessing. Time will tell.

*

8:43 AM  
Blogger deni said...

Yeah, it would be nice sometimes to be able to just go buy whatever we want. I was sitting this morning thinking about how tired I am of always struggling just to make ends meet.

As for career advice, I don't know what to tell you, except why don't you check into what kind of classes the local college has and see what interests you.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Aims said...

I guess all of us would like more money than we earn but I know how much it sucks when you know roughly how much the other people you work with earn, I work in accounts too & often have to deal with that kind of information & it sucks to find out how low my salary is compared to the account manager who comes to me to ask me questions about how to do his job. I could moan forever on this! I'd love to help you decide but I think this is something you can only decide for yourself, just remember to do whatever will make you happy. x

11:59 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

Secretarial / admin / IT stuff doesn't pay that well these days, regardless of degree. Management generally pays better, if you want the headache, and a generic degree (especially a master's) is usually required.

1:06 PM  
Blogger 2HB2 said...

My net pay was as high doing labor work as management work even though my management pay is double.

Dale is right. Look for work that makes you happy..

4:03 PM  
Blogger LucyMama said...

If people were paid for the caring and commitment and quality of work instead of "classes" and so called "education" it would be a whole different ballgame.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Look for what makes you happy. Also, look for a field you know you can achieve in. When you do that, yep do your Masters, but make sure your wage will increase by doing your Masters. I have a friend who did hers, and she only gained $1 an hour more!!
PBS, i can see you in a PR type field, perhaps event planning, managerial position. You want to do something that can be achieveable, don't look for something you have no clue about.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

its bad to know what other people are earning, i think it causes resentment even though you might not know it yet...

i wish i earned more money and had better working conditions, i just need the inclination to look...

why not start a degree that you can do at home in the evenings...?? choose something that pays well, or world domination sounds good too...i'm sure there are lots of perks with that...lol

:0)

2:15 AM  

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