I got my annual* review this week and the results were "Needs Improvement" because I didn't/couldn't complete a project that didn't materialize (Bossman noted that on the form), an "Exceeds Expectations" for my online work and an "Excellent" for the successful and profitable ongoing project that lands solely on my shoulders.
It was very satisfying to hear.
Now all I need is money. I know I'm still making 11% less the guy I sit beside. He's a good writer -- dependable and knowledgeable. BUT the project I got an "Excellent" on accounts for more than half of my client's revenue for that division and well more than half of my agency's billings for my team. I'm a pudgy little middle-aged cash register ... for everyone but me.
I told my boss I was concerned that new employees with my same job title, those just entering the building through the revolving door, are probably making more than I am after 10 years. He told me how he's in the same boat, how hard it is to find good agency jobs at our age ... basically, that it sucks to be me.
I don't accept that. I told him I realize that he doesn't control the purse strings, but I'd like to talk to the person who does. "Who's that?" I asked. "Who knows the salary range for each job title?" He gave me the name of one of our HR reps, but told me first he'd mention my plight to the Chicago office president. I told him I appreciate that, but if nothing materializes by Labor Day, I'm talking to Human Resources.
If I don't ask, I won't get. And I've been at this agency for a decade and this will be the first time I've gone to HR for anything.
For me, it's Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards. She wrote with breathtaking candor about loss and
And yet her message was ultimately life affirming: Sharing your fears and your pain doesn't make you weak, it makes you strong.
I took it to heart. I have successfully flirted with not always the strong one, for asking for help and hugs when they are needed, or at least accepting them when they are offered.
Elizabeth Edwards made a difference in my life with this book. I hope that where she is now, she knows how much she mattered to women like me who she never even met.
*Only it wasn't annual. It's been more than two years.