Negotiate For Your Benchmark Salary!

If the economy does, indeed, get better (but won’t return to the glory years) people will start moving around.  This will create job openings and you need to be ready with your resume.  Many years ago I read a management book that said Men update their resumes as soon as they land a new job – Women wait until they are angry and ready to move on.  Make sure it’s up-to-date and meets current hiring criteria.  Resume formats change every 8-10 years so check with the employment division in your community.
While you’re at the State Employment Department research salaries for the positions you think you might like to have.  Get a sense of what most companies are paying and the type of benefits they offer.  See if that matches your “Enough” list.  I’ll write about making an “Enough” list next week.
But know that negotiating for that first salary is the most important.  If the job was listed at a set amount an hour it doesn’t hurt to make a case for more.  Be sure you’re ready to tell them why you’re worth more.  Victoria Pinchon specializes in helping high-powered women who work in male-dominated fields.  Claire Suddath interviewed her for an article in Bloomburg Businessweek on this very subject.  Victoria told her “it’s critical to know what men make to refrain from unknowingly accepting a lowball offer”.
Claire also interviewed Ofer Sharone, assistant professor of work and employment research at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.  Ofer cautions folks that your “agreement is the benchmark for all future raises, and if you switch jobs your employer will ask what you made at the last company.”  You want to be able to talk about it without embarrassment.  You must learn to be your own cheerleader.

On This Day

Writing every day is part of my daily schedule. Work on my historical fiction is slow as I scan all the photos and outline the text, section by section.  Each segment tends to create its own start and stop and then I find myself without a focus for the days writing.  I decided that for the next year I’ll look to #OnThisDay to spark writing ideas and see where it takes me.

I was pulled back to a previous life when I read “#OnThisDay, Nov 21st, 1992 U.S. Senator Robert Packwood apologized to the many women he had sexually assaulted over the years.”  The Washington Post story detailed claims of sexual abuse and assault by 10 women, chiefly former staffers and lobbyists.  Over the next three years the subject of his removal, resignation and replacement proved to be the focus during hours of discussion.  Would he go, would he stay, who would run, would a replacement be appointed, etc.

Finally, in September of 1995, after the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended he be expelled from the Senate for ethical misconduct, he resigned.  He had been dogged by the press, the politicos and his wife of 30 years.  Then the debate over whom the Governor might appoint to replace him or call for a general election ensued.  As Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon and staffer to Cong. Peter DeFazio, my hope was an appointment (Obviously of my boss) but Gov. Kitzhaber chose differently.  Cong. Ron Wyden ended up getting the job, I ended up resigning from the Chairmanship, and Senator Packwood ended up in divorce court.

It was that battle that generated his new nickname.  When challenging in court the amount of alimony she would get for the rest of her life Senator Packwood told the judge he couldn’t afford to pay her what she was asking.  He was so poor he could only afford a basement apartment.  At that time, basement apartments with street access were more expensive than most others.  He was known as “Basement Bob” by Democratic Party wonks from then on.  Peter went back to being a Congressman, and Sen. Packwood later married his long-time Chief of Staff, Elaine Franklin.

Wikipedia cited an article Mark Zusman did in 2009, for the Williamette Week.  The interview with Senator Packwood was short but informative.  He spoke about the rules and how when you break them you have to expect consequences.  In his 70’s he’s a lobbyist and still married to Elaine.  You can read the article for yourself at Cong. DeFazio and Sen. Wyden are still in Congress and I live in a remote town in Southern Utah where I create beadweavings and write.



Personal responsibility is imperative if you’re going to benefit from Obamacare.  Regardless of your age, gender, race (except American Indians who are exempt), diseases, disabilities or drug use – prepare to pay more for your care.  You’ll need to learn what your care requires and how much Medicare/Medicaid will pay for your treatments because you’re going to pay for the balance.  Obamacare reduces Medicare funding between now and 2020.  It reduces certain Medicare Hospital payments and it eliminates the Part D drug plan by January 2020.

162 years ago today, Carolyn Ingraham of Madison, New Jersey became the first woman in America to be issued a life insurance policy.   Back then most folks believed in self-insured programs.  They worked with their neighbors or churches to assure their families were taken care of in the event of loss.  Graineries were a primitive form of insurance.  They house food to indemnify them against famines.  Oversight did not begin until 1851 when New Hampshire had the first Insurance Commissioner.

Congress took no significant action about Insurance until the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945  when they proclaimed Insurance Company oversight was the responsibility of the states.  In 1999, the Financial Modernization Act reaffirmed states rights on Insurance Company oversight while it acknowledged a framework to authorize affiliations between banks, securiteies firms, and insurer.  Dod-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act took things a little further.  It established the Federal Insurance Office within the Dept of Treasury.  It adds another layer of beauracracy without enforcement capabilities and the industry continues to escape Anti-trust laws.  It was inconceivable in 1850  so many people would live so long and the financial burden to society would be so great.

Obamacare shifts a large portion of the financial burden to employers and private pay individuals.  When hospitals that accept large numbers of indigents receive less, beginning in October of 2014, cost of services will have to rise in order to cover those reduced revenues.  Eventually indigent and fixed income folks will get less care for more money – when that happens Congress will get to revisit this issue – if not sooner.



“The Dalai Lama’s Cat” Book Review

“The Dalai Lama’s Cat”
By David Michie
ISBN# 978-1-4019-4058-4
Fiction – Cats – Buddhism
Hay House, Inc    $15.95

Beat selling author David Michie has written a delightful tale of a tail.  One that was a stray and saved by the Dalai Lama for “we share the same two basic wishes: the wish to enjoy happiness and the wish to avoid suffering.”

Follow HHC (His Holiness’s Cat) on her adventures and learn (along with her) the Buddhist beliefs of love and compassion.  This well-written tale is an easy read, flows nicely, and left me wanting more.

Full disclosure – I’m a volunteer reviewer for Hay House who has provided me this
book at no expense and no compensation.  My review is my own opinion having read the entire book.