I’ve been working at my current job for about a year now.  An annual review meeting is supposed to happen next month and I’m getting a little anxious about it.  I know most people are pretty wary about sharing their wages publicly but with all this hype about minimum wage and McDonald’s workers wanting to make $15 an hour seriously makes me question my pay rate.

I am curious about what YOU would pay someone who helps with…

  • Office Admin Tasks (contracts, contacts, correspondence, certification, craigslist, etc)
  • Sorting Job Applicants and Conducting Interviews (interns)
  • Accounting (Quickbooks checks and invoices, receipt organization for taxes)
  • Office Organization (supplies, equipment, files)
  • Film Fest Research and Submissions
  • Blogging & Newsletter (expected multiple blogs per week)
  • Occasional PA (gather actor/talent release signatures on set and occasionally assist with props and reflectors)
  • Office Clean-up (picking up clutter piles, garbage/recycling, sweeping)
  • Occasional Photoshop Editing
  • Miscellaneous Errands (oil changes, office supplies, post office, pine tree trimmings)
  • Babysitting
  • Home Organization/Rearranging & Helping with Decorations
  • Occasional Cleaning

I’m like a personal assistant, office admin, HR department, blogger, and accountant in one!  I definitely feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions.  I make $9 an hour.

I started seeing a nutritionist recently to kick my butt into healthy eating.  She is currently studying holistic medicine.  After telling her about my lack of sleep and stress, she suggested I sit in silence and see what thoughts come to mind.  I’ve been doing this occasionally and, much like what I experience when trying to fall asleep, thoughts of all the things I need to do at work come flooding into my head.  Even taking a week-long staycation did not help, it just piled more things on to my work to-do list.

It’s a source of stress.  Which leads me into thinking about how I’m 29 and have never worked a full time job. I’m 29 and the most I’ve ever made hourly is $9.  It’s rather depressing.

I love my job, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a small family business that started last year so they aren’t exactly raking in dough.  They’re great people and lots of fun to work with.  But am I spreading myself too thin?

I’m curious to know what you would personally pay someone for helping with all the things I do.  Also, any tips on how to bring all this up at the meeting would be appreciated!


17 thoughts on “Wages

  1. $9/ hr – ouch. You do way too much for that piddly amount, but liking your job is important too. Would you be happy if you made double that, but hated your job?? Money isn’t everything – even when you’re trying to get out of debt! I did have a job that paid more than what I make now. It was only a temp job but I HATED it. With every fiber of my being. I left it. I couldn’t take it. I got my current job shortly thereafter & make *almost* what I made at the temp job. After 4 years. But it was worth it to me because I looooove my job & couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Sorry, I guess I’m no help LOL

  2. $9/hour…Woah.
    I get that you like your job, and this small company can’t afford to pay you more (eh, maybe?) but you can make more per hour just by babysitting or dog-walking. Trust me, if you’re feeling spread thin, for $9.00, find something more valuable for your time.

    • I overheard the wife once say her teenage babysitter was getting $10 an hour one day when I wasn’t available to babysit. :/ I’m only in the area for another year or less so no where else is going to hire me right now. I already do the pet sitting thing on the side and I’ve applied at OrderUp to be a delivery driver in this area (and will probably make more than I do now).

      • Yeah, that would be rough, especially knowing you aren’t going to stay in the area long-term. Good luck with OrderUp!

  3. We live in the same area and that is low. I think you should approach them with the suggestion that they need to lessen your responsibilities. Since it is their business and it benefits them the most in the long run, they should be willing to do a lot of the extra work themselves if they truly can’t pay you. On the other hand, maybe it’s time for them to charge their clients more if they are that busy? Good luck, I completely understand the frustration

    • They hired me because they are so busy themselves with their business and two toddlers. I was just looking at job postings on craigslist to get an average of what employers are paying these days but now I think what I’ll do for my meeting is bring job listings for all the things I do (because I’m not just an administrative assistant or personal assistant). I definitely can’t keep doing it all. Not for $9 an hour.

  4. In the UK you would be earning below the National Minimum Wage so your hourly rate would be unlawful. You should be earning the equivalent $10.50. For what you do, the sum seems low. However, if you do not have much work experience, it is difficult to justify a higher salary. I have a good job and a decent salary but I am vastly underpaid for my profession. I hope salary negotiations go well!

    • I’m definitely asking! I was looking into OrderUp and they say I would make at least $12 an hour as a delivery driver…plus tips. Since I currently only work part time, I’m probably going to start working for OrderUp as well!

  5. I absolutely feel your pain. I’m 30 and I’ve never made more than around $16k per year, $10.75 an hour. It’s disheartening when I read about people ten years younger than me making $40k yearly. Talk about demoralizing…

    • Totally feel you there. This year will be my highest earnings ever so far and it’ll barely touch $10k. :/ Paired with debt, how does anyone expect a person with such little income to retire?

  6. (Sorry, this is long, but it’s a topic I feel passionate about…)

    The pay is too low. But, anytime I have waited around for someone to notice my good work and offer me a raise, it never happened. Also, anytime I went in to a boss and said “I’m underpaid for what I am doing today” it put them on the defense and didn’t go well.

    What you should do is frame this as a looking-forward thing, not a looking-back thing.

    I would create a list of everything you do. Show that to them. Highlight the things you didn’t do when you started, or didn’t know how to do when you started that you have self-learned.

    Then say, “Here is where I am at today. I want to know how I can continue to grow and be a valuable member of this team. What can I do more of, or improve upon, to be worth $XX per hour to this team?”

    This way you are A) showing them everything you do for them, which according to your list, is a lot. You are B) demonstrating your ability to grow and adapt, by highlighting all the new things you do now. And C) you are connecting your pay aspirations with growth. Yes, it’s a bit risky because it sounds like you are asking to take on even more duties, but you won’t be putting your supervisor in a defensive position. It’s hard to argue with an employee who says they want to do more to earn more. Also, you are asking for a specific amount so you won’t do all this extra work just to find out they are giving you a quarter-per-hour raise. They know exactly what you expect in the end.

    Tell them you don’t want an answer right away, but that you hope you can follow up in a week. When you meet again, listen to what they say. Offer to write up the old and new duties into a job description that you can aspire to. *Get the full list of duties in writing and make sure they sign off on it.*

    Then, I would INSIST that you have performance review meetings with your boss, once per month. Bring that job description with you every time and give examples of how you are working toward checking off all the boxes and earning your raise. Do not apologize for wanting to have these conversation with him/her, even if he/she seems busy, stressed, etc. Always end the meetings by asking the question, “How can I continue to grow as a member of this team?” Supervisors eat that up, LOL. Once per year you should ask to have a pay review meeting with your boss. Again, do not apologize for asking for these meetings.

    I work for a large firm, so I know the situation in a small business can be different. But you should not feel guilty for doing any of this. Even my nicest bosses did not have my career at heart. They were too busy worrying about themselves. If we don’t get good at asking for what we deserve, we will never get it. The trick is to paint your supervisor into a corner, while being so eager and polite and pleasant and professional that he/she has no other choice but to take action. It is not always comfortable, but it is necessary. And you will get better and more confident with every meeting you have!

  7. I cannot believe you are only earning $9/hr and making the progress you are on your loans. I am so impressed. Please keep up the hard work and fight for a well-deserved raise. You are worth so much more.

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