So You Hate Your Job: Vets Helping Vets Mailbag

So You Hate Your Job: Mailbag

Welcome back to Kamp Kiawah everyone! This whole having a Tuesday off and then coming in on Wednesday shit can fuck off. This shit sucks and I have exactly zero motivation to do any work today. I had a crown and diet coke with my Thai food at lunch today because heartburn doesn’t exist and neither should the rest of this week. Let’s dive in.

Kiawahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what would one do if they found out that they’re being underpaid by their manager in comparison to other people within their team doing the same job? And how would I even bring this up with my manager if I want to get more dough?

Are you in a union? If so, good luck and ain’t happenin’. If not…
Depends on the manager. What is he/she like?

Ran into this issue at my last company with a veteran. The vet realized that their commission structure was straight garbage as he had a capped bonus eligibility of 55k despite bringing in what would have equated to about 120k in bonuses. Meanwhile, someone else with tenure brought in 80k in bonus eligibility and had like an 85k cap. The vet crunched the numbers and said I went more than 200% over quota but made 25k less than the dude who went 90ish% of his quota. The manager was a pure data-type sales guy and when the argument was framed that way, he won over his manager and they created a backdated bonus structure similar to the way a “strike” in bowling is utilized, aka past performance history was rewarded by continued future performance. Sorry if I geeked out there, it was just really interesting to me how they did that (and I bet the accountant and CPA types reading this would find this interesting).

The way I would frame it, not knowing the full personality of your manager, is in future career planning. What I mean by that is this: tell him you have really been digging into your individual development plan and future career growth. While doing so, you looked up your future salary projections and came across today’s data on you/the team. Say you feel like you’re a solid performer to the team and you absolutely love your job/field and that’s why you were looking at the data in your current org, because you want to stay. You were running future career projections for follow-on roles and determined salary by assuming you’d make the “average” in these future roles. While digging through said data you noticed your current salary is below the mean of the “standard” analyst, but you feel like you’ve been putting up “above standard” numbers. If you have positive performance evaluations from the past, use that to support your argument.

Aside from that, I would definitely stick to the “average salary is x thousand more” argument. If you compare yourself to one specific person, an argument can be made about that individual’s performance or something like that. If you talk about the overall group/team average then you’ve got way more room to argue. They’d basically have to say you’re a below average performer to justify not paying you at least the average salary.

Hey Kiawah, thanks for all that you’re doing. I think you’re in a gig that allows you to help veterans who are transitioning from the military and helping them land their next job. Is that right? That’s what I’ve discerned from your articles. Anyways, I do know you were in the military but I haven’t actually seen you write anything on here that gives your perspective on how the military can translate their skills directly. Thoughts?

Damn, you’re actually correct on that. I will say that if you are a veteran and reach out to me via the email at the bottom of this article, I’ll immediately shoot you a connection request and we can have a different type of conversation (read: no fluff). I can also push you tons of resources and we can make some introductions. Again, recruiting world is a fairly small place and I have no issue making introductions for the military types.

Hey Kiawah, I hear a lot about an algorithm within an ATS that screens out like 90% of resumes before humans can read them. Is that true?

Whoever created this dirty fucking rumor needs to go to hell. Yes, the algorithm exists. With that being said, the algorithm doesn’t even come close to screening out that many applicants. The algorithm is in place to screen out people who are hilariously unqualified applying for positions online. The biggest offender is the hot-trash job board ZipRecruiter or any other site that allows you to “one-click apply.” I can tell you right now that if you are serious about your career, I’d avoid those types of jobs.* Literally everyone and their mom applies to them because mankind is by-and-large full of really lazy people. Wanna know something you shouldn’t be lazy about? Your career. If you see an SVP position online with a one-click apply and it’s not a position running the Banana Stand, you don’t want that job. Companies will post these openings just to drive all kinds of traffic and candidates onto their website. They will then use the algorithm to screen out those without a college degree when it calls for a Master’s. I know this doesn’t make sense. Why drive people to a website to get them to apply only to then reject them immediately? Welcome to the world of recruiting. It’s great. Good for the business, dogshit experience for the candidate.

*the one exception is actually LinkedIn, itself. Some companies will use LinkedIn and have one-click applies. What this really means is “hey go look at my profile because I pushed this button expressing interest.” Remember when I said having a clean social media is important? That is 100% the case here.

And in terms of an ATS, this is an Applicant Tracking System. Applicant tracking systems do exactly what they sound like they do: track applicants. An ATS is basically one giant resume database (in addition to hosting jobs). Once you’ve applied for a position, your resume gets stored within an ATS for usually 2 years (that’s why rejection emails say they’ll keep your resume on file….”on file”=Applicant Tracking System). Hey fun fact, remember when I said companies drive applicants using one-click applies? They’re really doing that to drive up the number of resumes within their ATS so someone somewhere can claim that they are improving the perception of the company. Once in a blue moon they’ll pull a resume from it down the road for an open position. While it sounds like this works, if you’ve been rejected from a number of previous jobs at a single company, all of the information is stored within the ATS and the recruiters can see how/why you were turned down for previous jobs. We have notes on everyone and everything. Ensure that you aren’t applying for 20+ positions at a single company because a recruiter can see all of that within an ATS and come to a conclusion (fair or not) that the job-seeker doesn’t know what they want to do and are thus a flight risk.

Hey man, I really appreciate all of your help on this job-related stuff. Can I VM you some beer money or something? You seem to help anyone who asks…

In case you haven’t heard, I do this for free. Seriously, don’t worry about sending me money.

I mainly highlighted this question for the second part. I will help ALMOST literally everyone. If you make sexist comments in the comments section on a LinkedIn post or some other site (including PGP), I guarantee I won’t be helping you on your job search. In case you haven’t noticed, recruiters are lurking literally everywhere. That is why literally the first ever post of this installment focused on cleaning up your social media.

Further, stupid comments like that are a huge red-flag to just about every recruiter. In case you haven’t heard, Uber got in some trouble lately for sexual harassment. We take that shit serious. In case you haven’t noticed, much like WDF, if you give me a name or social media handle your entire life story can be found in about 10 minutes by the right person. Don’t give recruiters a reason to start digging.

Lastly, recruiters at the bigger companies are all pretty tight with one-another. I didn’t do it to said commenter (which prompted this rant) because it seems like it was just a really bad joke, but black-balling is very much a real thing at the major companies when it comes to recruiters talking with one-another. #ConspiracyThursday……I may or may not be a part of a giant LinkedIn group message where screen shots of candidates who are assholes to people get passed around. Again, I haven’t done this, but it’s incredibly easy to torpedo someone over LinkedIn. Recruiters can very easily go to someone’s connections and find all of the other recruiters within said person’s network and message all of them the screen shots of messages they got from that candidate.

Ever wonder why most rejection notifications come via email and not phone? It’s so the recruiter can have proof of how you behaved. People REGULARLY throw temper tantrums and bitch fits (or even threaten a recruiter like happened to me once) but then run and claim they were treated unfairly. Further, your info can get passed around in my group message. I’ve seen it done and it’s not pretty. Don’t be an asshole because you never know who is watching.

Image via Shutterstock

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Kiawah Island Strip Club

I'd rather be golfing. Seattle sucks so I write about that. Also work...ish in recruiting. Shoot your resume to for any and all job hunt questions.

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