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The Value of College

College is expensive. Private college is even more. My undergraduate school is now charging approximately $50,000 per year, just for tuition. Assuming you’re paying of pocket, that’s two hundred thousand dollars for a four-year degree, not including room and board.

I love my college, but this is bananas. The idea that a student or parents are expected to come up with this much money for school is difficult to wrap the mind around.

The high cost of college makes you wonder what the money is for. College is more than a finishing school. It’s more than a place to learn about history. It will set the foundation for your future professional career.

To facilitate this career, many colleges offer a career resources center. But, they are typically opt-in. In other words, career resources isn’t a priority.

If finding a job is the ultimate goal, why doesn’t every college offer a mandatory class about just this topic? Along with history, math, and writing, why isn’t there a class in how to get a job? After all, we spend four years learning the skills we need to do the job. Why not have a course in how to get that job?

It seems simple. Universities could use leverage existing career resources staff, or they could find outside coaches or professionals. Fundamentals might include elevator pitch, resume writing, and professional networking.

If students knew how to get a job, they would be more likely to land one upon graduation. They very well might make more money, and in turn, the school would become more valuable. If your school already has a program like this, that’s excellent news. But, sadly, most of the students I speak to don’t have such a course.

If you are evaluating where you want to go to college (or graduate school), consider this. Most schools publish what’s called a post-graduation report. You can typically find it through a straight forward internet search such as “post-graduation report for Harvard University.” This report will typically share information, including: which industries graduates work in, which companies hire graduates, where graduates live geographically, and how much graduates make.

The how much graduates make portion is important. Graduates from certain colleges (or with certain degrees) make much more (or much less) than other graduates. This is real. Companies will very often pay a graduate from a pricey school more than one from another school. Or, they will pay graduates with science or computer backgrounds more than those with art or history backgrounds. This may seem intuitive, but the post-graduation report outlines it clearly.

The next question is – will this education have a good return on investment? Education is an investment. It’s an investment in future income. Fortunately, there are ROI calculators online that can help think through this process. At the end of the day, the college and major you select may be influenced by the ROI of the degree.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

158 | Unhappy at Work – Kathryn Gates, Therapist at Gates Therapy in Austin, TX

Episode 158 is live! This week, we talk with Kathryn Gates in Austin, TX. Kathryn is a psychotherapist and fitness specialist who works with adults, teens, couples and families. Kathryn’s mission is to support her clients in healing their pasts and embracing their creativity to find their unique life purpose. This is Kathryn’s second time as a guest on the Copeland Coaching Podcast!

On today’s episode, Kathryn shares:

  • The types of issues employees are the most frustrated with at work
  • How to decide if you’re in the wrong job — or the wrong workplace environment
  • How Kathryn was able to transition her own career from personal trainer to psychotherapist
  • How to reduce your stress at work

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Kathryn, visit her website at www.gatestherapy.com. You can also check out her new e-book, Do NOT See A Therapist: until you’ve done these 5 things, available in March on Amazon.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

 

Do your salary research!

salary research
You know that negotiation is one of my favorite things – especially when you’re switching companies! A job transition is the perfect time to negotiate your salary up. When it comes to a successful salary negotiation, one of the most important things you can do is salary research. Take the time to find out what a competitive salary is for your new role, and for particular companies.

Especially in the corporate world, different companies pay very differently for the same position. Even within a company, pay can vary significantly. Companies use pay bands to determine how much employees may make. It may not sound like a big deal, but some positions have pay bands that span a range of $50K or more. In theory, you will be paid more for more experience and more education. In reality, these things do matter – but, so does your ability to negotiate.

You may wonder where to begin your salary research. There are many different sources online where you can do salary research – too many to cover here. I will touch on just a few that will be the best sources of information for beginning your salary researchincluding a new way to research salary that rolls out later this week!

Glassdoor.com

Glassdoor has two options for salary research. The first is researching what a particular company pays for a certain role. In other words, search for a company that you like – by name. Then, enter a location (or you can leave location blank) and select the dropdown for “Salary.”

This simple search will give you a list of different roles at the company, and the pay range for each. You should search through the list to find jobs that are the most similar to the one you hope to interview for. Notice that each job will have both a pay range (shown as min and max), and the number of people who have reported their salary. Glassdoor provides self-reported data, so the data coming out is only as good as the data going in. Honestly though, the data going in appears to be pretty solid.
Their second option for salary research is a tool called the Know Your Worth Tool. It allows you to track your value over time, compared to the others in your area.

Salary.com

Salary.com has been around for years, but still provides basic salary information that can be helpful to your search. The site allows you to search by job title and city or zip code.

It provides a bell curve that will share with you what people with your title are making on average – and at the top and bottom ends of the curve. You can also compare base salary to base and bonus.

Because Salary.com isn’t industry or company specific, the data provided can be a bit vague, but I would argue that it’s still a decent data point to collect during your salary research.

Indeed.com

You may never have thought much about it before, but Indeed also offers salary data. When you visit their site, click the “Find Salaries” tab. You will be taken to a screen where you can search by job title or company. If you search by job title, you’re taken to a second screen where you can narrow down your results by city and company. If you search by company, you will be taken to a screen where you can narrow it down based on job title within that company. Indeed provides a range, similar to both Glassdoor.com and Salary.com.

LinkedIn.com

Today, you can find estimated salaries on LinkedIn by clicking on the “Jobs” tab and then clicking the link for “LinkedIn Salary.” You can search both by job title and by city. LinkedIn provides a range for both median base salary and median total compensation. And, you can narrow the results down by industry and years of experience.

But, even better than this — LinkedIn is adding a new feature to their site this week that will allow you to access the salary for a specific job posting you’re interested in. They want to help bring more transparency to conversations about salary. You know that I love this.

Here’s how the new “Salary Insights” will work. For many (but not all) jobs, you will begin to see a salary for each job posting. It will be listed as either “Expected” salary or “Estimated” salary. Expected is the salary that is provided by the company. Expected salary is LinkedIn’s estimate based on other data they have that matches the title, company, and location.

This new feature goes live later this week. Try it, and let me know what you think! I’m so excited to see increased pay transparency as part of the application process.

LinkedIn releases estimated salary for salary research

Salary Research Summary

Your ability to negotiate for the best salary will be determined by the hard work you put in to research what you’re worth. But, lucky for all of us, this process is getting easier and easier! The more salary research you do, the more likely you are to be able to ask for what’s fair. And, that’s all we really need, right? To be paid fairly, and to be treated with respect – those two things are key!

Good luck with your salary research! Let me know what you think about these methods.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Love Your Job

The month of love is upon us again. Happy Valentine’s Day! It always happens just after we create our latest New Year’s resolutions. We’re often still thinking about career goals, and future plans. All these goals bring up an important question. Do you love your job?

If the answer is no to this question (and you have fallen out of love with your job), this is the perfect time to make a change. The first step is to identify what you like (and dislike) about your current job. Being in tune with your feelings will help you to spot your perfect job, and career, in the future.

If you don’t love your job, what is it that would make you want to go to work every day? Are you looking for more meaning? Would you like a bigger paycheck? Do you prefer more autonomy and respect from your boss? Perhaps you want all of the above.

What do you like about your current job? Hopefully, there are good parts to your less than ideal situation. Do you feel that you’re working on something with a purpose or a mission that motivates you? Does the job give you flexibility in your daily schedule? Maybe there’s something else that you enjoy about your work.

When we’re unhappy at our current job, we often start by looking through job postings for the perfect job title. We assume that the right title and job description will make all the difference. Although this makes perfect sense, it’s rarely that straightforward.

Finding the right job is often about finding the right situation. It’s about finding a supportive boss, and good coworkers. It’s about finding a reliable company in a stable industry.

Would you agree? The perfect job title doesn’t mean much if you hate your boss, or your workplace. Alternatively, you might be willing to make a little less money if you could just find a job you loved to go to each day.

Remember, finding a job is a lot like dating. If we breakup with one person, but we don’t take the time to reflect on what went wrong, we very well might end up in another equally unhappy relationship. This is often the case when we run from one job to another due to a difficult situation.

Once we have a good idea of the pros and cons at our current job, we should start building up our professional network. Even if we’re not ready to switch today, we will need our network when we are. Plus, finding a job through networking gives us a higher chance of success. We may already know our future boss. Or, a friend may share how great their company culture is.

Like dating, the more you know about the company going in, the more likely you are to find a match. After all, finding a job you love is all about fit.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

157 | Alex Smith, Chief HR Officer, City of Memphis

Episode 157 is live! This week, we talk with Alex Smith in Memphis, TN. Alex is the Chief HR Officer for the City of Memphis. She also served on the HR teams at Brightstar Device Protection, Target Corporation, and Microsoft. Alex will be speaking this year at SXSW on a panel called, “Dear HR: Ditch the pool table and pay student loans.”

On today’s episode, Alex shares:

  • The details on the student loan reimbursement plan the City of Memphis has implemented
  • What types of creative benefits companies are offering
  • The differences in interviewing at a corporation versus a government
  • Tips on deciding if you should work at a corporate job, or a government job
  • Tips for transitioning between different cities

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on iTunes or Stitcher.

To learn more about Alex, you can find her on LinkedIn. Learn more about the City of Memphis on the City of Memphis website. And, learn more about Alex’s SXSW panel on the SXSW website.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on iTunes and leave me a review!