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Time and Money

It’s no longer socially acceptable for a company to ask an interview candidate how much money they currently make. It’s also not terribly good to ask the candidate how much they want to make. These days, the standard is to share the pay range for the role. Then, the candidate can decide whether or not the range is acceptable.

In the past, recruiters would argue that asking questions like these made sense. They wanted to know if the candidate was “within their budget” for a particular role. In reality, if the candidate provided a salary number at the low end of the range, they would be paid on the low end of that range. And, they might not ever know it.

Fortunately, many states across the U.S. have agreed that this practice is not okay. It’s not fair. And, it allows pay disparities to continue, and to grow. In other words, if you are currently underpaid, and your future salary is based on your current salary, you will continue to be under paid in the future. If a company pays a fair market rate, then you have a better chance of making what your skillset is truly worth.

Unfortunately, not all recruiters have gotten this message. When a recruiter shares that they have been working as a recruiter for over thirty years, you can bet there’s a decent chance they aren’t playing by the current rules. They will continue to ask questions they should not.

Unfortunately, as a candidate, there’s not much you can do about this issue. If a recruiter asks your salary and you don’t provide it, you’ll likely be eliminated from consideration. You’ll be perceived as difficult, because you aren’t willing to go along with this outdated line of questioning.

The good news is, you can decide not to work with a particular recruiter. You can decide you won’t participate when something like this occurs.  There are many recruiters who will care about the candidate experience, and who are willing to follow the laws and this current way of interviewing candidates.

In addition to questions that a company is not allowed to ask, there is a question that candidates are allowed to ask. In certain states, it’s the law. A candidate can ask the company what the pay range is for a certain position. The company should be willing to provide the range. This gives the opportunity for the candidate to share with the company whether or not the range provided is one they are interested to pursue.

Sadly, this is another area where some recruiters are trying to do their own thing. When asked for the range, it is not uncommon for the recruiter to respond with, “My company hasn’t set a range for this role. We’re trying to see what the market will bear.” As you can imagine, this is most not likely accurate and is an antiquated way of interviewing candidates.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit 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 Apple Podcasts 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


Running Away Money

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Margaret Heffernan. Margaret is incredibly impressive, with a career that includes running five companies in the United States and the United Kingdom, being a college professor, authoring five books, and giving multiple TED Talks. Originally from Texas, Margaret has lived all over, including in the U.K.

Margaret’s career is so impressive that it was hard to narrow down the questions to a list that would fit into one podcast episode. As you can imagine, the interview was wonderful. The insights Margaret shared haven’t left my mind since we spoke.

Margaret describes herself as someone that has always done work that she’s loved. At times, she was paid well, and other times she made very little. But, she was always happy in her work. I asked her how she was able to organize her career this way.

She made two important points that I want to share with you. When a job wasn’t the right fit, she didn’t hesitate to walk away – even if she had only been there for a short period of time. This reminds me of the way a company would quickly fire someone if they weren’t the right fit. But, as employees, we stick around out of some kind of artificial loyalty.

When Margaret worked in an environment where it was clear that succeeding would be an uphill battle, she looked for another job that was a better fit. This would happen in situations where perhaps the staff didn’t treat everyone fairly. Rather than take it personally, she moved on and looked for a better situation. This must have been a tough decision at times, given how important equality is. But, I think we can all agree that it’s easier to succeed in an environment that supports you and your talent.

The second tip Margaret he was gold, quite literally. She said she was always careful to keep enough, “running away money on hand.” I can’t tell you how happy this phrase makes me. Running away money is often referred to as an emergency fund. It is typically six to twelve months of salary (or living expenses) saved up. Most people place this money in a savings account for safe keeping.

Having a financial safety net gives you choices. It allows you to walk away if you really need to. It allows you to control your own destiny, not your company. Very often, when we upgrade our house, our cars, and our lifestyles, we are simply chaining ourselves to the very company we hate.

And as Margaret noted, just having the running away money doesn’t mean you actually need to run away. It often gives you a boost of confidence to be yourself at work. You know you’ll be okay, even if everything else falls apart. That added confidence alone makes things at work go better, and it keeps you from running away at all.

You can listen to my entire interview with Margaret Heffernan here.

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

165 | Friend of a Friend – Dr. David Burkus, Author, Speaker, Professor, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Episode 165 is live! This week, we talk with Dr. David Burkus in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

David is an author, speaker, and associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University. His new book, Friend of a Friend, offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections. He also gave a TEDx Talk titled, “Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid.”

On today’s episode, David shares:

  • What pay transparency is, and the pros and cons of using it
  • Why we may feel underpaid, and what we can do about it
  • Why networking and professional networks are important to our careers
  • What a super connector is, and why they matter
  • What you can do if you’re looking for a networking option that’s not a mixer

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

To learn more about David and his new book Friend of a Friend, visit his website at

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to 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!

When to Ask Your Boss for More Money

Who wouldn’t like to make more money? If you’ve read my column before, you probably know that I’m an advocate of changing companies every three to five years (for many industries). On top of gaining extra experience, switching has the potential to bump up your pay considerably. But, there are often times when you need a raise at your current employer.

So, where do you start? If you want the best chance of landing a raise of more than two or three percent, do it at a time when your role has evolved quite a bit. This would be the case if your work has grown into a new area, has expanded significantly in scope, or has added management responsibilities. For example, if you were hired as an individual contributor and are now managing a team of seven, the scope of your job has changed.

It’s easier to ask for more money if your job has changed significantly because you aren’t asking for more money for your existing job. That may sound silly, especially if you’re doing more than your peers. You may be smarter, saving more money, or getting more done. But, it’s hard for a manager to justify paying you much more for any of these things.

When your job has changed, you’re essentially asking for a fair amount of money for a new job. While you’re making the case, it may also be a good time to request a new title and an updated job description. This way, you are officially taking your current position to the next level.

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to make a case for more, you’ll want to find the perfect time. It may be during your annual performance evaluation. Or, you may want to lobby for more money at another time, in hopes that your manager won’t be restricted by a certain pool of money.

Whenever you decide to do it, plan ahead. Request a meeting in advance, so your boss won’t be caught off guard. Prepare your case in such a way that your manager can easily advocate for you. In other words, don’t make it hard for your boss to give you more money. Do as much of the work for them as you can.

Consider preparing a presentation that shows how your job has changed. Highlight your accomplishments. Include any numeric results you can show, including how much you beat your goals, and how much revenue you saved the company. You put this much work into everything else you do at work. Why wouldn’t you take the time to put it into your own presentation?

Remember this. Your boss may say no. It may be out of their control. Be careful not to come across in a way that may jeopardize your current job. And, if your company isn’t willing to value you, be ready to begin looking for another one that will.

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


Oh my gosh! I have such exciting news to share with you today! My TEDx Talk video is live!

I haven’t said much about it, so in case this is the first you’ve heard about this news, let me fill you in. I was recently invited to give a TEDx Talk about my career success.

(Pretty exciting, right?! Also, what a big honor!!)

The event took place in Columbus, Ohio at TEDxWorthington with a theme of “Interference.”

My TEDx Talk, entitled “How I broke the rules & found my perfect job” shares my story of not waiting for permission in my career and a little obsession I developed along the way.

I share the story about how I went from being an engineer to being a marketing executive to a career coach. I share the bumps and the bruises — and the good parts (like negotiating up my salary – more than once!).

Oh, and, it turns out, I really like interviewing. Did you know that I once snuck into a graduate school campus where I didn’t go in order to get a job interview? When word got out about my ‘love,’ people starting asking me for help with their careers.

But, the biggest lesson I learned along the way was… well, you’ll just have to watch the video to find out!

This is my career story, from the beginning to now. I really hope you’ll enjoy watching the video as much as I enjoyed making it! You can watch the video on YouTube by clicking the link below or any of the photos in this email.

Please watch it, like it, and share it with your friends. You can share the video on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Or, you can simply forward this email to a friend who’s currently on the job hunt.

My hope is truly that the ideas behind my book Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job will catch on far and wide. I want to help job seekers to be more successful in their search, and in their lives.

It’s time to think outside the box and stop living life by other people’s rules. It’s time to push boundaries, to try new things, and to dare to ask for more money. It’s time to find a job that you TRULY LOVE.

And, speaking of love — I need to thank so many people. First, thank you to the TEDx Worthington team for inviting me to participate in such a wonderful event in your special community. A special thank you goes to Dirk for all your support and for listening to my talk countless times in multiple states. A HUGE thank you goes to Irene Crist and Roy Kaufmann for your incredible guidance through this process. Thank you to Daniel Lynn for doing what you do the best. And, thank you to all of my friends who encouraged me to have the courage to share my own story.

I would love you to help me share my “big idea” too. Please forward this email, share on Facebook, share on Twitter, or whatever way works the best for you. I don’t usually include an ask in my e-newsletter, but this is it. Please share my story.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit 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 Apple Podcasts 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 Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


Pay me fairly!

Let’s face it. We all want to be paid fairly. But, what “fair” means can be hard to tell.

After all, we were all taught not to talk about a few key things with others: politics, religion, and money. So, how can you know how much you’re worth on such a taboo topic?

As you can imagine, determining whether or not you’re being paid fairly can be tricky. But, fortunately, the internet is making it a little easier.

Research is where it’s at. You need data to help you determine what’s truly fair. Here are a few ideas for helping you to determine your fair market value. – provides salary data by zip code and title. This can be useful information, especially if you’re searching at a small company. – Glassdoor compiles anonymous, self-reported salary data. It’s reported by title, location, and company. They also rolled out a new tool earlier this year that can be very helpful called the “Know Your Worth Tool.” And, best of all, Glassdoor periodically sends you updates to let you know if your market value is increasing or decreasing.

Your University – One area that many job seekers overlook is called a post-graduation report. Most universities put these reports out, sharing how much their graduates make 1-2 years after graduation. Some also include data about the specific companies their graduates are working for. Although this report is the most helpful when you’re a young professional, it can help to provide another data point in your search for information.

Last, the good old fashioned way of salary research can help here too. Talking with friends a little more openly about money can shed quite a bit of light. And, if all else fails, a few competitive job offers from other companies will definitely give you a better idea of what your current going rate is.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit 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 Apple Podcasts 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 Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland