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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 You’ll be perceived as difficult, because you aren’t willing to go along with this outdated line of questioning.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


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!

Using Transparency to Build a Diverse Workforce

Diversity is one of the most important issues companies are focused on today. LinkedIn recently found that over half of companies say they are very or extremely focused on diversity. This is good news, especially when you consider this. The World Economic Forum recently estimated that it will take 217 years for women to reach complete equality in pay and employment opportunities.

It should be noted that one of the key tools we have available today that was not available years ago is the internet. The transparency now available, especially as it relates to employment, is a gold mine for job seekers. Sites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and provide important data points, including how much workers are paid and how employees rate their workplaces.

To further the mission of diversity, recently announced a partnership with three other websites that focus on inclusiveness in the workplace. This partnership with,, and will help to provide additional information to job seekers.

The information will show up on the Indeed “Company Pages.” It will allow job seekers to better evaluate the diversity and inclusiveness of an organization. Today’s Company Pages include ratings for work/life balance, compensation/benefits, job security/advancement, management, and culture. In the future, there will also be scores from InHerSight, Comparably, and Fairygodboss that will rank the companies from one to five stars and as a number from one to 100.

The internet still remains an unlikely place to land your next job. But, the data available will help you to decide whether or not you want to accept a job offer from a particular company.

Salary data will also help you to know what is considered fair pay in your industry. In corporate roles, employers setup pay bands. It can be surprising to know that for one job, the pay band can sometimes vary as much as $40,000 or more. That means that one person doing the job may make $65,000, and another person doing the same job may make over $100,000. In theory, this range allows companies to compensate employees based upon experience. In reality, how much you make is often tied to how skilled you are at negotiation.

Using the data available online will help you to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. It will allow you to verify that your future employer is a healthy place to work. And, it will give you a view into your employer’s values and priorities.

This sort of valuable feedback is often not something you can typically find out during a job interview.

Long story short, we still have a long way to go on issues related to diversity and pay equality for all people, including women and men from all backgrounds. But, this level of increased transparency will help you to be your own advocate. Perhaps together, we can shorten the time it will take to reach complete equality in the workplace.

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

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

Bigger cities don’t pay more – at least, not enough

I would scream this from the mountain top if I could. Big cities don’t necessarily pay more. Big cities don’t pay more! BIG CITIES DON’T PAY MORE (at least not enough more)!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t move to a big city. I love big cities. Before Memphis, I was living in the Los Angeles area. It was beautiful. Given the opportunity, I would do it all over again.

But, as you already know – money doesn’t go as far there. In California, my apartment cost about the same amount of money as an apartment in Tennessee. But, can you guess what was different? It was less than half the size of what I was used to. It had no air conditioning. It had no dishwasher. It had no private parking. And, it had no washing machine or dryer for my clothes.

That sounds like it must have been a real shack, right? Wrong. I lived in the same neighborhood where celebrities lived. I ran into a few during my time there, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver (before their breakup), Hillary Swank, and Minnie Driver.

Let’s get this right. We’re not talking cheap – we’re talking different. When I lived in LA, my priorities were different. I have friends who still live in cities like LA and NYC. Some live in tiny apartments. Others have roommates well into their 30s and 40s. It’s not a big deal. It’s not bad. It’s just different.

But, what probably won’t happen when you move to a big city is this. The new company you’re interested to work for may pay you more. But, they won’t pay you that much more. They’re not going to pay you so much more that you’ll be able to have the same house in your new swanky city. You’re going to have to make choices – like whether or not you’re down for living in a smaller space.

Why is this? Why wouldn’t a company pay you an adjusted cost of living wage? If you take an internal move, they might – or they’ll get closer. But, if you’re going to work for a new company, it’s unlikely.

This is the thing. A big city like LA has lots and lots of people; 3.9 million to be exact. Many of those people are qualified to do the same job you’re qualified to do. Most likely, you will have more competition for your job than you do today in your smaller city. And, it’s a supply and demand job market. If you want to make $100K per year, but there’s someone else who already lives in the city (and is also qualified) that’s open to taking $85K, what incentive does the company have to pay you $100K?

It’s that whole “big fish, little pond” concept. And you know, sometimes it’s good to be a big fish. For example, a city like Memphis sometimes pays more for specialized talent than LA. Why is that? Because there are very few people in a city the size of Memphis who can fill a certain job. But, in LA, there are lots of people who can.

Now that I’ve said all this, let me say that it’s not impossible to make much more in a larger city. This is especially true if you’re jumping up the ladder so to speak.

But, just don’t assume that a big city will pay you much more. It’s not a given. And, for the most-part, that’s a myth. You may make more, but the question is – how much more? And, are you prepared to try living without air conditioning or without a dishwasher?

Of course, there’s no right answer. It’s all a very personal choice. Just be sure you understand the pond before you jump into it.

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.

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



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