Here’s a corrollary to yesterday’s thoughts on underearning income. Anne Fischer from Fortune Magazine urges people who feel they are underpaid to consider whether they are actually overtitled. Here’s the letter to the editor:
I was among the top five salespeople at my software company last year, and I’m pretty sure I’m drastically underpaid. I really like working here, but I suspect I’m not being compensated fairly because I’m the youngest person in this role. How can I verify what other people in my position are making across the industry, to support my argument that I deserve more money? –Super Closer
Annie’s tips include checking with Salary.com (which I’ve noted in the past I’ve found inaccurate), classified ads, and recruiters.
She cites this advice:
“Over-titling” was a common practice in the tough financial climate of the past few years when, [Bill] Coleman [from Salary.com] says, “many people were offered trumped-up job titles in lieu of salary increases. As a result, their actual experience level and value to the company may not be on a par with the salary they expect based on their title.”
I see this in my own company, where for example there are many Vice Presidents, many of whom function mainly as department heads.
The Festival of Frugality #8 is up at Frugal Underground. Lots of great articles there.
I was fortunate to be interviewed by Scott for his Money Blogger Podcast. My episode is up, and you can listen by subscribing to this RSS feed or downloading (or streaming) this MP3.
It’s very strange to hear myself talk, especially when I have a tendency of rambling. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it. Perhaps it will provide some insight into me and Consumerism Commentary… on the other hand, perhaps I’m boring. You be the judge.
Last week, I finished reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s not really about personal finance; it’s about the accuracy of certain snap decisions. I read the book with the intent of relating its message to the topics I focus on here.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking describes how some people have the ability to make accurate judgments in a split-second. In some cases these judgments are more accurate than those following a systematic, scientific review of the situation. The main thing to take away from the book is those people who are experts in their field can often make better decisions subconsciously in the first two seconds of an event than what their conscious mind can handle.
Gladwell’s stories involved very little that most people could gain. Only years of experience can prime the subconscious for “thin-slicing,” and this point is often hidden in the book.
There was nothing I could learn from this book that could be applied as advice or thoughts for the typical investor. This is a book about experts. This is a book about Warren Buffetts — the author mentions the Oracle of Omaha to bridge the phenomenon to theories of investing at one point, but it doesn’t have anything that you or I could take away without years of intimacy with a subject.
What if you do have intimate knowledge of investing? What kind of snap judgments could be made? Whether a company is a good candidate for a buy? I think it would have to be something more specific. You could take a look at an annual financial report and know whether a company is in good shape or is hiding something. You could watch the CEO on Bloomberg TV or CNBC and know whether he or she has confidence in the company. That’s about as far as I see this going.
If you’ve read the book, feel free to share your thoughts on whether there is anything within that could be applied to personal finance.