• Gina Micek

International Women's Day: The Quest for Meaningful and Well-Compensated Work



I haven’t written in a while. Under the pressure of back-to-back deadlines for MIMA and obtaining an internship with the Irish Fair through the summer.

MIMA is going through a lot of changes behind the scenes to better serve its members. Am I sounding like a marketer? No really, they didn’t pay me to say it that way. It’s just that we’re learning a new Content Management system, building behind the scenes strategy and real roles (i.e. I am the Content Manager) which can be transferable skills for the job hunt. Meanwhile some web platforms and stuff are changing. Board members are shuffling.

Change management is a huge endeavor. Especially when the changes are big. Like my life change is BIG. I obtained my MBA a year ago and I am still learning the ropes. Finding my way through.

I wasn’t sure where I got the idea that it would be instantaneous or even easy. I’m still making the same Executive Assistant salary I was making and my title through the company re-org was changed to Admin Assistant Sr., which we protested and it is still being reviewed. I manage an entire facility of just under 200 people. I do server room and IT tech. The demotion in title was made worse by the fact that almost everyone in the company got a higher more descriptive title.

For our review period, I got a 43 Cents an hour raise which is stagnant. Flatline actually - since my costs went up and benefits are more. I make about $10 a a paycheck more than I did last year. Look, I appreciate this company I work for, they've done nothing but great things for me and yet the end result is like everything International Women's Day is all about. It is a trend and maybe not even a good one that salaries barely keep pace with the cost of living.

My boss asked me in my review if I was bored. I think we both know the answer. I have this hugely creative mind with the business intelligence and even if I didn’t always believe it in it or myself, I was never meant to be an admin forever It goes back to the By Default Career.

That is what I call it really. It is International Women’s Day and the one thing I know about being female is that you can suffer greatly from being too connected to your parents, from sexism and to being paid less for the stuff you do. I don’t think I was ONCE mentored in my life to do anything but the By Default Career which flat-lines itself because admins don’t get promoted, rarely get a better job and are undervalued overall from a money perspective.

Anyway, back to the MBA. I obtained an internship at Irish Fair and I am working at MIMA – two more jobs on top of my FT paying one – both unpaid. I am meeting people all over the place. The other night I was at Pazzaluna and met Chip and Vicki, Board Members at Minnesota Opera. Chip was on his fourth career running his own successful company and both were delightful, supportive human beings. Chip bought my dinner, secretively and made my day.

My bills and my money coming in STILL don’t add up and it is taking way longer to get the job which pays a living wage – something to at least get me started on the right career path. The MBA dream that people speak of is something that is stuck in the 1980s. It doesn’t work that way, maybe unless you went to Stanford or Harvard for your MBA, and that probably has more to do with the wealth of contacts.

I still haven’t had one of my personal contacts procure a connection to a job or job. I can’t tell why. I have cleared and cleared and cleared again. I can tell my energy is different. I think that just having your energy be different and not carry as many abundance blocks is one thing. How it works in material reality is a whole other piece of the puzzle. I am beginning to see there is quite a lag and a lot of factors at play.

I already went through my savings account to pay bills since November. It’s gone. Still no job other than the free work I do to build my network in contacts. So, then what? I am choosing between seeing if I can find a 2nd or 3rd job in retail and never get my post MBA career? Or moving in with college students who smoke pot and stay up all night rendering me subject to forces like lack of sleep or having to clear my energy all the time to survive.

I have had all kinds and manner of advice. Although most people say that this IS the process. You’d think figuring out what your talents are and laser focusing on them would be enough. Maybe it is - it just takes time. I suppose Michael Phelps didn't win Gold in the Olympics without failure and struggle.

I am unequipped it feels some days to even deal with this. There are days when I think, "Do I give up my dreams ONCE AGAIN?" Because lord knows I gave them up at every other pivotal juncture in my life or do I keep pushing and see results.

I put out another SOS on Facebook during one of my low moments Received a call from someone who actually deeply cared about my well-being and had the means to (if not ensure my safety directly), at least provide energy of support to propel me forward when the email chains from my Dad were dragging my morale way down. To be championed like, in this moment meant everything.

To be fair, Dad has since written me again but it didn't seem like that would happen at the time. Maybe we're all in this together working it out. Sometimes beating each other up to do it.

I fought through the desire to give up or digress. I had no cash in my account. And by none I mean already overdrawn to pay rent and the other bills that go out at the beginning of the month.

I still had to obtain gas for my car and food for my belly. I asked for help getting food and stuff started rolling in – maybe I wouldn’t eat like a Queen but hunger would not happen. I don’t get paid again until the 17th. When I get paid, I have bills to keep Internet and other essential items going. I have to keep going like this (rather than cut back or go without) in order to do the unpaid work and job search activities. Internet is my first priority. I can't even submit taxes without it.

I think that is the thing people aren’t aware of – making this job change and shift takes the energy of resources. I need to attend events, pay parking, buy tickets to networking opportunities, pay for wine or apps when I get to them, so that the socializing thing happens, go to conferences to keep my skills up, make sure my appearance is kept up – nails, hair, marketing management level clothing. This isn’t a poverty joke. This is how it works.

Let us hope these up and downs (and really downs) are the fuel, perhaps to a better life? I will make the best of it, somehow. I don’t for one second believe it is ideal. Nevertheless there are the people stepping forward now to assist, there are the little miracles in a week full of CRAZY. There are the unexpected synchonicities that moves the project of career change along.

One day, one moment at a time.

I accept donations through Paypal and my YouCaring site. I also accept PAID marketing work. If you know of someone hiring in Integrated Marketing Communications, I'll be delighted to apply. You can also provide donations of the following: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, food, gas, pay for my Internet or hang out with me and support me emotionally in other ways.

#InternationalWomensDay #Food #Relating #paygap #gender #empath #career #Marketing #networking #conferences #empathic #blog

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