Issue #18: CARE National Conference is coming soon

Happy Monday, Capital Women readers, listeners, and followers! Did you know that these past few weeks have been chock full of great content, all tailored to you? Below, check out what you might have missed, including an article about the National Air and Space Museum's first female Director and a super interesting article about how being a woman in D.C.'s Go-Go scene can be an uphill battle. This week's podcast also features the woman behind Washington, D.C.'s first lash salon, while this month's advice column offers information on how to secure a new position with a high-end salary.

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Now is the time, the CARE National Conference is the place. Register today for the 2018 #CAREcon, where hundreds of people from around the world will meet in Washington, D.C. from May 21-23 to learn the basics of advocacy, strategize in workshops, network with other advocates and global citizens—all to help end poverty worldwide.

There has never been a more critical moment to stand with people around the world to realize CARE's goal: to stand firmly against the system that marginalize women and girls and keep them in poverty, and to champion legislation that supports and protects them wherever they are. The three-day conference costs $50 for regular attendees and $25 for students—register at carecon.care.org.

Additionally, CARE is hosting several complimentary events, including an opening plenary from former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates who refused to defend the travel ban and Carla Hall, Chef and Co-Host of ABC's "The Chew," plus the Washington, D.C. premiere of the film Soufra. Register for these free events here.

This is a sponsored post by CARE National Conference.

I’ve been working as basically an administrative assistant for a few years now, and I’ve started looking for a new job; I’d like to stay in the same field, but find a different company for a variety of reasons. The problem is that as I start to look around, I worry that I’m too well-paid! My company has a reputation for paying above-market, and it seems like getting a similar job anywhere else is likely to involve a pay cut. Is there a way that I can use my current salary to ensure I can get a good offer, given that companies are moving away from asking about previous salary in the first place?

Well, at least there are worse problems to have!

Most companies tend to do the opposite of what you’ve experienced, of course, especially in administrative positions. Paying a roughly market salary ensures that an organization can compete for talent in an increasingly tight labor market. But paying above market can have a negative effect for employers: it can create a sort of golden handcuffs where folks don’t really like their job, but feel stuck because they know they can’t get the same kind of money elsewhere. 

Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that you’ll get an offer to match your current salary. But there are some things I can recommend: 

  • Review your company (including salary number) on Glassdoor or other similar sites. This is marginal, but making it known that your company pays well for your position puts just the tiniest bit of upward pressure on salaries for your field in your area. Can’t hurt.  
  • Focus on achievements. Make sure your resume shows what you’ve achieved in your job that others in your same position wouldn’t have. Demonstrate that you’re worth the money, that you make in the top 10 percent of admin salaries because you’re in the top 10 percent of admins. 
  • Expand your skillset. Think about what “side skills” people might have in your position that would really expand the capabilities of the job. In my experience, admins who are really great at writing, editing, and or proofing are invaluable. Ability to translate other languages is great. Event-planning chops, graphic design skills, and SQL are all things that tend to come in handy at the admin desk. Lots of those skills can be learned for free, and your company might be interested in paying for you to go to classes (since they’re clearly willing to spend money on staff). 
  • Work with a recruiter, and tell them your salary requirements. They won’t be able to guarantee you a job, especially toward the beginning of your job search, but being in touch with a recruiter who knows you as a high-level admin will help you filter out jobs that aren’t worth your time to apply to. They will also help connect you to the rarer postings. Plenty of recruiters are trying to fill 18 different admin jobs at crap wages, but there are definitely people out there looking to hire an admin with experience and skills (which can be hard to find in your field). 

From there, just keep trying. You have the luxury of being employed right now, which is the best position to job-search from. Eventually, you might need to change your calculus, but right now, it sounds like you’re fine at your current gig until you find something new. That means you can be picky, only spending time applying for gigs you really want, and dedicating the proper amount of time to each application. Good luck!

If you’ve got a work, job-search, or networking question for Kim, hit her up at kimberlee.stiens@gmail.com or find her on Twitter: @ranavain

  • Meet the female tattoo artist inking Georgetown. [byGeorge]

  • Being a woman in the Go-Go scene is an uphill battle. [Washington City Paper]

  • These 54 women are D.C.'s top developers, designers, and data scientists. [Technical.ly DC]

  • The new Director of the National Air and Space Museum is the first woman to hold the job. [NPR]

  • Near D.C., Alexandria is ranked among the top cities in the nation where women are successful. [Patch]

  • May 18: Femme Fatale DC is having a ladies-only pop-up store launch party. (21+ only!)
  • May 21 to 23: Don't forget to sign up for the CARE National Conference!

Michelle Goldchain and Kim Stiens contributed to this newsletter.