Stories by Margaret Steen

  • Learning to swim with the career currents

    I recently heard a speaker at a conference describe a new kind of workplace loyalty: loyalty not to a particular company or a job, but to a team, a project or a career path. The idea that loyalty is not dead but being redefined is intriguing. But my mail suggests that many people are still struggling with the old definition of loyalty and what they owe their employer. Questions from two readers shed some light on this dilemma. `I am a software engineer and have been given a good [not great] offer to work for a company in another state,' one reader wrote to me recently. `They will pay to relocate me. I am not particularly jazzed about the company, but my wife and I are really excited to live in their area and for the com-pany to pay for our move. I don't see myself as a long-termer at this company. Given that they are paying to relocate me, how soon might I gracefully bow out if I determine that the job just isn't for me?'

  • If you deserve a raise, ask for one

    Question: if you think one of your co-workers is making more than you are for doing similar work, should you ask for a raise? Finding out - or even suspecting - that someone is earning more money than you for doing work similar to yours can be galling. And unfortunately, there isn't an easy solution to the problem. Several weeks ago I wrote two columns on how and when to ask for a raise. One of the readers who responded to those columns asked for advice about a particularly tricky situation.