Are You In The Wrong Job?


Are you in the wrong job? Here’s how to figure it out: It all comes down to your motives — what gives you energy to go to work, says Northwestern’s Carter Cast. You could have all the skills and smarts to do a job, but if there’s a motive mismatch, you’ll likely be miserable. Cast lays out five primary career motives: power, achievement, affiliation, purpose and autonomy. Of course, you can have multiple motives. The key is to determine if your current job is satisfying any of them. 

You Asked: “I was given a promotion at work, which came with a higher title and substantially more work but no monetary gains. When and how should I ask for a raise after I’ve proven I can handle my new job duties on top of my old ones? And if I’m not happy with the amount they offer, should I stay?” — Rachel Ann Chandler, senior attorney at the Mississippi Insurance Department •


“It feels like many women accept these types of moneyless promotions because they are more forgiving about money than men, or corporations expect that they will be. On the less cynical side, this could be a way for your company to see if someone they think is maybe not ready for a promotion is actually ready. In that case, they should agree when you say, ‘Yes, I would love to give this a try, as long as we agree to review my performance in three months.’ If you’re killing it in three months and they refuse a raise, then you have your answer. Get out that resume!” —Lesley Jane Seymour, Founder of, former Editor in Chief of More Magazine (Read Lesley Jane Seymour’s full response.)

“You should absolutely expect a bump in salary. Approach your manager within the next couple of weeks and explain that you would like to have a conversation about compensation. Be prepared for them to ask what you had in mind for a salary increase. If your manager tells you they cannot give you a raise, ask them if they are comfortable sharing what went into their decision. Their answer might provide talking points for future conversations about salary. I would end the conversation by asking 

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