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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Everything Is a Crisis, Flat Wages, and Sinister Office Remodeling

The past couple of years have been rough on everyone. If you managed to make it through the post-recession landscape without getting laid off yourself, chances are, you know someone who wasn't so lucky. Small wonder, then, that many workers are a bit anxious. This week's roundup looks at how to handle work anxiety and how to tell if layoff fears are justified. Plus: an explanation of why the economy is improving, but your paycheck isn't.

The past couple of years have been rough on everyone. If you managed to make it through the post-recession landscape without getting laid off yourself, chances are, you know someone who wasn’t so lucky. Small wonder, then, that many workers are a bit anxious. This week’s roundup looks at how to handle work anxiety and how to tell if layoff fears are justified. Plus: an explanation of why the economy is improving, but your paycheck isn’t.

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(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

Alison Green: Is Everything a Crisis?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

At Intuit’s The Fast Track blog, Alison Green of Ask a Manager gives her take on how to stop rushing from one fire to the next:

Study the “fires” to figure out if there are patterns in the crises that are popping up and determine their root causes. When you’re having regular crises pop up, it’s a sign that there’s a structural issue to address. For example, you might need better project planning that builds in wider buffers, or bring a stakeholder in a process earlier on, or you might need to give your staff clearer guidance on how to handle specific situations, or you might need to delegate more autonomy to people. If you’re having trouble identifying these root causes, enlist your team for help. They’ll often have excellent insight into what’s behind a pattern of regular fires.

Dan Erwin: Blistering Job Growth, But Where Are Wages?

Wondering why all this good news about the economy isn’t translating into bigger paychecks for you? Dan Erwin explains:

Though unemployment has been pushed down, real wages have not budged since 2007. Indeed, the whole century has been tough on wages so far. These days nearly all the benefits go to people at the top of the income ladder. In contrast, wages grew in the 1950s for a number of reasons. Norms of fairness and internal equity were important. These norms emphasized the “living” or “family” wage. Unions and labor movements emphasized that everyone should be paid enough to live on. Most significantly, business leaders embraced those norms.

In other words, it’s not your imagination: things really are tougher than they used to be. To change that, the culture will have to change, and re-embrace protections for workers and the middle class.

Lady (Un)Employed: 5 Signs Your Employer Isn’t Doing As Well As They Think They Are

Is your company laying off lots of people, losing key executives, and failing to find new clients? It might be time to step up your job search. As the anonymous writer of Lady (Un)Employed explains, even remodeling can mean something negative. Witness what’s going on at her company:

They’ve repainted the walls, sure. Bathrooms seem to be more organized. But I’m not seeing a whole lot of remodeling actually happening. The carpet is the same, the break room looks the same, the desk layout is the same. Pretty much everything is the same. Except books, artwork, and excess furniture are given away to employees as well as donated.

It might just be a slow process, but it just doesn’t seem right to me.

Sometimes, those hard-to-pin-down feelings that something isn’t right are worth paying attention to. In any case, no one ever went wrong by updating their resume.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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