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& what is the hidden cost of working your dream job?

The hidden cost of working your dream job

My friend called me up crying the other day: “This is so unfair! I’m one of the best engineers on the team, and my promotion barely covers the cost of basic inflation.”

Immediately, one of my favorite quotes came to mind:

If you don't get what you want, it's a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.

Rudyard Kipling

Trust me, I’m all for demanding more pay and getting the promotion you deserve. I even wrote an entire guide on quick strategies to get a raise! However, the truth is she had no leverage to ask for more money. She had no intention of leaving, no competing offer, and no alternative source of income to give this job less attention and importance. And the company knew that. Did the company do the noble thing by underpaying her? Absolutely not. But in life, there are no shortcuts, and you have to pay the price of building leverage to be responded to when you demand more. That means putting in the extra work months in advance, preparing your promo package, passively conducting job interviews on the side to present competing offers at the annual promo review, or being willing to step away from the company because you created a better opportunity for yourself elsewhere.

The bitter pill to swallow here is that without leverage, you can’t expect a raise, even if you excel in your role. The company has zero incentive to pay more when there are plenty of eager candidates lining up for your job and not asking for more money to do it.

This dynamic also explains why creative positions are often paid less than technical ones. The demand for creative jobs is much higher, largely because they're perceived as more enjoyable and aligned with personal interests. Oftentimes, excelling in these roles simply means building their skills doing things they already love. It's a simple case of supply and demand economics in the job market: the number of available jobs versus the number of people willing and capable of doing them. There will always be more individuals willing to accept lower pay and less favorable treatment for the lifestyle such jobs offer. While potentially controversial, this might justify why these roles are paid less. Your job is objectively more fun and more desirable than “crunching numbers all day behind a computer” job. This is especially evident in industries like fashion, beauty, and social media, where many roles are significantly underpaid because more people find those jobs entertaining and aligned with the life they already want to live.

And if you don’t want to play corporate politics or be subject to minimum wage, you don’t have to. You can build your own company where you set your own hours, pay people what you want, and choose what you work on every day. But that also comes with its own price tag. You do not get to clock out at 5 pm knowing a paycheck will come to you every two weeks. And you do not have the luxury of sleeping stress-free at night, knowing that the entire fate of the company lies on someone else’s shoulders.

Every path has its cost, and life offers no discounts. But the silver lining is you hold the power to choose. You get to decide the path you want to take and the price you’re willing to pay.

If you’re currently struggling with what the best path for your career should look like, I made my own version of the Odyssey Planning worksheet, for you all. In it, you map out three alternative realities of what the next five years of your career could be, considering the three things a job needs: interest, impact, and income. This is so you don’t make the wrong purchase for a decision that determines your entire life and career! You can grab it here.


🛠️ Build Gen She With Me

Come join the Gen She Marketing Team this summer!

I’m looking for one person who wants to shadow me, learn the ropes of social media, and see firsthand what it’s like running a media company.

Plus, as a special bonus, you'll receive personalized career coaching from me! This includes one-on-one sessions focused on career planning, resume building, interview skills, and professional branding.

Time Commitment: 30 minutes daily. Opportunity to convert into a paid position on the team based on performance.

This opportunity is perfect for students, recent graduates, or anyone keen to break into marketing. If you have a passion for entrepreneurship and a thirst for learning, we want to hear from you!

You should NOT apply if…

  • your schedule isn’t flexible

  • you’re not available immediately

  • you don’t live near SF or NYC (social media algorithms rely a lot on geography, unfortunately)

  • you aren’t obsessed with Gen She!

BONUS: While this is definitely not required, if you can edit YouTube videos/shorts, please let us know in your app and link your portfolio! We are always looking for more editors :)

Applications are rolling and due on March 28th at 12pm PST. Feel free to ‘Reply’ to this email with any questions!

 💰️ Mom, I Am a Rich Man
An interview series uncovering the stories and strategies of badass women on a quest to find richness in health and wealth.

Allison Kiang (26)
Allison Kiang is an investor at early-stage venture capital firm Twelve Below. She previously pivoted from Strategy and Innovation Management at growth stage healthcare startup Komodo Health. Allison graduated from Columbia University where she majored in neuroscience and East Asian studies, while serving on the Columbia Daily Spectator newspaper.

  1. Which skill was most crucial for your successful career pivot? Self-directed learning. I knew I wanted to explore venture capital, and the best way I learned was persistently "doing the job" before I got the job. I ran towards the things that I knew all VCs do — find founders, built relationships with them, connect them with investors on fundraise, do the same with talent and angel investors.

  2. What was the biggest challenge you faced during your career transition? Feedback loops. The feedback cycles are so long for companies to show if they're working out, and while I was breaking into venture, I didn't have a firm of colleagues to pressure test my investment theses and how I thought about a business. It's important to have a community of people you trust to talk through big ideas with you.

  3. Best money advice you’ve ever received? Invest! I am grateful a friend sat me down and talked me through how the stock market worked and the power of compound interest.

  4. What’s one non-negotiable for your mental health? A great Spotify playlist, lots of matcha, and walking by the water.

🤝 Invest With Me
Turns out you don’t need to be crazy rich to own a piece of the trillions of dollars that flow through the tech industry every year! Wefunder is a platform that allows anyone to invest as little as $100 into startups, and each week, I’ll be sharing one company that I’m investing in with you!

Zette is knocking down paywalls to provide your news your way.

✨ 110 publisher deals including Forbes, New Scientist, The Daily News and more

✨ 50,000+ registered readers

✨ Pre-seed fundraise included consumer leading venture capital funds, such as Halogen Ventures

✨ Female founder, Harvard alumn and ex-Twitter PM

Podcast Rewinds ⏪️ 

Is Big Tech Clout Critical to Early Career Success?


New episode out TOMORROW with guest Delia Lazarescu (@tech.unicorn) Delia is an ex-Google software engineer and content creator with a 250... See more

Delia, ex-Google engineer and content creator with 220K+ followers, emphasizes the importance of aiming for a big tech job, even when you don’t want it, and reinforces the necessity of hard work and sacrifices early on to set you up for success later in your career. Delia also gives us a sneak peek of what she’s been up to in the startup space since quitting Google and her plans to explore entrepreneurship. She also breaks down the AI revolution and how it’s shaking things up for software engineers and jobs everywhere.

P.S. We got BIG THINGS in store for season 2, coming to you very soon!
Stay tuned 🎉 


Don’t miss these 👀


🌴 I’m coming to LA next week, and I’ll be speaking at my alma mater. If you’re in the area, come hang out with me!

💼 All my career hacks that while in the moment felt very high mantainence, have helped me reap benefits in my career that are moving me towards a low maintenance future life where my money works for me and my career grows even if I don’t put effort into it!

✍️ Slut-shamed at 22, icon at 50 - Monica Lewinsky shows us that it's always possible to redefine your narrative and forge your own path to success.

💰️ 5 female founders will be selected to each receive a $10,000 grant by FFC. I’ll be applying, and you should too!

🏃‍♀️ THIS is the only thing slowing you down in your career.


📱 Cristiano Ronaldo is one of several athletes to join the health industry, launching his very own wellness app.

👑 Is Kate Middleton ok? The latest on her health here.

❤️ Did you know that the origin of platonic love does not mean what it means today? More here.

What’s new on our job board 🔥

… and more! 😉

❤️ Avni, Founder @ Gen She // Sponsor this newsletter

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