outfit: the smallest size (+ reasons to feel grateful)

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This is what I wore today (not at work). 

I have a few vacation days left before my last day at work, and I decided to use one today to be around while the landlord fixes some things in our apartment.  It’s a beautiful 74 degrees outside right now — my ideal temperature.  And I’m wearing my Dr. Marten z strap sandals that are built like a rock.  The rubber soles are so durable on these babies, I’ll probably get good use out of them for years to come.  I was inspired to buy Dr. Marten sandals after seeing them on women in Japanese street style photos on the internets. I’m also wearing another linen shirt that I bought at Uniqlo during my recent trip. The shirt is supposed to be oversized.  I bought an extra small because I could fit into them, but I’m starting to regret that decision because I think it would look better looser.  I have to remind myself to make an effort to not just buy the smallest size I can fit into.

I was able to give my unsold poshmark items to that one patient I mentioned before, who really needed them.  She was so happy to have clothes again, and most importantly to have a bra and shoes on her feet, just for some bare minimum sense of safety and protection especially for someone living on the streets.  The things we take for granted!  I benefited too because my closet is much less cluttered now and I can feel like my stuff went to a good place.

And now for some life updates.  I mentioned before that two people were leaving on the team of 3 that I was to join at my new job in LA.  I fretted over this for a while and thought long and hard about how I would use these changes to negotiate a higher salary.  I got part way through that book “Getting to Yes” but honestly couldn’t finish it because the whole experience was stressing me out.  I did takeaway some important points from it and took some of the advice you all provided here (thank you!).  I kept the conversation focused on shared goals and problem solving, rather than taking a you-vs-me approach.  And I avoided words that sounded too personal like “I deserve___”.  Instead I tried to keep things objective and explained the situation in a matter of fact way, shared some ideas about how we might solve some of our problems.  Then led the discussion into how much more I should get paid for taking on a higher tier position, which was a certain pre determined amount.  And then I pointed out that because the team was understaffed, more work would be required from me and that should also be reflected in my salary.

He asked me for a number, which he thought was reasonable, and in the end I ended up with $15K more annually and ensured student loan repayment was part of the package as well.  I came away with $27K more than the salary of the (male) psychiatrist I am replacing, in addition to a generous student loan reimbursement fund (totaling $120K) that he did not receive.

I’m still in shock about the student loan repayment thing.  I’ve had it hovering over my head for so long that I don’t really believe that it’s going to be reimbursed.  I will still have to pay my loans back up front, but every year, they are supposed to pay me back.  Of course this will be contingent on my continued employment, and anything can still happen….  Just like with the federal loan forgiveness program, I’m counting on it, but I am also preparing myself for the event that it won’t pan out, by saving up on the side.  There’s still lots of room to feel optimistic that it will work out though.  In the end, I’m feeling really lucky and grateful for landing a good job and being able to do work that I love!

[outfit: Uniqlo linen shirt, Black Crane carpenter pants, Dr. Marten z strap sandals, Baggu crossbody]


14 thoughts on “outfit: the smallest size (+ reasons to feel grateful)

  1. I’m so glad the discussion went well! Great job staying positive. Very exciting next chapter. Thanks for letting us know how things went.


  2. That’s really awesome about the raise and loan forgiveness! Great job! Just an FYI, the loan forgiveness assistance may be taxable depending on how the payments are structured. It may be worth it to having an accountant review how your employer handles the payments and the implications for you. If you would be taxed, and your employer has some flexibility, they may be able to structure in a way that works for both of you.


  3. Awesome and congratulations! It’s reassuring they value you and the work you’ll be doing by giving you the increase and the repayment plan. I hope everything goes just as smoothly for you when you move.
    I was really moved when reading about you giving that woman your clothes. I kinda wish I knew of a place around here to do the same sort of thing, but all I know of are Goodwill in this area.


    1. Thank you. It is nice! I’m lucky to have the support around me to encourage me to even ask for more too. Goodwill is still a good place to give to I think. There’s issues with it I’m sure, but it beats throwing stuff in the dumpster.


  4. this is fantastic news! so happy michelle!! also love this outfit. haven’t quite mastered my black crane carpenter pants, but they look awesome on you with tha top, and i’m inspired, so i’m going to try again tomorrow 🙂


    1. Thanks Joy! Funny you mention that because sometimes I think I look like a clown in these pants and I haven’t actually worn them out to work for that reason, but for casual days I just think who cares if they look weird, and just go with it.


  5. So wonderful to hear about your job and how you went through the negotiation! The colours in your outfit, especially the shirt, are fantastic too.


    1. Thank you!! It is super hard to fight for ourselves and to know what we are worth. It’s tricky stuff and women have a particularly hard time at it. It helps to talk about it as much as possible with other people.


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