Dear Reader, Giving your boss early warning of your plans to leave is just the sort of “good girl” move nice, responsible women should avoid. Sure, it would be lovely for your boss if you gave him a year to replace you, but consider the cost to you: First, he may make your work life miserable. If he’s done this in the past, it’s a good bet he will do it again. Second, just as you fear, your career transition may not be as quick or as smooth as you hope. If you keep your plans to yourself until you have secured a new spot in a new field you can resign on your own time frame. You should only give him extra warning if it does not jeopardize the commitments you have made to yourself. Dear Leslie: I recently saw an advertisement in a local newspaper for the position I have. There is more than one of these positions within the company for which I work, so I know my job is not in jeopardy. Dear Leslie: My present employer is unaware of my desire to return to school in an effort to change my career. I am in research, and I’d like to be a teacher. My question is, when do I tell my boss about my intentions? Do I wait to find another job and give him the standard “two weeks’ notice?” Or, do I tell him now, which will provide him a year to hire someone to replace me? I would honestly like to tell him now; however, he is a passive/aggressive person whom I fear would make my life miserable if he knows I will be leaving. He has a history of doing things in the following manner: telling you to your face everything is fine, but giving you attitude and almost sabotaging you. My original commitment to him was two years. I have remained for four already. I also worry that if a teaching opportunity doesn’t work out for me, and I’ve told him ahead of time, I would be in an awkward position. I need some advice. The problem is that the wage in the ad is $7.50 per hour and I only make $7.25. Is this legal? Do I have any recourse? The job description in the ad was exactly the same: same responsibilities, same benefits. What should I do? Dear Reader: Time for a little detective work. “I would view this with some suspicion,” says Cynthia Calvert, a Maryland-based employment attorney. “It may be a tip-off that others are being paid more.” Do some discreet inquiring among fellow employees about their hourly rate, Calvert suggests, noting that many people are willing to share that information with their peers. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employers cannot legally prohibit employees from discussing their pay, she adds. If you uncover a pattern that may indicate illegal discrimination (male employees are paid higher than female employees, for example), then you should consult with an employment attorney. Absent a suspicious pattern, the solution is far simpler: Advocate for yourself. Show the ad to your supervisor as a way to open a discussion about how you can get your pay increased. Be ready to discuss why you deserve a raise: your experience, accomplishments, etc. If there is some reason for dissatisfaction with your work, be open to suggestions for getting back on the right track. “Adopt a sweet tone and ask a lot of questions,” suggests Calvert. Leslie Whitaker is co-author of “The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiating.” Write her at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!