As I mentioned in my last post, I am looking for a job in Boston. This is been a really long process and I have applied to literally hundreds of places. I have read countless job descriptions and requirement lists. For some reason, one that I looked at last week was the only one to stir up a desire to blog about.

In Boston there is a community on the south side of the city called Roxbury. Roxbury carries with it a reputation for being, well… frightening. When you ask anyone what neighborhoods you should avoid, Roxbury is always at the top of the list. I have never actually been to Roxbury so I can not comment personally about the community. I just know what I have heard.

I found a job running communications and social media for a group whose aim is the put down the “racist stereotypes” of the community of Roxbury and highlight the great historical and arts features of the community. That sounds great! I am all about putting down racism and promoting arts. Where do I sign up? I began writing a well-tailored cover letter for the position and checked back at the description page so that I could use particular phrasing to make myself sound perfect for the job. Then I noticed something…

Though the job requested that you have a B.A. And 2 years of experience with PR and social media it only paid $18,000 a year. You can’t even begin to live on that in Boston.

So, a job whose goal is to help show people that Roxbury is not an impoverished haven of crime is not willing to pay someone a living wage to do that job. If I took that job I would also have to sell drugs or rob convenience stores to provide for my family.

I know that the group probably can’t afford to pay more than that. I understand that. However, if you want someone to have a degree and experience, you have to start out by showing a little more employee value.

I have 2 points to make here…

1. Pay your employees well. Don’t hire people if you can’t pay them a living wage. If they have to divide their attention between your job and another job they can’t give you as much devotion as you would need them to.

2. If you want to create a certain image for your organization (non-profit, church, community, etc) don’t directly violate that image with the salary that you offer employees.

I just want to note that I have no intention of defaming the community of Roxbury. It isn’t their fault that this oversight was made. I have already been planning a trip down there to check out the community.