Episode #143

“Act Your Salary” in Academia

Are you someone in the workforce who is entering into this new trend of ‘acting your salary’ that is coming out of quiet quitting?


Do you struggle with overwork and dissatisfaction in your job because of it? How do we engage in a conversation that goes beyond “I am quiet quitting” and “I am just doing my job” to “What do you actually want to do in this world?”

In this episode, you’ll hear from 2 of our Academic coaches Thea L. Racelis and Rocío P. Caballero-Gill as they co-host and guide us through a conversation on the concept of “Acting Your Salary” in academia. They’ll discuss all about ​​what acting your salary really means in the academic context, what some of the conversations we may want to have about this are, and also some of the tools we can use around figuring it all out.

Don’t miss it! Enrollment for Navigate is opening SOON! Enrollment will be open from November 25th-29th, but as a special bonus for the first 15 people who enroll, they will be invited to the New Year’s writing retreat we host each year!

The waitlist for Navigate is open NOW! Head HERE to join the waitlist today! On November 22nd (3 WHOLE days before actual enrollment opens), we are opening up Navigate enrollment to only the people on the waitlist. The first 15 people to enroll get to come to that special New Year’s writing retreat for FREE! So make sure you join the waitlist to be one of the first people to enroll in Navigate & join us at the New Year’s writing retreat in January!

Quiet Quitting:

Quiet Quitting is defined as not going above and beyond at work. The “quiet quitters” make up at least 50% of the USA workforce. At the core of this removal from the traditional workspace and idea of overwork is this redefining of our relationship with ourselves.


Acting Your Salary:

In order to do this, we need to have the agency to define for ourselves what matters, what has purpose, and to be more strategic about the ways we engage.

It’s not as simple as saying, “No, I’m only doing whatever my job description is.” It’s taking charge of describing what your job in your career is going to be, and then setting the milestones to get you to that.

For those of us with marginalized identities, it brings something different to the table of expectations. When we unpack these things, we can be more strategic and more aligned with our sense of purpose. We can’t do all things and be all things all the time, and acting our salary is part of that.



Boundaries can be physical, like with your calendar, turning off your watch, etc. Boundaries can also be saying ‘no’ and ‘yes’ to the right things. Saying ‘no’ is not always a simple thing, but it is so important to hold boundaries in the workspace in order to create a healthy working relationship. 

Boundaries are an act of kindness. Boundaries tell you, ‘you can expect this from me’ and ‘you cannot expect that from me.’ Sometimes by you stepping back from a commitment, somebody else who is actually aligned, excited, and eager to do this thing that you really didn’t have the bandwidth for, is able to now participate. Boundaries can be a gift for so many people outside of yourself.

And then, there are some things that you can’t eliminate and hold boundaries for. With those we ask ourselves several questions: How can you align the things that you cannot eliminate? How can you make them strategically work for you? How can you make them work better? What can you learn out of it? How can you work a network in there? When we can analyze these things and come up with the solution that works best for us, we have more hope of creating that job we actually find joy in.


Reflection Tool:

Rocío shared a simple 3 question approach as a powerful reflection tool when considering your best space in the academic world.

  1. What am I doing?

This helps to center us into action and opens more doors for reflection.

2. How does this help me feel fulfilled?

You can consider how you’re feeling and allow that connect you back to the base. It engages the conversation further by coming back to the center.

3. How does this support my vision?

Again, come back to the base and then go out to the world as you consider how your vision aligns with and supports your career.

This reflection tool helps us get to the intention behind acting our salary. It helps us consider the nuances of our job and decide if we are meant to do certain things within our job scope.


Take it A Step Further:

If you are in one of our communities and want to continue these conversations, come into our Slack channels and have the conversations with us there. We’ll do follow ups and continue talking about these important topics.

If you’re not a part of our community yet, engage in conversations with us in the comment section of the podcast blog post.


Key Quotes:

“It’s a relationship with ourselves and our expectations of the kind of work that we want to see ourselves doing and also see impacting whoever we want to impact.” 

“What if we could dream of jobs that are meaningful, of doing work in academia that’s really making an impact, that’s aligned with those things we’re excited about, and the changes that we want to make in the world?”

“Sometimes our identities bring on these extra expectations.”

“There’s a big difference between leveraging an asset that we have, and giving into an expectation that we should do it.”

“We can’t do all things and be all things all the time, and acting our salary is part of that. We cannot do everything all the time, especially if it’s not something that’s aligned with what we want to be trying to accomplish, the impact we want to be having in our world, and our family, and our community, and beyond.”

“Sometimes your ‘no’ is creating somebody else’s ‘yes.’”


Connect with me:

Facebook Page
Follow me on Clubhouse: @cathymazak

Stay current in Academic Publishing

Subscribe to our newsletter:

In the Pipeline

writing tips, publishing trends, reading recomendations, free workshops

In The Pipeline Newsletter

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Cheat Sheet!

Get the PDF Cheat Sheet right to your inbox!

Check your email to find your cheat sheet!

Skip to content
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.