New Job Search Strategy: Create Fake Family, Get Higher Starting Salary (If You’re a Man)


One of the more frustrating parts of the working world is that women who become mothers often see their careers and salaries slow down, while men who become fathers experience a “daddy bonus” that gives them even more opportunities both in their careers and financially. As the New York Times noted this past September:

One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children. Mothers are less likely to be hired for jobs, to be perceived as competent at work or to be paid as much as their male colleagues with the same qualifications.

For men, meanwhile, having a child is good for their careers. They are more likely to be hired than childless men, and tend to be paid more after they have children.

How is a childless man supposed to compete against all of these candidates racking up Daddy Bonuses like they were high-fiving goal posts in Super Mario World?

Well, one man decided to solve the problem by creating a fake family.

According to Jezebel, there’s a Cleveland man out there who put up a Craigslist ad asking for a woman and child to pretend to be his wife and child. They’ll do a few photo shoots at the pay rate of $100 per shoot, and then the man will put the pictures up on social media to persuade employers that he has a family:

If everything goes as planned, whatever branch of whatever organization that looks into my background pending being hired for my first real job will be inevitably perusing my Facebook page and more and will come to the conclusion that I am deserving of a “Family Man” level of compensation. If the secret gets out that I live alone, have no children, and spend the majority of my disposable income on restoring vintage cars I could find myself in a vastly different income bracket since it will be perceived that I can get by on less- MUCH less. This will not stand.

That’s part of what Jezebel cites as the man’s actual Craigslist ad, although I was unable to confirm this on Craigslist because—you guessed it—”this posting has been flagged for removal.”

The rest of the reported Craigslist ad contains similar misguided gems, such as:

All photographs will be of a fun, family friendly nature and will be immediately deleted once I am formally hired. They will be no longer needed, since that wage bracket will be carried to other establishments in the future and once that wage level has been set, the fact that I drop money on all aluminum racing radiators instead of baby formula will be irrelevant.

Clearly this man had the perfect plan, and he could have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling ladybloggers.

The inverse of this story, of course, is T. Coraghessen Boyle’s short story “The Lie,” about a man with a real family who pretends his baby has died so he can get a few days off work because, as Ester wrote earlier today, sometimes the busy-ness of life is overwhelming.

Spoiler alert: the man in the short story doesn’t get away with his lie either.



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