A Nice Job Offer,But Not So Nice Salary Offer

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Nice Job Offer, Not So Nice Salary Offer

Whenever 2 or 3 of my clients deal with something, I presume that thousands more are experiencing the same problem. Recently, I have had 3 resume clients to get job offers, which is amazing and exciting. Yet, the salary offer was ridiculously low.

I think most people expect to get anywhere from 10 – 20% more money when talking a new position. Maybe that’s old school because that’s not happening anymore. Unfortunately, since the recession the entire job search game has changed. In 2008, during the Presidential Debates, someone asked President Obama when were the jobs coming back to this country and he said (paraphrasing) “Some of those jobs are never coming back.” He went on to say that America has to get more skilled to compete for top jobs.  That competition makes it harder to get top dollar in the job market.

What is top talent? Who qualifies? How do you fit into a company’s culture? How do the best candidates get the best jobs? The answers may vary. But just understand that you should be prepared for a tough road and long battle when finding the compensation that you believe you deserve.

As I’ve stated before, the first step to beating out 50% of the competition is having a well prepared resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.  That’ll get you the interview. If you pass those tests, then you need to have a great personality and interview skills. There are hundreds of interview coaches, if you need one, I can refer you to someone I know very well. (I’m looking at you Sabrina Baker out of Chicago, IL, HR Consultant and Co-founder of Discovering Social – a company designed to help jobseekers with the social job search.)

Now, if you’ve got your resume together, you’re not a jerk, and you have good interview skills, you should be getting job offers and those offers may be on the low end. So what should you do?

Here you go, a few ways to manage a low offer.

Try not to be too disappointed and ask yourself is the offer reasonable. Not only should you know what your top and bottom dollars are but you should consider the new company’s market position. Maybe they are non-profit agency which tends to lag the market in salary. Is the company a start-up, those companies tend to watch its spending very closely, especially in the beginning – they have to remain lean an attractive to lenders and investors.

Also consider your current position and what’s caused you to enter the job market in the first place – are you burned out? Disengaged? Or flat out pissed off? If any of that rings a bell then you may want to consider taking the new job even if there is not much of a pay increase – even if it’s slightly lower. This new opportunity may boost your esteem, mental health and the pay will come either through your work ethic or promotions.

That’s something else to consider. Is there a glass ceiling where you are now? Maybe a new job can offer new opportunities.

Finally, you can always negotiate. Negotiations are often times scary, as a jobseeker you want more but you don’t want them to rescind the offer completely.  It’s important to remember that most hiring managers expect some negotiating to occur, if not they will tell you that the offer is firm and not up for negotiating. When entering a negotiation you need to be prepared for every scenario – a yes – a no – a maybe or a get lost!  Keeping this in mind be reasonable and confident. Make a counter offer but know your bottom dollar price.  And consider other possible benefits – gas cards – tuition repayments – reimbursements (child care) – clothes allowance – corporate credit cards – and other fringe benefits which could cut your costs.

Again, I hope this help you navigate the job market – it’s tough out there. I can help.

** You or someone you know need help with their resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile. Contact me ‘chris@costofwork.com’**

2 thoughts on “A Nice Job Offer,But Not So Nice Salary Offer

  1. Chris, I have experienced that in a way recently but it is happening for me during the interview process. I went to an interview for a great job recently but during the middle of a great interview the hiring manager mentions that the salary is in a particular range ($5,000-10,000 less than my current pay). Unfortunately I had to decline the 2nd interview offer because there was no way they could increase and I couldn’t afford that big of a cut plus increased commute.

    1. Melissa, thank you for reading and sharing your experience. I felt that if a few people were dealing with this, some others may have the same struggle.

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