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Telling a potential employer you're going to be looking for more money

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    So I just got downsized from my newspaper job, and already I have an opportunity at a D-I asst SID job. I talked to the SID today and I've been led to believe by some other people around that I ought to at least get an interview, even if I don't get the job.

    Here's the thing... This job pays about 25 percent less than I made at the newspaper, and the SID told me today the salary isn't really negotiable because of the university budget. Because of a buyout I'm getting plus the fact that I will probably have less deducted for benefits, I could handle this pay cut for the short-term, a year or so. (Obviously, I'm out of a job now, so I'm not in a position to turn down the job regardless of the pay.) I could not, however, imagine working for this salary for the next 10 years.

    So how do I approach this in an interview? I assume at some point they'll ask what I am making now. If not, do I just offer it up? Do I ask for more, even though they said it's not there? Do I say "Yes, I can live with this salary, but you understand I'd have to still have an eye elsewhere to get back to the salary I had"?

    I don't want to give the impression that I'd accept this job and then leave in three months. But the right job could come along, and if it did I'd probably have to take it, so I don't want to mislead the guy about my long-term intentions.

    Of course, now that I've written this, I won't even get an interview :)
  2. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    You probably have a better chance of getting raises at the new place than you would at your previous stop, so the gap may narrow over time.

    A 25 percent reduction likely drops you into a lower tax bracket. When all is said and done, the difference may be only about 20 percent.

    Just things to weigh.
  3. Go on the interview, when it comes, and don't sweat the salary question. It probably won't come up. As you say, his hands are tied by his university budget. Any experienced SID knows those staff positions aren't highly paid. Even newspapers pay better, hard to believe.

    Those positions also tend to turn over annually. He won't ask you for long-term (five- or 10-year) commitment. So no need for you to volunteer one. You have a buyout to help bridge the salary gap. Take the position if it's offered, then keep your eyes open for better prospects later.
  4. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    Let him bring it up. From that point, just be up front and honest.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I assume this assistant SID job is with a state school?

    If so, you may have access to some benefits that would somewhat outweigh the up-front payment issue.

    For my part, I would focus on getting the job and not worrying about what might bee happening in 5 years. Nobody hiring you for an assistant SID job thinks it's a lifetime commitment.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And the benefits are usually far better -- some cases like 2-1 matching pension, vested immediately... look atthe other aspects of it... like the medical and the fact that you probably arent going to be downsized...
  7. You don't have to talk specifics, but if you mention your exact issue and "deadline" of a year, they may be able to work something out for next year's budget. They probably won't ask you what you make now, but in this case, you would benefit from making it clear what you're willing to sacrifice to do the job.

    When you're going to negotiate, you have an advantage if they don't know how much of a raise they are offering. It seems like here, there won't be any negotiations.
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    These are great points. If you can find a way to tactfully let them know you're taking a cut, it's not a bad idea.

    "The pay isn't what I was getting before, but I'm so excited about this opportunity that I can move past that."

    Trust me, you'll get better raises at a state school that you'll ever get in journalism these days. Plus, job security has got to count for something as well...
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    They've already told you there's no more money to be had. Unfortunately, the only way to know if they're unwilling to move off the figure is to turn down the offer because of this. If you're the one they want, they'll find a way to come up with more money. But it's an awkward way to start a relationship; good luck.
  10. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I guess the real issue is not trying to leverage a higher salary right out of the box. I don't feel I could do that because a) I don't have a job now, and b) they already told me it's not there and I don't want to start off the relationship that way.

    I guess if I just suggest tactfully that I'm taking a pay cut that the SID would infer from that that I might not be long for the job. I just don't want that to prevent him from hiring me in the first place.

    Here's another thing. This is a contract job, and I've never had a contract before. If I get a one-year deal and something else comes up in six months, then what? This is a state school, by the way.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    75 percent is a lot better than 0 percent.

    I wouldn't blow the job on the hope that something better might come along.

    The traditional question is to ask what opportunities for advancement might present themselves down the road if you come and do a great job.

    I know these can be high turnover jobs, but if it is close I would lean toward someone I thought might stick around for a while.
  12. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    Since it's a contract job, make sure you ask about things like benefits and how it fits into the state's system for raises. How is your position classified? Does it qualify for the annual raises for state employees? What about vacations and sick days (I once worked as a contract employee for the state, and state policy prevented them from giving me any PTO. I could take off anytime, but won't get paid)? Do you get healthcare? Those things will all determine whether the salary is acceptable. Also, ask what happens after the contract is up. Is this a contract-to-permanent situation, or is this just a permanently contract position? The situation I was in, the state policy requires that after one year, the employee has to be "severed" from the organization for 30 days before being rehired.

    As for what happens if something better comes up before the end of the contract, just ask in the interview about early termination, which I think is a legitimate question since this sounds basically like a long-term temp position. It'll most likely be in the contract as well.
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