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Old 06-25-2010, 08:44 AM
 
5,949 posts, read 6,852,123 times
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Hi everyone. In my haste of applying for jobs I ended up sending in my resume to one on Craigslist that would like to conduct a half hour initial phone interview with me next week. Unfortunately I think I had gotten used to so many ads listing compensation as "negotiable" or "depends on experience" or "market rate." In my haste, I hadn't realized that this one listed 25K - 35K as their range. It is a job that I think I might enjoy, but it may not be on my perfect career path...but I can't say that for certain without talking to them about it in more detail.

My issue is this, I currently make just a hair over 30K, and 35K would be the rock bottom I'm willing to switch for. (I currently work through a contractor, and they get paid 50K for my services, so I figure something in the 40Ks would be fair to expect at a new non-contractor job). And currently I also have benefits and they'll pay for my parking/bus pass (which is at least 1K after tax dollars a year). I don't know what the benefits and expense situation is with this potential new job. Of course on the other hand I have essentially zero chance for promotions or raises at my current job.

I'm wondering how likely it is that I could actually be offered the full 35K, even after negotiating. I'd hate to have to sneak in a 30 minute phone call at work (even it's on lunch time, I'd have to find a discrete place to make the call) and then another one or two days off for interviewing and then find out that the best they'll do is pay me the same.

If I decide to decline the invitation how can I do it without burning any bridges?
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:42 AM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,226,340 times
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Honestly IMO, not very realistic.

Remember, their range for the job is based on what THEY feel the job is worth. Your past employer doesn't determine that.

At most, if you met every.single.requirement they might offer you middle. From there perhaps you could negotiate a little bit more, but remember, in this economy, they hold the cards. If you try to negotiate they may just retract the offer and give it to someone else who is willing to work for less. They will almost certainly have many strong candidates.

But you are putting the cart before the horse. They haven't even called you yet let alone offered you the job. I would seriously be surprised if a job that pays $25k requires a phone interview AND two or three more in-person interviews. That's a lot of time for a company to put in for someone who frankly doesn't earn that much (sorry). If you do decide to walk away, respond in writing thanking them 'very much for their consideration but you must withdraw your name from consideration at this time. Best of luck in their search for a suitable candidate'. You don't need to offer an explanation, and if you are polite, you shouldn't burn the bridge.

Last edited by kodaka; 06-26-2010 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:49 AM
 
3,651 posts, read 8,302,439 times
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Or if you feel sure you wouldn't be willing to accept 35K, then contact them and say due to a change in circumstances (you needn't say what they are), you have decided to stay and withdraw along with a brief apology. If that really "burns a bridge," then you're probably better off anyway. Any company/HR worth a flip knows that these things happen.

The broader topic of salary ranges/negotiations is a good one though!
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,316,857 times
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I always find ranges stupid, especially that broad. If companies would just put the midpoint it'd be so much simpler. I have yet to receive an offer that was above the midpoint, most offer the bottom at first and might get haggled up to the midpoint... It's a really silly, yet pervasive, business practice.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,230,706 times
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I think deciding whether or not you'd accept is premature. It's unrealistic for you to know how much you'd be willing to accept in compensation (which would include way more than just salary) just from reading a blurb in Craig's list. I also have never accepted a posted salary range unless it's a gov job. As late as Dec 2009, I got a firm offer above the stated "range". Trust me, I'm not the only one.

If you're interested in this job, pursue it. You have a job right now so you're not in dire straits and this gives you a great opportunity to work on negotiation skills. Worst case scenario: they won't negotiate. So what? Will they revisit salary after 6 months? Are there opportunities for moving up? Etc. If it doesn't work out, thank them for their time and move on.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:46 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,276,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthBound47 View Post
I always find ranges stupid, especially that broad. If companies would just put the midpoint it'd be so much simpler. I have yet to receive an offer that was above the midpoint, most offer the bottom at first and might get haggled up to the midpoint... It's a really silly, yet pervasive, business practice.
They do it because they are trying to stay within the budget. They already know the highest number is unlikely so they arrive at the middle which is better than the starting point.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,316,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVandSportsGuy View Post
They do it because they are trying to stay within the budget. They already know the highest number is unlikely so they arrive at the middle which is better than the starting point.
And how is that an improvement over just stating the midpoint? If they don't want to go over budget, they can say no. At least by only stating the midpoint there is more deniability over where the high and low point are. I would bet that this method would cause salaries to move towards the midpoint instead if to the poles.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:29 PM
 
5,949 posts, read 6,852,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
I think deciding whether or not you'd accept is premature. It's unrealistic for you to know how much you'd be willing to accept in compensation (which would include way more than just salary) just from reading a blurb in Craig's list. I also have never accepted a posted salary range unless it's a gov job. As late as Dec 2009, I got a firm offer above the stated "range". Trust me, I'm not the only one.

If you're interested in this job, pursue it. You have a job right now so you're not in dire straits and this gives you a great opportunity to work on negotiation skills. Worst case scenario: they won't negotiate. So what? Will they revisit salary after 6 months? Are there opportunities for moving up? Etc. If it doesn't work out, thank them for their time and move on.
You are correct that since I'm employed, I am not in truly dire straits, but I'm getting nowhere fast either. But the worst that could happen is not just wasted time, but wasted money and time off. As someone above you said, I'm not making a lot of money (no need to apologize, btw) so a day or two's pay to me really does matter. I already missed 2 days of pay earlier this year for a job that interviewed me once on the phone and twice in person, which ultimately offered me 35K after negotiating (they increased the hourly wage offer by 80 cents, the HR person even said she was embarrassed to come back with such an offer ); but that was an out of town job to a depressed city that I didn't want to move to for such low compensation, so I had to decline.


Since this is not an out of town job (and I won't lose wages AND spend a few hundred on road trips, like last time) I've decided to go ahead with the phone interview. Hopefully through that I can find out more about the benefits situation, if there are bonuses or anything like that, and how often salary is reviewed.

I know that worrying about this seems premature to some of you, but I have a sour taste in my mouth from wasting so much time and money in the past. This one is less of a risk though, I would think worst case I end up wasting 30 minutes on the phone and taking a half day off to go across town.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:05 PM
 
323 posts, read 608,756 times
Reputation: 825
I wouldn't write it off as impossible and I'd certainly do the interview. I know when I interviewed for my job they had a top-top number in mind and ended up extending me an offer several thousand above the top of their range because they decided that I was the one they wanted for the job and were willing to pay to make it happen.

Employers can work all kinds of salary magic if they feel the value you would provide makes it worth it to them. Dazzling them during the phone interview would be a good start.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:38 AM
 
10 posts, read 8,428 times
Reputation: 13
Try your best and sound convincing and if the other party is in dire need, I am sure your expectations will be well taken care off.
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