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Old 05-31-2011, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. Metro Area
273 posts, read 651,402 times
Reputation: 211

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So I submitted a resume/cover letter for a job in an area of the country where the cost of living is substantially lower than where I am at now.

I currently make a decent salary and could afford to take either the same salary or even drop a bit in the new position because the housing is at least 40% less.

My issue is they have asked what my current salary is and what salary I would be looking at. I've done the salary.com survey and the median in the area is $15K less than what I make.

This is an amazing opportunity - and I would be willing to compromise and negotiate salary.

How do I put this so it doesn't come off as sounding desperate or strange and place me in a weak position?

p.s. I'm not desperate - I have a good job now that I like but want to move on to move up - even though it's lateral in some ways the reputation of the company and potential for securing a much better future is greater at the new company.

I have this but I'm not happy with it:

"My salary expectations are to be within the same range I am now if at all possible but I am very flexible. Given the distinct difference between the costs of living in the two locations I would be very willing to negotiate this area."

I think it is legitimate due to COL to consider a decrease.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,935 posts, read 58,212,646 times
Reputation: 29464
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineBeth View Post
My issue is they have asked what my current salary is and what salary I would be looking at.
Thoughts?
That what you're making now is none of their business.
Don't even address their Q; sidestep it altogether.

My primary motivation in joining your company and willingness to take on the expenses of relocation in order to accept an offer is based in the XYZ experience opportunity this position offers. That said, I still have many obligations, commitments and responsibilities which will require that I maintain an income and compensation package, in excess of $X.

Period.
That leaves all sorts of specifics wrt benefits and relocation expenses on the table as well as the specific dollar amount vague. win win.

Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:33 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,719,322 times
Reputation: 33234
I wouldn't offer to take a salary decrease, and I wouldn't base the COL just on the fact that housing is cheaper.

A good example is FL. People from the northeast move there because the housing is cheaper but the salaries are also lower. But they don't think about homeowner's insurance(very expensive in FL), car insurance, groceries(which are more), the cost of running the A/C non-stop for 9 months out of the year, etc.

They just look at the price of houses.

They find out after they move it isn't a cheap as they thought it was going to be. Many find out the lower salaries put them further behind then if they stayed put with a higher salary and a higher COL.

You didn't say if you're single or moving with a family. Either way it is a huge change to move to a new state if you don't know anyone. That is worth something.

I don't see the point of moving somewhere where you take a salary decrease just because the COL seems to be less.

I think your first sentence is OK but I would take out "very flexible" and change it to flexible.

I wouldn't say anything about the COL being cheaper.

And I would really research everything from car insurance to utility bills to groceries before you assume it is more cost effective.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. Metro Area
273 posts, read 651,402 times
Reputation: 211
Thanks for the input.

I have confirmed housing, groceries, and gas cost less. I got an estimate on insurance and it is slightly less (negligable).

Luckily my ex just made this same move (my reason to move is that we split custody of kids - and agreed to try to do what we can to move closer to allow easier access - he had the job offer in GA first).

Housing is a huge huge difference. My ex was paying $1800 plus utilities for a small 900 sq ft 2 bedroom and 1 1/2 bathroom duplex that was basically falling apart. He is now living in a 3 bdr/2ba home of 1800 sq ft in GA with a 2 car garage, all utilities paid, on 3/4 acre of land and is very happy as he pays $850. It is just outside Atlanta. His utilities are slightly higher - about $100 more a month than he was paying here. That still makes housing considerably less expensive in GA overall.

Groceries are definitely less - his estimate from his shopping is about 65-75% of what we pay here in San Diego.

Gas is slightly cheaper but gas is expensive everywhere now so that sort of will even out - my commute will remain approximately the same in mileage.

So I've done the calculations myself. I'd prefer to keep the same salary but honestly a pay cut (not as severe as the $15K differential in salary) if it would help would be fine with me. I don't necessarily want to say anything but that it is negotiable. However I would be a real fool to not look at the opportunity and try my best to get it as it would provide for so much more job opportunity. I weighed that against what my future looks like where I am - and there is just no contest at all.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,935 posts, read 58,212,646 times
Reputation: 29464
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineBeth View Post
Thanks for the input.
I'd prefer to keep the same salary...
I don't necessarily want to say anything but that it is negotiable.
They already know that everything is negotiable..
throw it back to them to quote a number... it might be higher than you think.

Quote:
However I would be a real fool to not look at the opportunity and try my best to get it as it would provide for so much more job opportunity.
Of course...But that's a different matter from laying your neck on the block.
Quote:
I weighed that against what my future looks like where I am - and there is just no contest at all.
Your tone sounds "weepy".
Is that coming through in your other communication with them?
Do they already know your family situation?
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,757,366 times
Reputation: 7188
"My present salary rate is in the mid $80k's. I would be very open to a position with a salary in the mid $70K's to mid $80K's, etc.....)"
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. Metro Area
273 posts, read 651,402 times
Reputation: 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post


Of course...But that's a different matter from laying your neck on the block.

Your tone sounds "weepy".
Is that coming through in your other communication with them?
Do they already know your family situation?
I definitely don't want my neck on the block.

My tone in the posting here is different than what I am communicating to them - I keep business communication short and to the point. Hence my request for advice as I was not happy with how it sounded. It sounded weak to me.

Clearly what I did not convey well is that this is a superb business opportunity - and I definitely want to be sure I do not get screened out due to not answering the specific question that was asked. I have seen this happen. I have also seen propspective employees screened our for too low or too high a number being listed. I want to obtain an interview. That is goal #1.

They do not know about the family situation and I do not share personal information at this stage of the job hunting process.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,935 posts, read 58,212,646 times
Reputation: 29464
Squirls approach of giving them "a range of acceptability" is reasonable and probably prudent...
my beef is in the presumption of them asking... which you'll learn is a southern thing that will come up more.

For a part of the country where everyone benefits from a reputation of civility and decorum...
folks will just ask you the most personal and private things and think nothing of it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,757,366 times
Reputation: 7188
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Squirls approach of giving them "a range of acceptability" is reasonable and probably prudent...
my beef is in the presumption of them asking... which you'll learn is a southern thing that will come up more.

For a part of the country where everyone benefits from a reputation of civility and decorum...
folks will just ask you the most personal and private things and think nothing of it.

Yes, but we ask y'all those questions with a smile on our faces, why we might even ask you to fetch a copy of your transcript for us'ns!
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:07 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,719,322 times
Reputation: 33234
Well it sounds like you did some research and I can understand with the family situation why you all want to be in one place.

It was smart of you not to mention any personal details, but I still wouldn't mention the lower COL. You don't want to give them leverage to low ball you.

I also have to agree with Mr. Rational. I have lived all over the country and I moved from CA to the southeast.

Strangers will ask you the most personal of questions and not think twice about it. I don't care for that. You also will here political and religious views that you didn't inquire about it.

That is what I loved about the Pacific Northwest, people were polite but not overly friendly( aka nosy). If I want to share something with you I will tell you.

You might want to mentally prepare yourself for questions that might come up in the interview that wouldn't in San Diego.

Good luck.
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