As you can guess, this installment is about “the money question”… We’re not talking about salary negotiations. Rather, I have some strategies to help you answer the recruiters when they ask you the following:
“How much money are you making, anyway”?
Most folks answer with something along these lines: “I’d rather not give you a specific number because”:
1. I haven’t been offered the job yet
2. I don’t want you to know how much I make
3. Nice people don’t talk about money
4. You’ll know I’m a senior person
5. The number will scare you and you won’t call me
6. If I’m underpaid, you’ll make sure I stay that way so your client will talk to me
Even if you don’t verbalize all of these, I guarantee they cross your mind, especially if you think the answer will lead to more uncomfortable discussions.
Obviously, if you are pursuing an opportunity on your own, without the aid of a recruiter, you want to delay the salary discussion as long as possible…however, when a recruiter IS involved, you won’t have a choice. Remember these two things
1. Recruiters aren’t allowed to submit candidates without salary information
2. If you don’t give the recruiter the salary information when he asks for it, you will be labeled as “uncooperative” and you will be dropped from consideration
I am not saying this is right, but it is reality, and reality must be dealt with. So, as with all things job search, you must get over yourself, and march forward.
I don’t advocate giving a single, hard number as soon as you are asked the salary question. Saying “85 grand” in response to the question is very abrupt, even if that is what you are making. Rather, I do advocate giving a RANGE… you would say it this way:
1. “I am making between 70K – 90k.”
2. “In my last position, I was making in a range from 70K – 90K
Let’s say you are switching fields…in that case, you wouldn’t be talking to an independent recruiter, because they don’t usually work with field changers, but the concept is the same… You would research the world you want to work in, and that includes the various salary levels…then you REALISTICALLY come up with a salary range you can live with.
Here is the important part… know in advance what range is acceptable to you before you say it. If your life is such that the lowest you can go is 85K, (or whatever) then say so.
I know that the most common reason people don’t like to answer the salary question is the fear that they will be “married” to whatever number, as soon as it’s uttered. This is nonsense. For one, you don’t have the job yet…second, job offers are called offers for a reason…they are offers, not ironclad suicide pacts designed to keep you destitute. Offers can be turned down…if you are given an offer you can’t live with, you just ask them to do better, and if they can’t, you walk away.
It is in everyone’s interest that you answer the money question right away. Candidates hate last minute disappointments… recruiters HATE last minute surprises…so do hiring authorities, so don’t surprise them. Be upfront right from the start, and nobody is disappointed. Finding out after two interviews that they won’t or can’t pay you what you need won’t help anyone.
All the Best,
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach.
The Five O’Clock Club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
The Five O’Clock Club also provides affordable, humane outplacement services to companies who care about the well being of their employees.
Tom is also an experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net