I’m working hard at finding a good job. I mentioned in some earlier posts about my adventures in finding work thus far. It, for the most part has been challenging. The salaries for a similar job in this area are very low. I can blame this on the fact my job started in California so the salary started higher than it would have here in Utah. The problem with that idea is that for the year point five I’ve worked here, I’ve received multiple increases that are based on working and living in Utah. Technically, I am working off of a Utah salary. I’ve signed up with some different placement companies that are scouring the landscape for helpdesk management jobs or desktop support work. I almost feel like when they see my salary needs, they must mute the phone and snicker a bit. Like “good luck, pal!”
When I was at my interview with iTok, he asked me what I am making now, and when I answered him, I was just waiting for the bowed head and slight grin or grimace, but nothing. He seemed totally ok with it. I’m now working on a week’s worth of negotiations with him and the company’s governance, “the partners”. Let me describe how this has gone thus far.
I first interviewed with Jaime, a manager, on Friday, the 15th of June. He began the interview focusing on the job of a support technician. The interview was very low-key and casual. Things were beginning to wrap up and through some questions and good answers, he found that I might be a better fit for a Member Services Manager position. This turned into two separate interviews and he was very impressed with what I had to offer and said I would indeed be a much better candidate for that management role. This was very cool and got my heart racing. For most of that weekend I was ecstatic about this potential job that was right up my alley.
Monday came and so did a call from Jaime. Here’s the basics. I would work as a Member Services Manager at a starting base salary of $11 an hour with an additional $8 an hour on top of that for each hour I spend working with a customer. He said that with the responsibilities and roles I would be filling, my pay would average from $13-16 an hour. This killed me! This is about half of my current hourly wage. I spoke to a number of friends and my current manager about this and came up with a few ideas. I immediately told Jamie that I would need a few days to make such a major decision and also asked him to go back to “the partners” and re-draft my offer. He agreed and ended up calling me back on the next day. He said there was no further room in the budget for a higher salary. With this, I told him I would call him back the next day with final word. I spoke more to those same people and they advised me to propose a plan to him. This plan would include a structured path to increased salary earnings. The idea here is to setup a method with specific goals, accomplishments and measurable ways to determine if ideal performance is being met. Then after a set period of time, there would be a review of performance against those factors and salary would be renegotiated. He agreed and sounded impressed that someone would be willing to come forward with such a great plan to negotiate. He said he would go organize this and get back to me soon.
Today, Friday, the 22nd, I wrote him this email:
I was just dropping a note to ask how things were going with our negotiations. I wish I could tell you I’m totally willing to accept the position. I am eager to see what you and your team have come up with. I want to just once again help you realize that you are going to incur more expense and effort by offering such a low compensation for your potential managers. The retention will be low and your shop will become a revolving door as there will be hardly any loyalty or dedication. Forgive me for being so bold and forward with my thoughts, but most I have discussed this with have been on the same page.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon. If you have decided to move along and have chosen another candidate I am comfortable with that and wish you and your company all the best in your future growth! But please let me know where things stand.
To which, he responded:
I apologize for not getting back with you yet, we (partners and I) are still preparing a response for you. I discussed your proposal with the partners and they also agree that your request is reasonable and agreed to set up a clear set of expectations, benchmarks and timetables with which we could offer a more competitive compensation plan. You can expect that response by Monday.
I wait to see and my mind swims. I will be getting a decent severance/separation package that could possibly augment my lower earnings for a short time. My problem is clear. Is it worth the risk? What if this is my dream job? What if in the three months or whatever timeline they give me, I am stellar and they love me but only bump my pay by a few bucks? Is it all worth the drama or the possibility of messing up our lifestyle? Will there be a better job? So many questions. Help me out here, folks. My mind is open to your thoughts and feelings! Please comment!