RE: Reality Check II - salaries in the new world

Subject: RE: Reality Check II - salaries in the new world
From: "Gordon Graham" <gordon -at- gordonandgordon -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 12:31:44 -0500

Go for the interview and wow them.

Then, one bargaining technique I've heard is not to name a specific dollar
figure when they ask your expectations, but a range. The trick is to
encompass their published salary at the *low* end of your range.

So let's say you used to make $50K and the new position is advertised at
$40K (a 20% drop), then make sure to tell them you were making $50K in your
last position but you're aware of the realities of today's job market, etc.
(proving you are a realist) but you were expecting $42 to $47K for someone
with all your experience (proving that you're not desperate).

If you are their first choice, this puts them on the defensive, and means
they have to offer you more than their advertised salary to make you happy.
Or maybe some other kind of juicy benefits. Of course, if you aren't their
first choice, this gives them an easy way to ease you out of the running:
"Well, we can see you wouldn't be happy with what we can afford to offer
you..." If you back down then and lower your demands, you are really in a
weak bargaining position.

It sounds like you'd like to be working again, so it might be wiser to say
you were expecting $40 to $45K. If I was the interviewer and I had the
power, I would offer you $42 or $43K, which means that in two or three
minutes of bargaining, you just made $2 to $3K. Or $1,000 a minute. Or a
drop of "only" 15%. That's why they say the best time to make money is when
you're negotiating for your next job. Good luck!

Gordon Graham, partner
Gordon & Gordon
(514) 488-1875

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-62169 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-62169 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Rebecca
Sent: January 18, 2002 12:12 PM
Subject: Reality Check II - salaries in the new world

Sorry to steal the thread title, but it's a good one.

I am in the Boston area. After 3 years of tech writing I was laid off
last fall. Following a lengthy dry spell I finally have an interview
lined up for next week. I am somewhat alarmed by the advertised
salary range for the position: it is, at the high end, 20% less than
what I was making at my last writing job. I know that the advertised
range isn't necessarily carved in stone, but it seems an inauspicious
starting point.

The position I am to interview for carries the adjective "senior;"
the position I got laid off from was as just a plain technical
writer. Titular advancement at far less pay seems to make a strange
equation, even if "senior" is defined in the loosest possible sense
(as it would have to be for them to be talking to me at all).

I'm not sure if they're being irrealistic, or if I am, hence my
question to the list. I expected that any new job would pay less than
my last one, given the change in the employment market between late
2000 and now, but I was hoping for a less drastic plunge. On the off
chance that they do make an offer, I don't want to hurt myself in the
long run by taking it just because right this minute I'm sick to
death of not working.

Thoughts? Advice?



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Reality Check II - salaries in the new world: From: Rebecca Stevenson

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