Friday, June 3, 2011

When in Doubt, Counter

Being offered your first job is exciting, and. . . super stressful.

How do you know it's the right place for you? What exactly are the job duties? How much are they going to pay you? What if everyone who works there is a dork? What if I hate my partner?

All valid concerns. Especially, the "how much are they going to pay you" concern.

The second you hear the actual amount being offered to you, you'll have one of two reactions: total joy or total bummed-out-ness. Hopefully the former, sometimes the latter.

Here's my advice: if you are offered an amount that you just can't swallow, ask for more.

This advice also applies when you've been somewhere a year and you deserve a raise. Ask for it. There is absolutely no harm in declaring your worth (as long as you realize others might not wholeheartedly agree).

My sister got offered a job last week. First thing she tells me is she can't get by on the salary. Mind you, she did NOT say she thinks she deserves more or is worth more or should be making more (all of which may be very true). She said she can't get by on the salary.

It's a great job at an interesting place and she really wanted to work there. Counter them I said. Call them up tell them how excited you are by the opportunity, how great a fit it is for you, AND that you would like to ask for 10K more. Then be quiet. Let them respond. Candidates usually mess up the opportunity by talking too much. Keeping quiet is key.

I can tell you no hiring manager wants to lose a candidate this far in the process. If they truly can, they'll see what they can do. If they can't, they'll say so. No harm, no foul.

She countered, they came up, everyone's happy.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a Junior and super excited about an interview I went on just about a month ago.

The CCO met with me and really loved my work. Said we would work something out, and also asked what salary I wanted.

The creative manager hasn't met me yet, and every week since my interview I inquired about an
update—got no response, but just last week (3rd week since the interview), I was told that they are trying to figure things out.

Now, this might be my impatience starting to kick in, but how long would you recommend me waiting before I reach out again? Is this when Juniors should keep quiet?

I REALLY want this, but I also don't want to come off obnoxious or desperate. Any advice?

Thanks so much! Really love your blog. :)

Cecilia Gorman said...

Once a week is good.

If you feel comfortable, email the CCO and cc the CM. Reiterate how excited you are for the opportunity and that you look forward to the offer information.

Cecilia Gorman said...

Once a week is good.

If you feel comfortable, email the CCO and cc the CM. Reiterate how excited you are for the opportunity and that you look forward to the offer information.

Anonymous said...

If they say 'no' to your counter offer, do you refuse the job or just swallow the original amount? Would accepting the offer mark you as a weak employee?

Cecilia Gorman said...

Yes, accept it. You won't be seen as weak for taking it, just as showing guts that you asked in the first place.