Personally, I hate job hunting. It’s a demoralizing process where you question your skills and your worth. Even if you do all the right things when you lose your job, you question whether or not you are worth what you thought.
Then you go through the process of multiple interviews, preparation, wow the employer you want to work for… and get a lowball offer. At least that is what just happened to me. I made it through multiple rounds of interviews for a position only to be offered less than I was making at my last full time job. It was an incredible lowball offer that actually shocked me into silence when I got the phone call.
Apparently companies engage in this awesome low-ball salary offer because they can. It’s never happened to me before so I didn’t really even consider it happening. I’ve always worked for small businesses where the employers wanted to take care of their employees. This salary offer left me completely flabbergasted!
From the company’s position I see there side. They might offer less to start but treat employees well and eventually offer them more and room for growth. It’s sort of a proving ground where new employees have to prove their worth within the company. And if they are a smaller company and they’ve been burned by employees before, then it definitely makes sense that they would start new employees this way.
However, I tried to stay calm when I received the offer. I said I’d think about it. I was also told by two different employees that this offer was firm and that shocked me more than anything. A lowball offer and being told it was firm? That didn’t sound very promising. Ultimately I countered with a smaller number than I originally wanted but that was on par with what I made before. While it’s not thrilling to me, it is a number I can and did live with and the job also offers additional benefits. I’m waiting to see what they say to that number.
I wanted to immediately dismiss this company for even offering such a low number, but I did not dismiss it immediately. I will not do that when they counter back either. It’s always best to take a day or two to consider the offer, or at least to let the company think you are doing so.
While I haven’t had a low salary offer before, I know that there are a few things to consider. Right now I’m asking myself the following questions:
- Is this a career opportunity so great that it’s worth taking a step backward in the beginning to go forward later?
- Will there be any effect on my professional brand on taking a salary cut?
- Am I allowed to say no to an offer while on unemployment?
- Will there be room for raises and bonuses later once I’ve “proven” myself on the job?
- Are there other, better career opportunities developing in the job search that may come to fruition?
- Will I be able to work there without feelings of resentment?
There are a lot of things to consider but unfortunately I don’t have answers to all of those questions. I don’t know what the employer plans for the future or how things will shake out. I’ll have to think about these questions over the weekend and come up with an informed decision about the job offer. While it’s tempting to make rash decisions, I need to spend the time to consider all the sides of this opportunity.
While I do need to find a position, I also know I need to find the right position! I also need to review my career aspirations and decide what I want to do for the next 20-30 years. Or at least for the next 5. ;)
Have you received lowball job offers before? What did you do? Did your negotiations work in your favor?
Or have you ever taken a job below your desired salary range? Was the move worth it?