You aggressively networked, tweaking your resumes
to meet specific needs, smiling when you were totally
out of energy, wondering if there was something at
there besides another road to travel ... then it comes!
Many believe the hard part is over. They may be about
50% right. Now the big begins ... assessing the offer,
the manager and company. What is their offer, how
good are the benefits: over priced, marginal coverage?
Do I get four weeks vacation starting Day One but find I'm working 80+ hours a week
from now until retirement, death or firing? Do they leave me alone during approved
vacation? Will I be working or traveling on holidays and vacation times?
Just as there are excellent companies and managers there are also horrible managers
and companies and no known company is pure either way and a commitment by a
manager is often only good as long as you report to that manager. Pick well.
POTENTIAL WARNING SIGNS ABOUT AN OFFER
No One Asks About Your Long-Term Career Goals
- The hiring process moves very fast.
a) Potential they are desperate to get someone in the job
b) High turnover in this position; voluntary and involuntary
- Employees met with are cold and informal.
- No discussions about interests, career plans
- No attempt to build a relationship
- Long, sometimes multi-week, delays in the hiring process with no communication from them
- No apologies for not touching base with you
- May require you to undergo another unplanned interview or unspecified testing
- Requests to you for "off the books" time from you for planning or research.
Some advocate donating 1 hour per week and if they decide it really needs to be done, discuss an hourly consulting rate for hours above the one donated weekly.
- Tension in the workplace is high.
- The Job Description keeps changing and/or the pay schedule or reporting relationships.
This raises question whether they know what they are planning to do.
- You are reminded of other talented candidates wanting the job.
Why would someone accept a job without being able to ask questions first?
- Job offer comes in lower than told or below the range you were told about.
Question whether manager lied or people above the manager changed the game on you.
- Feel you don't like and/or cannot trust the manager you would be reporting to.
Where there is not a good relationship including trust you will always have concerns.
- The employer is not promoting reasons for you to take the positions, you're just told you would be lucky to work there.
Promotion of the position, the manager and the company are common acts for a good candidate. Watch out!
- Find out the culture from people who are there and from people who left.
Company culture and issues with the immediate manager are the top two reasons people resign.
- The List of Responsibilities Is Increasing (But The Pay Isn't)
The Interviewer has a longer list of responsibilities than the Job Description and
some may have little or nothing to do with the core job itself while the salary, it is
is still what it was before the changes. This is the ever popular "other duties as
required". Nothing precludes you from washing executive cars every Friday or on
the day before a holiday.
Ask for details on the on how the extra responsibilities fit into the bigger scheme
of the position and how your time would be divided among the many tasks. Being
paid fairly for your time, skills and talents is important. Perhaps this is not the job you deserve.
- Lack of Learning Opportunities
New hires are often provided training and development opportunities to help insure their success; more experienced employees receive less. If you sense you are being put into a "sink or swim" situation, you must decide if you are prepared to fight to survive in this new role.
- Taking The Position Is A Step In The Wrong Direction
Sometimes taking a step backward to gain more skills is a smart investment but not always. If your goal is to learn but the job only puts you through the motions are you really gaining anything? If an interviewer or manager is suggesting you think twice about accepting the position, it is a red flag. Companies are not known to encourage people to rethink their decision if the person is the most qualified.
- High Turnover Rate
This is always a red flag. Why are so many people walking if not running away from this company? Why did I not hear this from my networking (or was my effort in networking lacking)? No later than upon receiving the job offer, ask the pointed question "What is something employees wish they could improve about this company?" or "Has the business experienced any recent growing pains, and if so, how has that been handled?" If the answer is vague or not adequate, the employer is offering excuses or "bad mouths" former employees, rethink taking this position.
A bad manager and company culture are the #1 and #2 reasons people resign.
This is more important for younger job seekers than veterans as youth often has visions of a rapid rise. Questions like 'Where do you see yourself in five years?" is a common question or "What are your long-term career goals?" You can counter this questioning by asking "How do you see this role evolving six to twelve months from now?" or "What do you thin success will look like in this role a year from now?" If they cannot answer the success definition for a year from now, this may be a dead-end job. Good companies can answer these questions and want to know your vision/expectations/hopes/desires for success over the long term with them.
5 Tips to Successfully Negotiate a Higher Salary
- PRACTICE your entire argument before negotiations begin
Be comfortable and practiced with your plan and approach
As with Interviews, practice with someone who has experience in this area to fine tune your position to have it clean, crisp, orderly, logical and facts supported
- REMEMBER your Superman / Wonder Woman Power Poses that we showed at
Second Saturday. Think what you may, but IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE and is something you can leverage nearly anywhere with 2 minutes of private time to get yourself "fired up". Clark Kent and Diane Prince were mild mannered people until they made their quick change to Superman and Wonder Woman. You can to!
- JUSTIFY your designed salary. Who doesn't want $50 Million a year but you are not going to see that for a new hire to any job. This may be salary, bonus potential, extra time for vacations, assistance with high insurance premiums, etc. Whatever your seek, be prepared to justify it with facts not wants or desires. Note that
Glassdoor.com does post salary information provided to them by members as a potential reference point for your position. Companies want to save money too!
- CONFIDENCE in yourself and your position will help sell your negotiating point.
Don't go in with a "Do this or I walk" attitude as you may be escorted out. Show your numbers and facts to reinforce this to your manager and so your manager can take it to the appropriate people for approvals which are often required.
- NEGOTIATE DON'T DEMAND. You are seeking what you believe is fair value for your skills and experience to bring value to the company. By showing you have a higher level than most that merits consideration for a higher compensation. Make your case. One person increased their starting salary 16% by highlighting their special background versus the normal college recruit. It took a day to get approved but it was approved and impressed the manager for their strength and confidence in their ability to make a big difference for the company.