Thursday, September 08, 2005

baby steps

In an effort to be a rolling stone and gather no moss, I have been applying to jobs. Also because I'm frustrated with my current supervisory situation, but hey, it's hard to say that in a cover letter.

I just finished a phone interview with a major financial company. This job is totally up my alley - I am absolutely qualified to a tee. The interview was smooth, relaxed, upbeat, and intelligent on both sides.

Then came the last question from the interviewer.

"What salary are you looking for?"

HOLY MOLY I hate that question. I have so no idea what I'm really worth in the world. How unique are my skills? As a person I am confident that I am one of a kind, and as a worker I am sure that I am an asset to any organization.

So I picked an amount that I knew my current employer could not match. The interviewer's response was unreadable. I hung up, having ended on a note that I cannot measure, and am therefore now loaded with doubt. Sure, I asked for 20-30 percent more than I'm making now, but moving from the notoriously underpaid publishing industry to a technical position in a major financial company should be accompanied by a good price tag, shouldn't it?

Guess if they call me for a face to face interview we'll find out.

1 comment:

AnonymousCoworker said...

The salary question is always disarming. I've found the best way to get around it is to say something like, "Well, I don't have a magic number in my head" (even if I do) "and I don't want to guess at one and price myself out of your range, or undercut my value. I'd like to be paid fairly for the value I bring to the company. Did you have a specific range in mind?" That put's the ball back in their court, and it's usually at that point that they reveal the salary range they have in mind. Good luck!