…..”but i made that kind of money five years ago!!!”

Tony: “I understand. Many of my candidates even, if they’re finding a decent job are going to work for a lot less money than they’d earned before…”

Mary: “but I’m different. Before Covid my base was $130,000.  I can’t believe that they would insult me by offering me $100,000.

Tony: “Wait a minute Mary, they didn’t offer anything. When they asked you what kind of money you are looking for, you said your last base was $130,000. I thought I made it really clear that they didn’t want to go above the base of $100,000 and that to ask anything more than that would probably eliminate us.”

Mary: “Well, I didn’t tell him I wanted $130,000, I told him that I had been making $130,000 and he didn’t even bat an eye.”

Tony: “Mary, I specifically explained that the company was not going to pay more than $100,000 as a base salary. I understand exactly how you feel.  But you have been out of work for more than six months, don’t have any prospects, in fact, you only had three interviews in that whole period of time and these people were really interested in hiring you. But when you even mentioned $130,000, we blew it.”

Mary: “But what was I supposed to say? The interview was going so well and everything seemed to click. I haven’t made that kind of money as a base salary in five years!”

Tony: “Mary, I do not know how to put it in any other way. You have been out of work for more than six months and what are you making now? Nothing, zero, nada, zip… We have to get our ego out of this and be realistic about what we’re being faced with.”

Mary: “Well, call him and tell him I would take $100,000. But also tell him that I haven’t made that kind of money in five years.”

Tony: “Mary I want to say this kindly, but he doesn’t even want to consider trying to hire you. His attitude is that if he hires you at a $100,000 base salary, sometime in the near future someone will try to hire you at $130,000 and he will lose you. The truth is that it is not very likely to happen, we’re in a recession and besides, people just don’t leave a job for $30,000 salary if they’re happy. But a potential hiring manager doesn’t think that way. He thinks of just as many reasons of why he shouldn’t hire you as he does of reasons as to why he should and we gave him too big of a reason.”

“What we might say when you were asked about what kind of money you were looking for is, ‘Tony told me that the base was $100,000 with the total on quota earnings of $200,000 and that sounds great’ and just plain left it at that.”

“We aren’t going to get another chance to speak with him. He’s got too many other really good candidates that will go to work for the $100,000 base salary. He simply doesn’t need to run the risk of worrying about hiring you.”

Mary: “But I’m much better than any of those people!”

Tony: “Oh, Mary pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease. There are so many really good candidates on the market a hiring authority can find people with easily as good a track record as we have. You are very good at what you do but you have no idea how many good candidates there are out there.”

Mary: “I do know there are a lot of good candidates out there, but I just really need to make a base of $130,000. I don’t want to go backwards.”

Tony: “Mary, nobody wants to go backwards, but there is absolutely nothing in business that says you’re always going to get what you want if the market won’t bear it and the market isn’t going to bear a $130,000 base salary in my opinion. It’s just not.”

Mary: “Well I’ll just have to think about it.”

Tony: “Mary, there’s really nothing to think about. We don’t have an offer from anybody and were not gonna get a chance to go back and talk to this guy. Please, next time I share that the base is $100,000 don’t tell them that you’ve made $130,000 and even hint that that’s what you’re looking for. Please, for your own sake. I’ve got three other candidates that he’s talking to and I’m sure he will find one of those. There is no doubt that you are probably the most qualified of all of them, but when he heard that $130,000, it scared him off.”

Mary: “Well, this is so very frustrating! They have no idea what they’re missing. I’m really, really good at what I do and I know that there are not very many people that are as good as I am. It is their loss.”

Tony: “Again, I understand exactly how you feel, but this market is so flush with people and hiring authorities are so afraid of making a mistake…it happens this way in every recession. The longer we go out of work, the harder it’s going to be. If we find an opportunity as good as this, with good people and a good opportunity for future we should really strongly consider it. I would love to get you a $130,000 base salary…, heck, I’d like to get you a $150,000 base salary. The more money you make, the more money I make, but the reality is, that is not likely to happen in this market.

Mary: “Well, I’m just going to have to think about it. You’re probably right. But it’s just not fair!”





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