It’s become water-cooler conversation. They can’t ask you that question when they interview you, can…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
All your skills and experience don’t seem to carry as much weight as you think they should as you start talking salary with your potential employer. What’s wrong with him?
There’s nothing wrong with him. Or her. You just don’t see you the way she sees you.
From your point of view, you’re running on all eight cylinders. You know how to take the hand-off of an engagement from the boss. You can look at the circumstances and make decisions on methods and approaches. You know whom to choose to staff the engagement, and you can keep it moving along within the budget. You know exactly what the boss wants in a report and you’re well practiced at delivering that. You’ve demonstrated time and time again that you can keep clients happy.
So, how come your offer from that potential employer doesn’t seem to reflect all that value?
The answer lies in thinking like the boss. She may have had several conversations with you, but she has no idea (other than what she might have heard in references) how you actually perform. You might assimilate yourself into the existing chain of command quite easily. But the new boss doesn’t know that. He knows nothing of your report writing skills other than what he’s read in a sample or two you might have shared. He may feel comfortable with you, but it will take awhile for him to feel like handing off client relationships.
What he does know is that you’re going to have a ramp-up period that can last up to six months. He knows that during that time your productivity isn’t going to be what it has been. He knows that you represent a risk, even if you don’t think so.
Recognize that a salary offer may take account of this risk. That is not to say you might not want to see if you can get it raised. But, start from the point that you think like the boss and understand where he’s coming from. You’ll be on much firmer ground in steering the discussion toward an increase tied to your achieving short-term, objective, metrics.