Discussion

Don't be afraid to fight for yourself, and know your worth

a month ago

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Backstory: A couple of months ago I was offered a job (just as everything was closed down due to covid) after mulling it over and talking to some friends/colleagues it became clear they were gouging my starting wage. I asked if they would be open to negotiate and they said that the starting wage was standard for their new hires (colleagues who worked for the company indicated otherwise). At this point I was a bit miffed and sent them a professional yet piquant email informing them I didn't think we were a fit at the time and that I wished them luck in find someone appropriate for the wages offered; additionally I attached my resume that I used to apply to their job. Today I got offered a fair wage for my experience. Don't be afraid to walk away from a job offer if you know they're taking advantage of you, chances are they're going to keep taking advantage of you as an employee.




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  • Commercial_Card

    Here my question to any that can answer/explain this: How do you actually "know your worth"? I'm being serious in that I hear this phrase used a lot but I often struggle to understand the underlying mean of it. How do you research in figuring out what would be a fair pay?


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    • Yaktoku_SC

      this is a really tough question which can be based on so many factors. years of experience, years of experience with a specific skill or tech, management, etc. for example a software engineer with 5 years of experience in a manufacturing company won’t be on the same as someone in a finance company even if both are using similar tech stacks for whatever they are working on (ignore finance specific applications). your best bet is to compare your current position on various job boards and “salary guides” ( in quotes as a lot of them from recruiters are vague and not really pulled from actual placement data)..and see what the ranges posted are. then you can get a vague idea of where you line up. then when looking for a different position search that position roles in same industry and compare. if you are a staff accountant moving into a role where you would need to do cost accounting but don’t have the skill, asking for a boost to what you feel is the right level may cost you the job. simply because the company feels you can’t do the job right away or others are cheaper. i’ve seen people lose out on jobs because they told HR they wanted X which was higher than another candidate’s (with less skill) expectation. flip side i’ve seen people get paid lower than their worth because they didn’t negotiate. never an easy question


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  • Jenniferinfl

    I'm being significantly underpaid in my current job. But, I was willing to take it because I had finished my degree and it was a new field for me. Most of my experience has been in library science, retail or warehousing. I'm a ridiculously low paid accounting intern right now- but, they caught me when I was desperate. I asked for a raise this week because I'm doing Staff Accountant work for $12 an hour intern pay and the new person is making $35,000 more than me. They said they couldn't justify it right now.. lol Honestly, I'm ready to go back to warehouse work where I'd make $6 an hour more than what I make using my grad degree.. lol I feel like I'm undercutting the whole profession by staying. The fun thing is, someone else left and I'm the only person doing a whole category of stuff that no one else has the background knowledge of. I cannot WAIT to leave them stranded with that.


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    • nebulonb

      honestly how long have you been doing Staff accountant level work and how long have you generally been doing accountant intern work? You know your industry better than I do but if you have a grad degree in accounting and you have a year of internship work going beyond the initial scope of work I would consider looking for an accounting job. Also (and this is a personal not a professional opinion) it sounds like they're going to keep taking advantage of you, and this might not be a company you should consider working for much longer. Or just hold onto it until you get a job offer from someone else in your field. Also (and this one is a professional opinion) don't go back to the warehouse work, try to stay in your field of work or something that could continue to build on your career skills. Or if you do take that warehouse work keep the internship also. You know what's best for you friend and I wish the best for you.


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  • MacDhubstep

    Great work OP! I had a recruiter reach out to me about a job and all my attempts to negotiate were met with: “But it’s a really great organization and a non-profit” and I walked away. Thought the excuse was outrageous and I think they’ll struggle to find a good fit at the pay amount.


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    • nebulonb

      Oh yeah, totally. A lot of non-profits use that excuse but still find a way to give the execs six figure salaries.


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  • inima23

    Yes! These are things I wish I told.my younger self! Good for you!


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    • nebulonb

      Thanks, I was really afraid of sending that refusal email! What matters is you stood up for yourself.


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  • simyen

    How does one get offered a job? This is an actual question, I've never been offered one, and when I apply for jobs I don't even get a callback. Been jobless since January and have had a total of 1 interview


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    • GrainObtain

      Knowing your worth means setting some standards. If everyone raises their standards as far as pay and work conditions, employers WILL cater towards retaining and attracting talent. If you behave like a slave and beg for a job that pays minimum and they know you need it to barely make your bills and feed a family, don’t be surprised if they keep treating you like that. The will treat you how you let them treat you.


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      • mp90

        EXACTLY. This pendulum swings back and forth during periods of unemployment. Right now employers can get away with anything due to massive unemployment. This isn’t too different from real estate and other market-driven industries.


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    • honeybami_

      Nice on your new job offer! One thing I'm confused about is why you attached your resume in your email?


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      • nebulonb

        I found out that they had started people with less experience than me at a higher wage and specifically I wanted them to have my experience (resume) readily available for them to reflect on, in comparison to the offered wage.


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    • AdamY_

      Congrats! and you're right- always stick up for yourself. If the package is not befitting of what you're looking for, negotiate and hold your ground.


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      • UThMaxx42

        Congratulations for getting a job offer in the first place.


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        • DerpyOwlofParadise

          When a new controller came in at my company, she wanted to put me in a different area of the department. I told her I held all the knowledge about what I’m doing -cost accounting, and it would be detrimental to the company. I fought. I was left alone When she hired a person directly under me, she wanted to pay them higher than me, by quite a lot. This information was right in the job posting. HR laughed, said oops! I spoke to controller that it is not acceptable and I want a raise. Additionally I threatened to leave my job as I actually did have something lined up. She realized, gave me a raise. I fought When she wanted to give my accounting work away to new person, I fought and kept it. Later I realized the new person was only paid 50 dollars below me. With no formal school or experience. When I finally left the company they posted only the cost accountant part of my position, with a much fancier title, paid 20 k more to do HALF of what I did. That’s how I knew the company is not worth it. If you have to fight too much for it, let it go On the bright side the controller was later fired. But I was no longer there. I


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          • nebulonb

            Not to be a dick, but I love that the controller was fired. It feels like cosmic justice was served.


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        • MakeAmericPlaidAgain

          Good advice. The problem is you should expect this behavior every year when you expect an increase. "Oh, we started you much higher, so we can't afford to pay more now. We have to be fair to everyone here. Work hard and we will see how things look next year." My advice to young people (I am at the end of the corporate road): \- Always show your best attitude from day one. \- Always do what you promise. \- Never gossip or say anything negative, just be seen and heard saying good things about everyone. You never know who will be your next boss or who will be working with you. \- Ask frequently to review your progress and ask for any feedback to help you improve. \- Document those sessions in an email and send a copy home for later referral. \- Collect any special thanks from customers or coworkers or vendors that show their appreciation and again send copies home. \- Ask the well wishers to post something for you on LinkedIn as a memory to look back on. At review time, include the feedback and what you did to improve and any results you can show from your work. Attach all of the thank you notes for a job well done. Then expect the top possible rating and accept no excuses without further explanation as to why you didn't exceed the standard expectations of the position. Make sure you are clear about where you want to go in the company and ask if your expectations are reasonable to expect. If they still make excuses and others are smiling, that manager has no intention of ever helping you go anywhere and only wants to pad his own bonus and that of his personal favorites. Don't be afraid to ask coworkers how things are going for them? Never tell about your wages or perks as it only causes drama and always backfires on you. Collect all of this for two to three years and start applying internally and externally for your next position and don't look back. Life is too short to waste in a dead end job with a dead beat manager. Eventually, you will meet the manager who see you for what you are and will be happy to have you on his or her team and make sure people upstairs know your name. Don't underestimate the need to document every interaction about your performance. We tend to forget that should we suddenly get laid off, we won't have any access to anything.


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          • TuringTalent

            Well done!


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            • blue_soup_nazi

              A few interviews ago, I told the guy right there in the interview that I didn't think it was a good fit. I haven't been working since March, but I know I wouldn't be happy working at what was essentially an entry-level position when I did that same position 18 years ago. It's one of the biggest employers in Canada for my industry, so I didn't want to screw myself over if ever I find myself interviewing for them in some other context if this job washed out.


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