6

As I was looking for a job change, I started sending resumes around and got several interviews that went well, for jobs in IT but not really in my exact field. Now I have a solid job offer, but with a lower salary than my current one (30-40% less), also in a harder environment (like a 24/7 rotation schedule).

This position is starting at a lower level than mine, with training and trial periods, but I feel with my experience I shouldn't have to start with such a step backwards.

I was prepared to politely decline, as I'm 90% sure that they wouldn't offer me more, but I thought I should ask: how can I decline while saying with subtlety "If the pay or advantages were comparable to those at my current job, I'd be prepared to consider it" ?

  • Thank you for your answers. Both are useful and puts the thing in perspective, and I'm trying to decide which one to accept (wish I could accept both). I'll just say to them I don't want the job because the salary isn't high enough for me (and it isn't). If they really want me they'll offer me better. But like I said, 90% chance no. – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 8:50
  • If you don't ask, the chances of them not offering more money increase to 100%. – Seth R Apr 27 '17 at 15:41
6

I see three issues here.

Salary

Simply say it. When I was a recruiter, one thing bothering me was candidates beating around the bush about money. You can politely decline the offer, arguing that the salary they propose is not compatible with what you expected, and accepting it would lead to a massive drop of your income. If the recruiter do not understand that, I see it as big red flag. And if he says he cannot offer better, at least you know.

The job itself

Even if they align the remuneration with what you have now, are you sure you really want to take that job? As you said, it looks like a step backward in your career, in a harder environment, making social life harder to keep with a 24/7 schedule.

The group issue

As you said in a comment, they do a grouped-hiring. They only way I see for you to get a salary above the rest of the group is to ask for the lead. You can put your experience forward, and this might become a step forward in your career.

  • Your second point really puts it in perspective. I hadn't really realized those changes I'd have to make to my life for this job. I was prepared to take a step backward but not at all cost. My current position isn't really "safe" (I just have a contract that my company extends every time they have work for me) and this new job would've been "safer", but I think the downsides outweigh the benefits. I'll just say to them that I decline of those two issues. Thanks. – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 7:36
  • @jldjul edited to take grouped-hiring into consideration. Please feel free to upvote any answer you feel useful (@sh5164 raised up the grouped hiring, and this is a huge point). – le_daim Apr 27 '17 at 7:52
  • Thanks for precision on the group issue. Good point but this would seem presumptuous from me to ask for a leadership position because even if I have experience in leadership/management, my technical skills aren't high enough to justify it (and this job is mostly about technical skills). – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 8:41
  • 2
    @jldjul presumptuous maybe. But you can put it in a two-steps hiring. Hired as the others, do the training etc...and then go for leadership. – le_daim Apr 27 '17 at 8:45
3

First of all, you probably should have mentioned your expected salary earlier, before they offered you a position, considering the salary was probably mentioned in the job offer.

The best moment for that is either during the interview or when the company is about to make a job offer.

A polite way now would be "I would like to thank you for the job offer, I'm really interested in the position you offered, but currently I'm paid X currency, are you willing to negotiate ?"

EDIT : You are in a bit harder situation than I thought, if they do a grouped hiring with a fixed salary for everyone, it will be hard to say "I want to be paid more" while having the same work and responsibilities than the rest of the group.

If you are more experienced than the job needs, it might be a better solution to look for another job.

As for this offer, the best strategy is probably to prove you are the one pulling up the team and negotiate a salary raise at a convenient time.

EDIT 2: If you try to have a job not directly in your skill set with a team potentially more trained to those skills and try to be paid more, that's a dead end. You should either accept that you'll have a lower pay for now or start looking for a job that better fits your skills.

Then again you can always try to negotiate with the argument that you were better paid in your previous job, but the risk is that as you will be working with new skills to develop it might get you into trouble if they start thinking you asked for a better salary without the skills that go with it.

  • 2
    I mentioned my expected salary, but to a HR representative I talked on the phone for a pre-interview (and not to the person who actually interviewed me afterwards). So that's on me. I also think they are hiring people in waves of 5-10 to train them in groups, because of a big expansion the interviewer mentioned. So the salary I was offered is probably the same for all the group. – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 7:30
  • Ok I'll edit with this informations – sh5164 Apr 27 '17 at 7:37
  • Thanks for the update. Like I said to @le_daim asking bluntly for a higher salary would be even more presumptuous from me because I don't have a high enough skill set in this particular field (and was supposed to be trained). Surely there are people in the group with better skills than me, even if I compensate with leadership skills. – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 8:48
  • @jldjul Got it, second edit then ! – sh5164 Apr 27 '17 at 8:56
  • you probably should have mentioned your expected salary earlier - Well, there isn't usually an opening to discuss that all the time. In my case, jumped from interviewed, to, 'Hey buddy, here's our job offer, with x$ a month'. I wasn't asked my salary expectation – KhoPhi Sep 19 at 10:31
3

how can I decline while saying with subtlety "If the pay or advantages were comparable to those at my current job, I'd be prepared to consider it" ?

Be direct. Don't say "I'd be prepared to consider it" because that sounds like you still might not accept an offer at the salary level you're asking. If you're interested in the job, say: "I'm interested in the position, but I'd need to make at least $X." If they offer $X, take the job. If they offer something less than $X, decide whether that's enough or not.

1

how can I decline while saying with subtlety "If the pay or advantages were comparable to those at my current job, I'd be prepared to consider it" ?

There's no need to be subtle here.

Something like "Oh, I'm sorry. You offer is less than my current job and I simply can't accept less" is appropriate.

You may be correct that they won't offer more, but it's always possible.

This position is starting at a lower level than mine, with training and trial periods, but I feel with my experience I shouldn't have to start with such a step backwards.

When changing careers, you may have to rethink this assumption.

Unless your experience is directly relevant for the new role, you may indeed have to take a step backwards before you can go forward in a new field. That's one of the things that makes it difficult to change careers.

  • I'm opened to "taking a step backwards", but this one is a pretty huge step. Without even mentioning salary, at my current job I'm basically a lead software developer in a small company. At this one I'd just be at the lowest level in a big company. I think it just shows (again) that this position is not for me, even with a pay rise. I feel silly for considering it. – ChuckMaurice Apr 27 '17 at 13:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.