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paulc's avatar

What would you value and how would you proceed in this hypothetical employment scenario?

Asked by paulc (2919points) May 14th, 2008

Suppose you work in a job that pays well, is moderately challenging and that you are comfortable in. However, it is often somewhat boring and doesn’t seem to have much room for advancement.

You are offered a position with another organization that is one of the top players in their domain. They offer a chance to work on very interesting projects with major companies as well as working with some very skilled people in your line of work that you could potentially learn from.

The catch is that you must take a 30% cut in salary from your current position and begin near the bottom (at a just-above-junior level) with a role that might be difficult or not exactly suited to your abilities. This organization does, however, promise to expedite your advancement if all goes well because they recognize your abilities and experience.

I know this is complicated but I’m curious how some of you would approach making a decision about something like this. If its more helpful, assume this is a software related industry we’re talking about.

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7 Answers

MrKnowItAll's avatar

The time to negotiate is now. You’ll never be in as strong a position.

Promises mean nothing.

gailcalled's avatar

What’s the family situation? Kids? Partner bringing in a salary?. Relocation? The hypothetical age of the hypothetical employee? The strength of everyone’s nervous system?

Agree w. MrKnow; get things in writing. Oral assurances are meaningless.

aaronblohowiak's avatar

The job market is hot right now in tech.

30% cut in pay? Negotiate. Also, shop around.

xyzzy's avatar

Keep in mind that the lower down the totem pole your are, the more disposable you are. And promises mean nothing. Negotiate, get it in writing, and think only of what your being offered right now, not some far off golden carrot they’re shining in your face.

marinelife's avatar

I would create a decision grid.

First, I would weight various factors

Importance of money Very? Sort of? Not important?
Importance of chance for advancement Very? Sort of? Not important?
Importance of work you would be doing day-to-day Very? Sort of? Not important?
Desire for a Big Change Very? Sort of? Not Important?
Status of Employer in Industry Very? Sort of? Not Important?

Once you really think through each one of the factors about the job and its relative importance to you right now, then you put the two companies in a grid and rate them for each of these factors on a scale of 1–5.

It should give you the some clarity.

A lot of the concerns other Flutherers have expressed seem valid. Without a written offer that includes the promise of advancement and a time frame or a written employment contract, the employer will not have any obligation to honor what was said to you.

So, how well do you know or how much do you trust this person?

You could check out with other people who work there (without mentioning the specific things promised to you) if the company and specifically the person who would be your supervisor and the department head are straight shooters who keep their promises.

LunaFemme's avatar

I once was offered an exciting new job in a new field working for a major financial services firm. The catch, I took a huge cut in pay with the promise that in six months I would start earning bonuses & commissions. Well, six months came & went and guess what happened, nada. When I mentioned to my boss that it was time for a review & my bonus & commission structure to begin, he simply kept putting me off. When I pressed the issue he said, “That’s what being an adult in the real world is about.” There were lots if other promises made & never kept as well. Needless to say, I quit soon after or rather I allowed myself to be wooed away by another team.

Please learn from me and save yourself some grief. Get it in writing. Like xyzzy said, don’t let a carrot be dangled in front of you, especially if there are contingencies out of your control attached.

wildflower's avatar

Negotiate so the pay-cut is lower and see if you can verify that the advancement opportunities are as good as they say by talking to some people already working there.

If the cut is 20% or less and the employees you talk to are happy with the place and it genuinely looks like they would progress you – go for it.

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