There are times, when you’re good at what you do, that there are a few more people than usual peeking at your LinkedIn profile. Where you get an out-of-the-blue message via Facebook, email or even SMS from an old colleague asking if you remember them from back in the day, and what are you up to these days? When you start getting invitations to chat on the phone about doing some work.
It’s all very exciting and flattering, and of course you’re up for a conversation about potential opportunities and suchlike. So you set a time, find out what the work would be, talk about the relevant things you’ve been doing in recent times and say goodbye one too many times.
Then the email with the details comes in, and they want to pay you $26/hour including superannuation. What?
Is it me? you might think, reading that email. What, in the course of our conversation about the amazing abilities I have and the laurels upon which I smugly rest led them to believe I’d be purchasable for that figure? Is this how the world sees me? Do I need to change my LinkedIn photo? Nah, I look great in that photo.
It’s even worse when the email ends with a request to send through a CV if you want to pursue things further. Not only does that break my ironclad rule, but it makes everything that came before the insulting offer seem like some kind of trick to get me to apply for a position that I assumed I was being headhunted for.
So on those grounds, even if they were offering $28.50 an hour, I’d still say no.
I’ve got my pride.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been on the other side of this situation. Once, a woman I knew came in to interview for a position that was going to pay a lot less than she was used to, but I thought maybe she felt that strongly about switching industries.
What did I do? Led with the salary figure, watched her eyes pop like a cartoon character and spent the rest of the interview chatting more generally, knowing I had wasted both our time.
I get that sometimes a recruiter’s hands are tied – they’re given a budget and a brief, and told to fill the spot as best they can. But I don’t understand the mystery around revealing (arguably) the key element of taking a job – how much you’ll be paid – only at the last minute. Especially when it’s so obviously low that there’s no point negotiating for something more suitable.
If you’re going to seduce me, send nudes up-front.