Never settle for less than you are worth
I was contacted by a former colleague searching for a candidate to fill an HR Administrator position immediately. We had both been laid off from the employer who is now in need of filling said position. While my colleague returned to “Company ABC”, I had no desire to.
When she asked if I knew anyone who was looking for a job and had HR experience, I jokingly replied that I was. For a few giggles, I told her that if I were to consider the position, I’d want:
- $50k per year
- 2 weeks paid vacation
- paid sick leave
- my parking paid for when I needed it
Knowing my former employer would never agree to such terms, imagine my surprise when my colleague contacted me the next morning with a counteroffer of $40k to start and after 6 months a raise to $43k. I’d get it all in writing and it would be a guarantee of one full year of employment. We would discuss more at the end of the first year. Would I be willing to sit down and talk with him still?
My husband and I talked about it at length over dinner and decided there was no harm in at least sitting down to discuss everything the position would entail and hear what the man had to say.
The Interview Red-flags
I met with my former boss the next afternoon. He started by immediately stating I was asking for “too much money”, he couldn’t afford to pay that. That didn’t sit well with me since he had already revealed the budget for the position.
He made it even less appealing by saying he’d pay $37k, I had to start the next day (it couldn’t wait until Monday), I couldn’t take time off during the year and I couldn’t re-negotiate my salary at the end of the year by showing him what the average salary is for people in my position with my expertise. If those are not red flags, I do not know what is!
To make matters worse, he told the girl I would be replacing if I were to accept the position, that I was going to be “training for the position” the remaining two days of this week “for free” and I would let them know at the end of the business day on Friday if I wanted to the job or not.
If I decided I wanted the job, I’d be hired on as a temp for the first two weeks, during which the boss would continue to interview people for the position, but at the end of the two weeks, I’d be hired on permanently. He closes this by stating he’s 99% sure I have the job. However, I could not leave during the day to interview for other positions.
Time to high-tail it out of there!
Uh oh! Run! Run as far and as fast as you can! That’s what my gut said and that’s exactly what I did. I am not going to be bound by such obnoxious terms!
It’s completely unethical to take advantage of someone who is out of work by trying to keep them waiting in the wings while trying to find someone you can pay a pittance salary for a position the requires specific skill-sets and expertise; especially since this is a global company whose staff is mainly employed by H1-B Visa’s.
I’m not even sure if some of that is legal, but I do know it’s very unprofessional.
Other red flags were evident, too. Only five people working in the office and more than twenty empty desks, staff quitting faster than a rumor spreading through high school, and the president of the company admitting that the company is financially in trouble. If none of the other warning signs had been present, this final admission would be the biggest indicator that following my gut is the right course of action.
Though things are tight for my husband and I since the contract I was working ended a few weeks ago, I will not settle for less than I know I am worth. I will never allow an employer to take advantage of me again.
I know the right company and the right position is out there; we just need to find each other.