Learning how to get a job can be the beginning of a whole new career and lifestyle for those who understand their value to an employer. Before going there, however, let’s get one thing straight; most employers offer as little as possible in the way of salary! This is proven through many examples but no more proof is needed than the fact that, for the first time in history, employers are offering entry level pay for jobs which, in previous years, paid much higher salaries. In this post, let it not be assumed I am writing from the vantage point of a disappointed and salary abused employee. Nothing is further from true. What is presented in article is strictly from a hiring manager’s perspective.
Although I’ve been self-employed for some time now including running my company while being employed fulltime, I well remember my last job which was at a non-profit organization called The Denver Rescue Mission. After proving my worth for a few years, I was promoted to a department head position with an annual budget of approximately $1.4 million. I was further tasked with oversight of more than $12 million in company assets which brought total managed volume to $13.4 million.
When I began work at the mission, I made the mistake of believing an urban myth which says non-profit, social cause organization have less resources to work with and thus pay employees less than their for-profit brethren. What a mistake! Having the experience to assume such a position, the starting salary was $44K and because the cause meant more to me than pay, I accepted. However; I later found out that younger, less experienced managers with much less managed volume were making more than I. I raised this concern and immediately, with no questions asked, received back-pay of more than $6,000.
This told me several things (among others);
1. The organization intentionally, with malice of forethought, under-paid me 2. Had I not raised the issue, I would’ve never received just compensation 3. Both non-profit and for-profit corporations exist for one purpose – money and thus should update company mission statements to read ‘The Ends Justify the Means’.
What has this to do with securing your dream job? Regardless of what position descriptions say; you must conduct independent market research to understand how accurate the salary offer is. Why? When searching for employment, most often it is simply enough for candidates to get ‘their foot in the door’ without realizing one immutable fact; if it is later discovered the salary offer was too low at entry or after being promoted, you will become disgruntled and job performance will suffer.
For me, this same shortage would continue for many more years until an executive brought to my intention I was being paid $7,000 less per year than my skills and time in position dictated.
Roughly, over the previous four years of working my tail off and after the first ‘over-sight’, I’d been denied a further $22,000 in salary! Being a faith based organization, I guess the Denver Rescue Mission forgot the Bible’s teachings on the matter; “A workman is worthy of his hire”. Most of this ‘withholding’ was, of course, racially motivated but that is largely irrelevant. African-Americans, women and other easily identifiable groups aren’t the only ones who suffer in this kind of what can only be described as salary discrimination. Don’t quit your job – question these decisions!
Once you’ve measured salary and meet job requirements, it is important to apply for as many ‘like’ positions as possible. These can be within the same company or others but don’t neglect ‘spreading your net’ as wide as possible. Where are the best job listings on the Internet?
As with many questions, that is a matter of opinion. I would encourage those searching for skilled jobs to become familiar with the Social Media site LinkedIn. However, for those currently employed and seeking another job, you must be as discreet as possible when using LinkedIn. Employers who find out staff members are searching for another job tend to become ‘concerned’ and those who’ve been in the workforce any amount of time well-understand this leads to becoming unemployed pretty quickly.