Are You Ready To Play The Salary Game?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonIMAGINE YOUR ARE a star player on a professional sports team and your contract is about to expire. If you are anything like the rest of your fellow athletes you will look to sell yourself to the highest bidder while demanding (and in all likelihood receiving) sign-on bonuses, guaranteed yearly salary increases not to mention picking and choosing where you want to play.

In the world of business things do not quite work in the same manner. While you can certainly identify the geographic location you wish to work in but when it comes to issues such as salary and alike very few candidates are successful in landing a new job when they submit salary “demands.”

To compound their problems many candidates refuse to accept this fact. To that end they will try to exactly mirror the same actions as the star professional athlete minus the same leverage. There is no agent to negotiate a contract for them. This is not to say your skills, experience, knowledge, and background are not worth anything on the job market as they most certainly are.

There is an inherent danger to your career if you continue to employ this negotiating strategy. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule but they are in large part for either executive level personnel or those who have a certain skill set that few candidates possess. Other than the afore mentioned you will be paid in accordance with the monetary value a company attaches to a position.

Failing the understanding or acceptance of the above a significant number of job seekers will look to play the salary game which works in the following manner. Part one is an offer is accepted from another company. Part two is when the offer is presented to the present employer in the hopes of obtaining a counter offer that will almost certainly be higher than what the other offer was. Part three is when the counter offer is put before yet another company with the misguided notion more money can be obtained.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have not only lost the salary game but you have put yourself into a position where you will have earned a well-deserved reputation for being dishonest to the point your “name” will be out on the “street” as a must avoid applicant. Now that your current boss is aware that you were interviewing which in his mind will label you as disloyal he will look to replace you the first opportunity he gets as the chief reason he gave you this “bribe” was that your resignation came at a time when the company could least afford to lose you.

No one can deny your right to look for a better job for whatever reason. Nor can you be judged poorly for starting that process. Without question you are entitled to seek the best compensation package that as close as possible allows you to meet your financial obligations with money left over for any purpose you should so choose. You could not be expected to change jobs for less money than what you are making now for the same amount of work if not more.

Where you went wrong is that you let ego fed lust for “the big bucks” plus having the prestige of an important sounding title interfere with your decision making process that will lead to negative consequences you could have avoided had you kept a level head.

The salaries that are paid for the top professional athletes were created by contract loopholes that led to a system that allowed these astronomical dollars to be paid. The lowest paid players in most professional sports earn a salary that ranges between $500,000-$700,000 per year. Who amongst would not enthusiastically accept that pay structure?

Situations that opened the flood gates for these salaries are not ever likely to occur in the everyday job market. As stated earlier in this article you have to be cognizant as well as accepting of this reality. Hone the skills you do have while adding new ones in accordance to what the market is looking for. Having accomplished that you can expect significantly higher earnings.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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