How Much Is That Salary In The Window?

Vantage Points Header Joel Elveson

“How much is that doggie in the window? / The one with the waggly tail/How much is that doggie in the window? / I do hope that doggie’s for sale.”

A CLASSIC TIMELESS children’s song that in the gist of this article will take on a whole new meaning as you will read. The theme that is being built around the lyrics of this song is how much are you willing to pay for that salary.

As times passes on the realization that the raise/promotion you were just given is unaffordable sinks in along with the inevitable “what do I do now” question. In order for you to be paid that salary a certain value in return must be extracted from you. Oft times in order to get the value your company needs from you they will come to expect that you will acquiesce to their requests.

The price tag of your newly found “wealth” is your life. Your life is now wholly owned by the company. Time spent with family and friends dwindle down to a trickle. Vacation time although allotted for is not always granted upon your wishes. Your vacation will have to occur at a more “convenient” time. Frivolous for time off to see your child graduate will be frowned upon. You are needed at your desk doing your job. Perhaps your spouse can tape the event for you perhaps even stream the event over Skype.

Many amongst us have been advised to be careful what you wish for as it may come true. If that should happen much to your angst you will discover that what you wished for when reality settled in was not what you envisioned it would be. What your heart so desired is now the part of your life you rue the most.

You wanted the cake with all the trimmings but failed to account for all the calories that will accumulate. Your choice if not have not already eaten the cake is to give it away as to do without the damage that would have ensued. Having lacked the will power to not eat the cake nor the will to only eat a fraction has created the need for a rigorous career diet to shed these pounds of demands that are now dominating your life.

What are your options moving forward? Your first option is to try to muster the courage to engage your boss in a dialogue where you thank him profusely for his loyalty to you but explain how drained you have become. Perhaps a reduced workload (at a reduced salary) is possible. Failing that a proposal where your hours can be staggered so that you have your invaluable free time while keeping up with your current workload. Your “pitch” would be that your production would increase if you were allowed to work in this manner. If push comes to shove you could conceivably ask for your old job back (if it has not been filled) with a mea culpa that you cannot afford to make the payments your new salary calls for.

A negative response may devastate you but remember it is not always possible to redo an arrangement that was so seemingly beneficial to you but now is not. You must now acknowledge that you did not realize this was inevitable but following through with your end is your obligation. Do so while formulating a plan of action to reverse your course in order to reclaim your life.

Subtract what your take home pay is now from what it was and putting away the difference that you will build up enough “rainy day” money that will allow you to make the positive changes that reinvigorate s your ability to come up with creative solutions. The money that is being paid to you must be managed so that the albatross around your neck is lifted.

It behooves you not to look into starting your own home based business. Take stock of what type of business you can start that will give you a sense of pride while producing a sustainable revenue stream. That part may not happen overnight so you wish to take on a non-invasive part time job. I will caution you to make sure you can continue to financially maintain yourself before you start investing money.

Assuming running your own business is not woven into your fabric you may have to enter the increasingly competitive job market. Be prepared to explain why you are looking to make this change and why you are willing to take less than your current lofty salary. A suspicious eye will be cast your way. Either you will be seen as a rare bird who is not all about the money but the opportunity as a whole or you come loaded with extra baggage.

Your next move to get yourself out of “debt” is to strategically network using any and all social media outlets that are out there. There should not be an outlet be it electronically or locally that your name does not appear. Talk to anybody and everybody to inquire what help they may be able to offer or point you in another direction. Do not rule out anybody as a resource except for the United Nations.

There are probably more options open that I have thought of or been able to provide to you. You may take some comfort in the fact that we are a society that wants what it wants and has to have what it wants now while adopting the ever popular attitude of worrying about the future or future consequences of our desires if they should come.

How much that salary in that proverbial window would cost you in its entirety is something you should have found out in advance. As painless it is to pull out your charge card and buy as you please this purchase you just made was just too much of a bargain for you to pass up that was until the bills came in. Now you see in black and white what you have spent.

Had your eyes not been popping out of your head when these dollar figures were presented to you with a little negotiation you may have wound up with a better “deal” that carried less in “finance” (aka loss of work/life balance) charges.

How much is that salary in the window?/The one with the oppressive culture./ How much is that salary in the window?


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.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. Your article gives us a lot to think about Joel.
    It is full of wisdom and some provoking whips of truth
    That doggie in the window is in the window….after walking away…if you are thinking about it…you either do something or not. If it stays on your mind… you start to think on how to make that doggie yours. If out of sight is out of mind, then it remains a doggie in the window.
    Thank you for this article. I really enjoyed it. My parents use to sing this to me as a child…was it Dorris Day that i first heard sing this? I can’t remember ….lol. But some doggies are cuter than others…depends what makes you move really. Lol
    Have a great day !

    • Thank you, Paula, for commenting not to mention reading this old article of mine. I wholeheartedly agree with you that doggie stays on your mind you have to do something or not do something. Life’s choices are not always easy. I would think your parents heard this song first but it is possible you hear it before. Please take care, stay safe, and be well.

    • Chris, I never knew you had such a sense of humor. Your comment is actually very clever. Take care.

  2. Ken,
    Thank you for readership and subsequent comments. You captured the whole point I was bringing out in my article. Most people shudder at the idea of setting up their own business or working on commission only. Indeed doing that is a risky (but potentially lucrative) opportunity. The salary is almost always the preferred method of compensation. Not too many of us can or will work without it. That salary though can cost you a pretty penny that may make it not worth all that comes with it. Thank you again Ken.

  3. Joel, I suppose most of us grab for the gold ring once in our career. I certainly did and found it was not what it had seemed to be. That dogie in the window was a rabid wolf hound.

    It is, of course, naive to think that the big salary isn’t going to come with some pay back. The employer is paying for your track record and your talent, but also anticipation of future performance that is above and beyond what you have done in the past. If you aren’t willing to work more hours, handle bigger problems, and probably do some unpleasant tasks then don’t go there.