Monday, June 16, 2014

Salary NOT included

John Handy: Hard Work

Marcus is still looking for gainful employment.  Luckily he is somewhat stoic about the process.   But in my discussions with potential employers one question keeps appearing

Somehow [Mr Potential Employer], you seem to have totally forgotten to mention the salary.  Can I politely enquire.  What is it?

Yes, I don't think I can count the number of /amazing opportunities/ that I have found or applied for only to find out that, pretty much

Salary NOT included

By which I mean that the Salary is so infinitesimally small as to be comical.   To re-enforce the point

Google What Salary?
Once I was called by Google who asked me to apply for an International Infrastructure role.  I managed 3 interviews before I politely asked:

To the nearest 20,000 USD per year, what salary might you be expecting to pay?

Competitive was the answer.   Competitive to the cleaner at my local high school,  to the News Reader at the BBC?  Well, they could not say.

I never did find out what Competitive meant.

Senior Infrastructure
I applied for a Senior Infrastructure role yesterday.   The list of desired skills was quite mind boggling.  Although it was a UNIX role they also seemed to require Database, Backup, Disaster Recovery and even SAP terms were mentioned.

As per norm, no salary, or indication of salary was posted with the job advertisment.

Eventually after some calls the agent told me that the new job would pay 50% of my last contract. Oh, and I'd also have to setup a UK limited company.

At least they did provide  a ballpark estimate.  Other enquiries/ interviews have led to:

What Is Your Current Salary?
I'm not sure what the implication is.  Suppose you apply for a 100K /year job.  But your current salary is 50K.   Are they saying, sure, we'll give you the new job, but pay you say 55K?

What is Your Age?
I think the implication here is that we can only pay you a large salary if you are really old. (What about experience I thought, you might have spent your first 30 working years just pissing about?)

The No Answer
A la Google

The Responsibility Answer
This is where they will augment your low to modest salary with  (say) both technical and people responsibilities that will make your life busy and stressful.

The Dynamic Environment Answer
This is where their modest salary is somehow compensated with an understaffed department, meaning you will be forced to take on multi discipline roles outside of your expertise.  All for no extra money.

The Intern Answer
In this paradigm, you, the new employee, agree to work for minimum or even no wages at all because having this employers work experience on your CV/ resume will be of the highest value ... honestly!  About my time at Lehmans ....

The Outsourcing Answer
This is where you will initially use your skill and expertise to set standards, write procedures to tell other people how to do your technical job.   Then you will be both literally and figuratively redundant

Notes on New World Models
Of course I am not against new world models (like Outsourcing) per se. The Black Taxi cabs protest in London is a good example of an entrenched minority refusing to recognise that any muppet with a sense of professionalism, a car, and a smartphone GPS app can actually operate as an moderately efficient, but greatly cheaper taxi service.

When one fee based employment model is replaced by another, superior,  local, fee based model I call it progress.

But if a potential employer would like me to work for free, or close to free, or syphon off a lifetime's experience and then discard me,   I would have to say a big No thank you.

What Do I advise?
One should always show willing, but an indication of Salary from a potential employer or Agent is one of the best ways to determine whether one or more parties are completely wasting their time in this negotiation.

Or perhaps, just a little more evil?
If only I was a little more evil
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