Do Salary Expectations Get in the Way of the Right Career Decision?

Aug 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by Healthcare IS Team

There are a handful of factors that motivate people to make a job change. In my experience, it's not just one of these factors that prompts someone to start looking, but a few combined. In the end, though, the focus tends to come down to just one thing: money.

Throughout the interview process, candidates will usually discuss the issues they think the hiring manager wants to discuss. When asked why they’re looking to make a change, they may talk about wanting to take the next step in their career, and their current position not offering that. Maybe they’ll say they’re not challenged enough with current projects. Possibly they’re looking for less travel or a shorter commute. Typically, during the interview process, money is not discussed extensively.

However, when it comes to offer time, things change. The primary motivators for a move all of a sudden don’t mean as much as a 15% salary increase. Everything has gone great during the interview process, and the candidate is interested in the position, and is ready to accept it — as long as he or she is offered $115K instead of the $100K he or she is currently making.

When asked, “Would you accept the position for the same amount of money you’re making now?” the answer is almost always, “Why would I make a move for the same money?” To me, the answer here is simple: Because the new position offers all of the other things that you want and do not have in your current situation.

Look at it this way . . .

If you were unemployed and interviewing for two positions, one of which was your current position with your current company and the other a higher level position with a competing company (Company B), what factors would you consider? You would probably look at opportunity for advancement and career growth, types of projects on which you’ll be working, location/travel, job security, the people with whom you’ll be working and, of course, money.

Now, let’s say when you evaluate all of these factors, Company B ranks much higher than your current company. The position is a promotion, the projects offer more excitement, the location/travel is ideal, the company is stable, and the people seem great. But the money is the same. In this case, remember you’re unemployed. Would you still choose your current situation over Company B because Company B isn’t paying $115K? Or would you look at the overall opportunity and, knowing that the money is the same but that the opportunity is better, go with Company B?

Why, then, do so many people pass up a better opportunity to advance their career by staying in their current role, with their current company, at their current salary, because they weren’t offered a 15% increase. You tell me!

You may also like: Is Your Management Team Preventing You From Attracting Top Talent?

General, Consulting, Interviews, Healthcare IS Team

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