Knowingly selling one’s self short

I have just finished a second interview with a company that manufactures (and prints) credit cards for Visa and MasterCard.

The company is highly interested in me. Particularly for my color management skills, which is an area they struggle.

I’ve been unemployed since the start of the pandemic in March. Their offer for salary is not a phenomenal one. I’m prepared to negotiate, and will do so aggressively. But should they not buckle, should I sell myself sort, given the circumstances?

Part of me says “no” given the fact the pandemic isn’t going anywhere soon, so I should treat this like any other job.

However, for almost that very same reason, one could argue just the opposite.

Any thoughts?


If you take the job and you find it not to your liking or salary expectations, you can always keep searching for another job. In the mean time, there’s a pay check coming in, which beats unemployment. It’ll be several more months before the pandemic is over and who knows how long the economic after effects will last.

One thing to consider might be the chance for quick raises or promotions in the company once you demonstrate your value to them.


The way I used to tackle being offered a lower than expected salary was to negotiate in a different way than they’d expect. Typically, I’d say that the salary was slightly lower than below, and ask that you have a graduated salary with a yearly review with a % increase per review. Or you could say that you’re being offered $30,000 but expected $40,000 and ask them if they can scale your pay each year to get to $40,000 in 3-4 years etc.

This lets them know that you’re willing to accept the lower than expected salary, but you’re willing to take the job based on the longevity of a circa 4-year promise of salary increase (depending on performance).

Shows you’re interested in staying on the long term and willing to work hard to get the percentage increases.

In the meantime - you can then look for that job that pays what you’re really worth.


Salary is the most important issue, but it’s going to be part of an overall compensation package. If you can’t get them to budge on salary, see if you can get them to increase perks and benefits instead. Flex time, 4 day work week, expense account, stock options, picking up the tab for books and classes, additional vacation and sick time, lump sum for termination before the end of the contract, better plan for medical, dental or life insurance, etc

Yeah, you’re right B. It’s something for now. If it doesn’t work out, I’m no worse off than I am now.

And Mojo, I don’t know what world you live in, but can I come join you there? From your response I have to imagine you’re doing a heck of a lot better than I have ever been :wink:

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I see it as a job that is helping “fund” your continued job search, but @Smurf2 has some good advice as well. I lost my job about 5 years ago and took about a 20% pay cut accepting another job. I was there for 8 months. I now have a job that the pay is above and beyond (including the entire overall “package”, including benefits, 401k matching, etc.). If you take the job, use it as an opportunity to learn and expand your skills if possible so that you are more marketable later on.


It is always easier to find a new job, if you are already in a job.


I’m not suggesting you ask for all that, or that you could get all of that. They’re just suggestions of the types of alternative compensation you could suggest.

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