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Q: If I know a position pays significantly less than my desired salary, should I interview anyway with the hope they'll increase the salary base?
A: Do it with more than just “hope.” If you’re hoping for $50k for a $40k job, don’t waste your time or theirs. Be smart about your job search: find a way to monetize your contribution to a company, such as showing how your goal of 10% savings in purchasing can be worth $100k savings per year.
For example, I had a client who worked for a soup company. The line people in the plant were putting in an extra ounce of broth in jars. Why? If a one-pound jar was sold and there was not one pound of broth, then the FDA could fine them thousands of dollars. So for good measure, they put a little extra in. They didn’t trust the old scales.
My client told his employer he could replace them with digital scales, which were more accurate, and they wouldn’t need an extra ounce of soup — a practice he calculated was costing the company $150k per year. He could then go to a prospective employer and say, “Why don’t we set up a bonus system? Because I think I could save you $150k right off the bat from what I’ve seen by walking around here. Could we entertain an above average salary for above average work?”
Go ahead and interview if you think you convey how much extra you’re worth and why you’re worth it, in which case you could potentially be offered a lot more money.
Next week's question: What is the best way to continue negotiating from an existing offer if it does not quite meet my minimum requirements?