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The good, the bad and the ugly of surviving on the job

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Low-balling the Salary

6. Low-balling the salary

salary negotiations, job interviews, job applicants, hiring managers

© alexandr labetskiy | dreamstime.com

Back when I’d just gotten out of grad school, I saw an ad calling for a legal writer. At the time I was working as a legal proofreader at a corporate law firm and I was desperate to get out of it. The advertised salary seemed reasonable— $45,000 which was enough for me at the time.

The interviewer was a Korean woman who was similar in age as I was. She came across very abrasive but seemed to like my credentials in writing and my employment at high-powered corporate law firm. Suddenly she announces that the job I was applying for paid $30,000 and that there was no room for negotiations.

“I thought the job posting said the salary was $45,000.” She said it was a mistake, and $30,000 was what the company was offering. “I guess this job is not right for me.” I shrugged, put away my resume and proceeded to leave. She was really shocked that I stopped the interview midway. She tried to make nice with me as she walked me to the door but I didn’t have to provide her with any other explanation other than the fact that I was no longer interested in the job.

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I definitely got the sense that the Korean woman was on a power trip because I was another Korean woman. I wrote about this in an article about woman-on-woman power politics on the job. She gave me a take it or leave it proposition during a job interview and I left it.

It always amazes that hiring managers throw down these obnoxious low-ball offers and then get offended when you walk away from such a shady deal.

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