You are not the market

While this might be the worst time of the year to hunt for a new job, if you are “in the market,” all the very best*. It’s gonna be a grind. And it will suck.

Being realistic about your pursuits is possibly the best gift you can give yourself during times like these. Particularly, when it comes to compensation packages. It won’t be the usual 15/20/30/40 percent hike that you usually get upon jumping the ship. Even if your prospective employer needs you.

Of course, there are exceptions. If you are bringing invaluable skills to the table and have done the research, you can negotiate your way to the figures you have in mind. But if that’s not the case, understand the following:

  1. Your potential employer isn’t responsible for a “salary correction.” (As one of the candidates I was interviewing put it.) If you think you “deserve” better, prove it. (Read #3 below.)
  2. It’s never about you, but their objectives, goals, and vision for the role that you’re applying. Even if you’re bring “the most wanted” skills to the fold.
  3. As a general guideline, “be so good that they can’t ignore you.” This means if you’re applying for a senior graphics designer position ensure that your skills are on part with a junior to mid-level creative director. That makes you a valuable proposition, which in-turns helps you position and negotiate better.
  4. There’s always someone who’s better and cheaper than you in “the market.”

If you are looking to hire someone right now, remember:

  1. You should be paying industry standard (whatever that number is, research or ask around, it’s definitely not 30 or 40% as candidate claim) to talented individuals. If you end up hiring one on a “bargain,” trust me they’ll leave when things will start to look normal (or better) again.
  2. Ask your recruiters to be respectful during salary negotiations. They’re representing your employer brand and arm twisting candidates into submission isn’t a great strategy hiring strategy.
  3. There’s no need to be arrogant. You’re not the market. Your competitors and clients will be willing to pay more to the candidate who’s really (and I mean “really”!) talented.

These might as well be rules for finding and closing opportunities in an organisation. Unfortunately, most (employees/employers) fail to set and meet expectations (particularly about compensation) right from the get go resulting in a wrong hire.

P.S. *If you’re on the fence, great! Don’t be. I strongly recommend not to pursue opportunities for the next 5-6 months. Instead, focus on learning and development. Find out what skills will be the most valuable for your future employers and upskill accordingly.
P.P.S. If you’re confused and need clarity on your next steps. Hire a coach. It’s the best investment you can make right now.
P.P.P.S. Sorry, my slots are taken for the next 3 months. If you would like to be on the waitlist. Sign up here.

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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