One thing I have been working on this week is a fairly extensive application for a new job. It’s a position that I really really really want, but I’ve done my part, so now all I can do is sit back and wait while my application is reviewed and hope that it’s good enough to get an interview.
The big issue that I’m debating here is pay. Right now, I’m a federal employee. My salary is based on my pay grade, so if I moved to another agency, the only way to get more money is to get a grade or step increase (which I am eligible for). The job I’m applying for, however, works on a different system, and the particular position has a specified pay range, but it’s a very wide range. Something like a $50k range. Of course, those with less experience are on the lower levels, those with more experience or more education are on the higher levels. But what that means is that while I should qualify for a salary equal to what I’m making now, I need to be able to present an argument as to why I deserve more.
I am not good at arguing for myself when it comes to salary.
I know that I have a good argument for why I deserve a salary equivalent to the pay grade above where I am now. I am eligible for that promotion, and could likely receive that salary at another agency. So if I get an interview, I plan to enter with that number in my head. I think that it’s a valid argument. Not to mention that if I weren’t working for the government, I could be making easily twice what I make now.
The problem is? I want this job so badly that I would take it without a pay raise if I had to. And if they realize that, they’re not going to give me more money, even though I deserve it.
Yes, I am possibly putting the cart before the horse. I haven’t gotten an interview yet. I might not make it through the first round of hiring. But I know that if/when I get the call to schedule an interview, I will be so excited that money will be the last thing on my mind. So I want to know what I want now. If I do get the position, I will still be a federal employee, so all my benefits will transfer with no problems, which is a nice feature. So I just need to lock down my salary request and my defense as to why I deserve the pay.
Given the speed of government, I could have many months to work on this. It could be months before I hear anything!