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!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
Fabulously Broke says
I am sure you’ll get the interview, get the raise you want and do just fine
But remember, don’t shun the job just for money purposes maybe asking for more vacation or something else like a more flexible work time would do the trick for you?
Oh, I wouldn’t shun the job for money reasons. But I want at least an equivalent to what I have now.
Sadly, it’s government, so benefits/vacation/etc are standard. Nothing I can do about it there. It’s based on years of service. But we have good benefits and vacation time, so I’m not complaining!