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Question
Posted by: Soul | 2011/09/20

Advice on possible career opportunity

Hi there

I am permanently employed at a pretty large, well established law firm, but have been looking for another job, in the same field, either for a little less than what I’ m earning now but closer to home, or if I couldn’ t find anything closer to home, then definitely for an increase in salary. Feels like I reached my full potential where I am at the moment and there is little more I can learn or where I can work within the firm itself as I have worked for the litigation department, as well as gained proper knowledge and experience in the current department I am in.

An agent found me a possible job, not far from where I work now, with a reputable firm, in the commercial field. At first I told her I wasn’ t interested as they were offering what I am getting out at the moment, and obviously my first choice was finding something closer to home. And what was the point of moving, even if it is to gain experience in the commercial field, if I still work in the same area but for the same money? The agent said she understood and would let me know should something else come around.

The agent phoned me again yesterday to ask me whether I wouldn’ t just consider speaking to the firm offering the commercial secretary job as they are very interest in having me because of my excellent typing capabilities and also because I have a steady track record with the current firm I am with (i.e. I am not a job-hopper). They said they understood what I explained about the salary, but if I came in we could discuss it. So, I’ m going for the interview today.

How do I approach the situation in the best possible manner without kicking myself in the you know what! I want to create opportunities for myself with them, not take away possible future endeavours away. If they want to talk salary to me, what do I say? I don’ t want to come over as too eager or too arrogant. Obviously if they give me what I get now (around R11600) what’ s the point, except maybe for extra knowledge in a field I have no experience in, and a R500 –  R700 increase from them on what I’ m getting know, might seem okay, but the firm I am working for now gives the same amount of increase in January, so I will then be earning exactly the same, whether I come or go in 3 months time anyway. Do I mention that to them, do I outright give them an amount I have in my head? Of course, I know this isn’ t Jhb and Pta don’ t pay what Jhb pays at all, but I am really good at what I do and have been doing this for between 7 –  10 years and know I have the potential to do even more if someone just gives me the opportunity.

Also, I have an arrangement with my current firm and partner I’ m working for, that I work 30 min in during my lunch hour in order to leave half an hour earlier in the afternoons so I can fetch my kids from crè che and aftercare as their crè che closes at 17:30 and I just don’ t get to them on time if I leave from where I am at 16:30, but if I leave at 16:00 I’ m there about 10 –  15 min before the crè che and aftercare closes. Do I mention that to them and ask them whether they could give me the same arrangement, or would that be asking too much?

Please need your advice...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageExecutive coach

Hi Soul,

Thank you for your post. I hope that the interview went well.
There are a number of items to be addressed here.

One of the ways to weigh up your current situation vs the possible one you are describing, is to see long term, what opportunities are offered to you, and what are your own long term goals.
Apart from salary, you will also have walked into the interview and after a while, got a flavour of their culture .i.e. how they work. Some companies for example are very casual and others are formal. Which do you prefer?

The agent makes a living from placing people in jobs, and will therefore have your interest at heart, and her client, but also herself, so be aware of why she is nudging you carefully to take the job.

It is normally better to let them bring up numbers in an interview, and then you can decide if they are in your price range. You can always negotiate. If they think you are worth it, they will pay more because you will bring in a lot more for them than your salary.

These days companies are flexible with family-related issues. It is fine to bring this up at the first interview or after. However, once you have signed the contract, negotiations are normally over.

I am not sure how far you travel to work, but from here it sounds as if time is more of an issue than money. What will be your situation when creche changes to school?

Good luck

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Executive Coach | 2011/09/23

Hi Soul,

Thank you for your post. I hope that the interview went well.
There are a number of items to be addressed here.

One of the ways to weigh up your current situation vs the possible one you are describing, is to see long term, what opportunities are offered to you, and what are your own long term goals.
Apart from salary, you will also have walked into the interview and after a while, got a flavour of their culture .i.e. how they work. Some companies for example are very casual and others are formal. Which do you prefer?

The agent makes a living from placing people in jobs, and will therefore have your interest at heart, and her client, but also herself, so be aware of why she is nudging you carefully to take the job.

It is normally better to let them bring up numbers in an interview, and then you can decide if they are in your price range. You can always negotiate. If they think you are worth it, they will pay more because you will bring in a lot more for them than your salary.

These days companies are flexible with family-related issues. It is fine to bring this up at the first interview or after. However, once you have signed the contract, negotiations are normally over.

I am not sure how far you travel to work, but from here it sounds as if time is more of an issue than money. What will be your situation when creche changes to school?

Good luck

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