I've been out of work for over a year, and the job search hasn't been going well. I recently received an offer that is $15k less than I was making at my prior position, and is a demotion in title(From "Senior Programmer", to "Developer I"). I'm very discouraged, but feel like I don't have much choice, given the financial situation I'm in. Will I be committing career suicide by accepting it? As always, complicating details inside.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Up until about a year ago I was employed as a web developer. I've only had two jobs in my ~15 yr. career, as a developer. This seems to be a mistake in the tech industry, as it seems the only way to get a jump in salary or title at most dev shops is to leave for greener pastures, and my skills and salary had stagnated somewhat at my previous position, prior to a bankruptcy imposed layoff, in early 2012.
I don't have latest and greatest web technologies and buzz words on my resumé, I don't have any public-facing examples of work I've done (My previous employment was with a single product, subscription software web-app, in a niche market.), or any code on open source projects on github that I can wow a potential employer with, and these seem to be standard requirements now for web dev jobs.
This combined with the lack of a degree, and my reluctance to commute or relocate (I live 1 - 1.5 hrs. from a couple major metropolitan areas w/ plenty of tech employment, but my general area has very little.) has really hampered my job search.
This is only the second offer I've received in my year or so of searching (I had a decent severance, and probably didn't search as urgently as I should have, following the initial layoff. I was burnt-out, and pissed off, and essentially took a 4-month vacation.). The first was earlier in my search, and I was actually excited about the position, but that offer went south due to a miscommunication with a recruiter. I was repeatedly told, by the recruiter for the position, that the employer was open to telecommute, and when they finally made an offer, it was contingent upon relocation.
Since then I've had other interviews, but nothing that has gone beyond a first or second round.
This latest interview went well, they were happy with the example code I wrote, and though I wasn't very excited about the industry, the office environment, or the commute, my potential coworkers seemed like good people, and the position is a good fit for my skill set (I'd be able to get up to speed and contribute pretty much immediately, and have the opportunity to expand into some areas that I'm interested in, and should be more current in, as a web developer.).
However, my interactions with HR have left a bad taste in my mouth. I received a call a day or so after the interview, from a women in HR, where she stated the high range of the salary they were looking at for the position was approx. $8k less than I was making in my prior job. I tried to act positive, and said that depending on other aspects of the position, and the potential for advancement, that might be acceptable. Didn't hear anything for several days, and was expecting a response by Friday, or Monday, based on what I was told in the interview. So I figured the position was offered to someone else, based on my salary discussions with the HR position.
Cut to yesterday evening, I received an email with an offer letter and a salary of $7k less than the figure I had already previously discussed w/ HR, and only two weeks vacation, w/ no opportunity to accrue more.
Am I wrong to feel insulted? It would be one thing if they said, "I'm sorry, the previously discussed figure is the most we can offer.", but they already knew that figure was low, and came back w/ an offer that was even lower.
I feel like I'm backed into a corner, and don't have much of a choice. Like I should just suck it up, and take the job, get back on my feet financially, work hard and kick ass, and start looking for something better after a year or so at the new job.
OTOH, I feel like taking such a large pay cut would be the final nail in the coffin on an already mediocre looking resumé, and I'd be forever stuck in dead-end, mediocre dev jobs if I accepted it. Not to mention, it's not going to do much for my motivation or overall job satisfaction to be resenting a new employer from day 1.
What to do? I have a throwaway email address of email@example.com