After a decade in for-profit marketing in a secondary city, I'm being seriously considered for something close to a dream job in Toronto. The main issue is that there'd be a major salary drop -- from CAD$75,000 a year to sub-CAD$50,000, and I'd be moving from a place where the cost of living is low, and my house is mortgage-free and paid off, to, well, Toronto. My current location is not commutable to Toronto. What can I negotiate with my (hopeful) employer to help make up the difference?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (35 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I will probably get about $120–130K from selling my current house (secondary city!), and will be moving to Toronto with a job for me, but none for my wife, who is a brilliant person with tons of moxie, but a very spotty employment record – barista until our marriage until about five years ago, and the time since then spent in a slow, steady attempt to start an ultimately unsuccessful baking business. Rent in Toronto, in the kind of apartment we'd need and in a neighbourhood we'd like, begins at about $2000 a month. We've looked into living in the 'burbs, as well as Hamilton etc., but our feeling is if we're going to move to Toronto, we want to live in Toronto, and defray rent by not having to own a car, taking advantage of all of the free and low-cost things the city has to offer, etc.
Salary is non-negotiable, and the job is one I'm passionate about. It comes with no benefits, is work-from-home (but requires semi-frequent in-person meetings with board members), and offers four weeks of vacation a year. It's not a job where every second is accounted for – demanding, yes, but the important thing is that the job gets done, not that I am specifically on the clock from exactly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
So the plan for the moment, should I (a) accept that salary and (b) get hired, is to sell my house, move to Toronto, and use the house income to defray living expenses while my wife trains up and then hits the job market. This might take a while; jobs aren't always easy to come by. Our age (40 and 36, respectively) is also freaking us out a little; we don't have much in savings, and this definitely isn't a "plan for retirement" sort of plan.
The vibe from my potential employer is excellent and I really feel like they want to hire me, are acutely aware that they can only offer a very lowball rate compared to my current salary, and are interested in seeing how we can make this work. They pitched me the salary by phone last night, and I promised to get back to them today with a "let's talk more" or a "I just can't do it" answer.
I intend to call back with a "yes, let's talk more" answer, but I want to be sure I haven't missed anything that I can ask for that will help me cope with this much lower salary and economic uncertainty. So far, I've got a short list of "stay where I am for a couple of months to work from here from home, and work on my house to get the best possible money for its sale," "allow freelancing if it's in a non-competing area and doesn't affect the completion of my duties," and "help me find affordable accommodations".
I've never worked non-profit before; I'm excited and enthusiastic about this job, but quite worried about what might happen if we move to Toronto and my wife can't find work. I'd like to get the best terms possible, leaving salary and benefits off the table, but I'm not sure I'm thinking of all the things we should talk about. What else is there to negotiate when money and benefits are off the table?