Yeah, I'd get free cookies and cakes, but is that enough?
May 30, 2007 8:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I negotiate (tomorrow!) a decent salary for working part-time as a creative services manager for a successful bakery where the company wants to leverage the coolness factor of the environment and I want to leverage my years of varied experience?

I recently interviewed for a creative services manager position for a small-ish but successful bakery (they sell through Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma, online, specialty stores, etc). This job covers creating/overseeing all their packaging, their print collateral, web design, some writing, working with everyone in the company from the president to the food scientists to marketing. I have a strong background in both web and print design, as well as writing and editorial. I am 41, which is important, as this company has a very specific company culture in which the older, more experienced people are expected to be in active teaching positions to the just-out-of-school people. You should also know that this job is an hour + drive from me, and on the way in (though not out), there’s a $3 toll bridge. This job is in Boston proper.

I was originally offered (via email) a full time position at $50,000, though when the president mentioned this “guess” in the interview, I said that was lower than I’d like. For the scope of the job, this sounds very low to me. We’ve been phoning and missing each other (me and various people at the company), and yesterday, I got an email from their HR person saying they’d actually like to split the job between two people, and could we talk on Thurs (tomorrow)? She did not mention a salary.

I would actually prefer to work part-time, as it would enable me to continue to work freelance (I’m also a professional musician), not have to make that commute every day, but have some steady work. So how do I negotiate a higher rate, and what’s reasonable for what is a fairly big job in scope? I know they’re leveraging the coolness factor of working at a bakery vs. an ad agency or something less “fun”, but I want to leverage my years of varied experience. All advice is appreciated.
posted by FlyByDay to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did they specifically say that splitting it was part-time? Because they may be adding pressure to you by saying, "yes, it's an important job, but we're going to pay you $50k to work with another senior person already on staff." By taking some of the responsibility away from the job, they are taking some of the leverage away from you.
posted by redarmycomrade at 9:44 AM on May 30, 2007

Well, what do you want to get paid? Lets figure out what 50k a year hourly means. I'm assuming theyre going to pay you hourly as a part-timer. 52.17 weeks in the year. minus 2 for vacation/pto/sick whatever. 50.17 *5 = 250.85 working days a year. Lets round up to 251. That's $199.20 a day in wages. Divided by 8 its $24.90 an hour.

So if you manage to get $25 dollars an hour from them you're making the equivalant of someone making $50,000 a year FT. That's ignoring benefits. If they dont offer you any benefits assume its costs them 8k a year. At 58,000 a year the hourly rate is $28.88.

The split doesnt sound good for you. They might break it up into, say, creative and management. If they do you've lost tons of leverage, but perhaps gained a much saner job.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:05 AM on May 30, 2007

$50K for part time job sounds pretty good to me, especially if you get benefits out of it.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:25 AM on May 30, 2007

50k is not too bad for a creative services manager and where you live is your decision, not the companies, so you have no additional leverage there. you could always see if you could get more but make it based on merit.

my question would be how a split would affect your benefits. many 401(k) plans only kick in if you make a certain hours per year and the same is true for a lot of the other benefit programs. I would look into that carefully.

as for the "we are cool and thus pay less" number: that might work for a younger person but it's not really a good argument with someone your age. you already have your resume, experience and reputation.
posted by krautland at 10:27 AM on May 30, 2007

I should reiterate that $50,000 was for full-time, not part. And that amount for a creative services manager in Boston is indeed *quite* low. The lower end, per my research, starts in the 80s. They said the splitting would be part time. That I'd split the job with someone else, who I think would also be coming in new, though there's a chance she's the current creative services manager who has been out on maternity leave. So far, benefits or lack thereof haven't been mentioned, so I guess I'll find all that out tomorrow.
posted by FlyByDay at 10:42 AM on May 30, 2007

I concur that a Creative Director in Boston would be starting in the low $80s. Are they really looking for that, though? Sounds like they're looking for someone to execute their ideas, not come up with new ones.

I've used freelancers to develop creative in DC and found that the rate is between $40-50 per hour for solid freelance work. You would pay a lot more for an experienced firm (where their big staff provides layers of redundancies, scalability, perhaps an expertise in printing, etc.), but I would never pay more than $60 for one specific person.

Thinking about your offer, you have to add the cost of benefits to your hourly wage if they provide them. I've done some work on this too (we have employees in MA) and you could estimate the cost of health, taxes, and 401k by calculating 18% of your salary for benefits (this is a high estimate, mind you).

So $50k x .18 = $9k additional MAX. So, you're possibly up to $34 in value. Note that benefits may cost you more than that if you try to get free-standing coverage, so it may possibly be more than $9k.
posted by redarmycomrade at 2:44 PM on May 30, 2007

redarmycomrade: Thanks so much. Did you mean $34/hour or 34 thousand for part time? But that 18% calculation is helpful.
posted by FlyByDay at 4:45 PM on May 30, 2007

hold on, guys. a creative services manager is not a creative director (I am an art director working for a major national ad agency). the creative service manager is essentially the person who schedules what creative works on what project. it is a supporting role.

also, a creative director making 80k? that would be very lowballing. I know art directors who make 100k and associate creative directors who make 150k.
posted by krautland at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2007

That might apply for an ad agency, but in this case, I'd be doing all the design (with one other person, apparently) - print, packaging and web, plus some writing and overseeing of other people there.
posted by FlyByDay at 6:22 PM on May 30, 2007

okay, how much of your position is doing it yourself vs. supervising, hiring and leading others? because it is the latter that would justify a bonus.
posted by krautland at 6:29 PM on May 30, 2007

I was actually doing the same calc as Damn Dirty Ape, only I realize now that DDA's calc is correct and mine is just, um, wrong. The 18% still holds as an estimate.
posted by redarmycomrade at 5:34 AM on May 31, 2007

I don't think I'd be doing any hiring, but also don't know about percentage of supervising and leading yet.
posted by FlyByDay at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2007

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