Trick or Treat: Salary commensurate with experience

Trick or Treat: Let’s have Salaries reflect Experience

Happy halloween everybody. It is one of my favorite holidays as we get to layer one mask onto another. We also get to see kids get to go up and crash on sugar. We often focus on the treats of halloween. What about the “trick” part of trick or treat? For this halloween, I would love to see the tri of having salaries truly reflect and be commensurate with experience. Let me explain.

Have you been on the job market the past year? How about the past five years? How about ever? If so, you have probably come across a job ad and may have even applied for such a job that lists a hundred-and-one qualifications after which it notes “salary commensurate with experience”.   Here’s a job interview question for you? Have you ever bought into that line?

Life would be so much easier if job postings listed all its desired qualifications and then honestly noted “we want the world from you but don’t expect a grand salary from us.” More and more, job listings are demanding seven to ten years of experience, in-depth knowledge of an esoteric topic, an advanced degree plus random skills such as being able to lift twice your own weight or do Jedi Mind Tricks. Huh?   The kicker is when you read these job postings that say “salary commensurate with experience” while a few lines above they noted they wanted someone who was “enthusiastic, high energy, flexible, team player, experienced, creative, curious, motivated, and highly qualified.”

You may look at that job posting, wince and still think “ok, what the heck. I will apply.” You submit your resume for consideration because you are enthusiastic, creative and everything in between. You may even pull off that Jedi mind trick with enough time because you are a go-getter. Then you wait.

You get super excited when they send you an interview request and then two minutes into the interview you start sensing this job probably pays no where near what it should considering the job posting’s listed expectations. You are not surprised when the interviewer or HR administrator lets you know that you are the best candidate. Of course, they then go on to note their embarrassment at not being able to offer you what you are really worth.

You start to sweat not because you are nervous about your ability to answer the interview questions. You to start to sweat because you are extremely anxious to get out of the interview at that point.   You then purposefully bomb a particular question.   You then move on to the next job posting and cycle through that experience all over again.

Now imagine that you do manage to negotiate a slightly higher salary than the employer was originally considering. You know what happens when you start the new position?  You are expected to work minor and major miracles alike.

In short, salaries are often “commensurate with experience” if by that it is meant that you have experience with doing more with less as well as doing 90% of the work for not much to show in return.

3 replies »

  1. We get to layer one mask onto another <- SO TRUE! I love that!
    I hate job postings that state salary commensurate with experience, it feels like an immediate rip off and how the hell are they really gauging any of it. Like you say, it's usually in those positions where you're expected to work miracles with not a lot coming back at you.
    Happy Halloween!! 🙂
    ~ Andrea ❤


  2. They want your blood, sweat and tears, as usual; pay you a pittance for it all; and expect you to put on a smile and take all their crap. Some poor “peons” have to put up with it if they want to pay their bills and put food on the table. For all of stress, I hope they will have medical insurance – they will need it. The whole thing stinks. Good post, Mimi.


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