Dec 25 2020

It’s not the one that asks that is stupid …

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 7:17

… it’s the one that gives.

This long title is a typical Romanian expression regarding trade. In case it is not clear, when somebody trying to sell something at a higher price than the item is worth, the person that decides to pay that price is considered stupid. Or they try to buy something at a lower price than the item is worth it.

I always hated this expression especially since for most of my life I’ve been quite poor.  In spite of that, I’ve always been quite aware of the value of things and I’ve been raised to be honest and fair.  When I wanted to sell something, the persons I dealt with always assumed I was asking more than the item was worth and tried to drag the price down. This made me hate the idea of selling things, and for most of my life when I had to move, I’ve either donated my things or sold them to my friends for very low prices, just to avoid the whole negotiating with strangers part. Because it’s very frustrating to me and it always makes me feel like I’m being conned.

I’ve remembered this Romanian expression because of the last job offer that I received on LinkedIN. This entry has been a long time coming, but I guess it is time.

When I decided to move to Scotland, I knew UK was not praised for its fairness towards women in the workforce. There is this rumor on the internet, that for the same position a woman is payed up to 25% less than a man. I took that into consideration when I moved. I thought maybe that I will be able to work for a long time for a company and make my expertise and dedication noticed and they will pay my worth. And if they don’t, as long as I can pay my rent, keep my cat well taken care of and save some, I’ll still be content enough.

One year after I left Romania, I had to change jobs. And I’ve participated to interviews for three months or more hoping to get a salary bigger than the one I had. The most I got offered was 60.000 a year. A friend of mine told me a while ago that I do not know how to sell myself and to negotiate. But if the maximum I get offered is 60.000, and I know that is less than I am worth, what is there to negotiate? How am I supposed to accept a job offer without feeling like I am conned and how am I supposed to give 100% for a company that is taking advantage of me?

Also, if somebody with 14 years of experience in the field and that wrote 6 books, is barely work 60.000 a year (before taxes), how much are juniors payed here? How do they actually live of these salaries, especially if they do not live with thier parents?

Even after 2 years in the UK, I get offered jobs that pay as little as 45.000. And I know friends, MEN friends that get offers that pay a lot more. Assuming gender is not a criterion and I am just being paranoid, what else could there be? Is it because I am Romanian? Who knows? I would prefer a little bit of honesty and bluntness from recruiters. I would appreciate 1000 times more a recruiter with the balls to tell me: “Look, you won’t get more than 60.000 a year because you are a woman and a god damned immigrant from a country that UK pretty much loathes. So, take it or leave it.” Instead of the typical: “I have come across your profile and was interested in reaching out about an opportunity with us.” It’s not an opportunity, if you are not improving my current situation.

99% of messages from recruiters assume I don’t like my place of work or I’m not payed enough, and they present themselves heroes extending a salvation hand to me. (I wonder how would those messages look like if they were written on the assumption that I am happily employed?)

Guess what? I don’t need saving. I actually like my current job and the people I work with. And unless the offered salary is so big, I would be stupid to refuse, there is no chance I will ever consider another job offer.

When dealing with recruiters, the job offer is not an opportunity they give to you. They are asking to buy moments of your life at a certain price. If they offer less than you deserve and you accept, you are the stupid one that gives.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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