[Applied Self-Confidence] Way To High

I’ve been raked over the coals over asking to keep the dollar per hour “I earned as goodwill for my work on [ailing project][1],” reamed for talking to other recruiters within the agency over roles, railed on for asking for certain rates, and have dealt with enough recruiters to see their manipulation a mile away. Here’s a recent conversation with some recruiter that reached out about a project. See if you can spot the manipulation:

Personal information censored, conversational fluff removed, and typos left in:

  • Recruiter: If [] is interested, would you be able to start by 2/12? We can submit you at $[]4/hr.!
  • Me: No worries! I have [] that I must be off work, but I can start on the 15th or the week after. $[]4/hr would work well. You said a 2-month contract?
  • Recruiter: Would you be able to do 2/12 for first day then pick back up 2/15?
  • Me: No, I would need to give a full 10 business day notice to []. If we moved quickly and signed me today, the absolute soonest would be the 15th.
  • Recruiter: I just got feedback from the manager and they need someone that can start by 2/12, unfortunately. :/
  • Me: No can do.

I showed this text exchange to my team for advice. My direct manager, actually, recommended I press on and recommended that I say I could start on the 12th for more money. “What have you got to lose for asking[2]?”

  • Me: I was thinking, I could start on the 12th for $[]7 with benefits. I’m sure that little extra motivation could help me negotiate out of the contract, especially if you had something after that.
  • Recruiter: Since it’s a short term contract they need someone on site that does week. Their max rate is originally $[]1/hr. They were willing to take the hit for $[]4/hr. So []7 would be way to high for this opening.
  • Me: Well, thanks anyways. I just want to be respectful to my [current] recruiter and my crew here, and that wouldn’t be a number I could justify for such short notice.
  • Recruiter: I totally understand. It’s not worth jeopardizing your relationships over there.

When you know your value, you can push it.

This was a random recruiter straight out of the ether that had reached out about a role that wasn’t that great. Less pay, worse commute, and though there might have been some nice things about taking that path, who knows where that path would have led?

Besides, the key manipulation trick here was the urgency.

Why couldn’t they wait a week? Why was the 12th the requirement? That project is failing. They desperately needed someone to start on that date to help recover it. When these sorts of quick failing projects wrap up, there usually isn’t anything lined up next.

What was interesting was seeing transparency from some random recruiter.

Every recruiter has a few dollars of padding per contract. I’ve been given some of that padding for mileage and parking. Any good recruiter would rather give you an extra dollar to place you than keep all that juicy padding money for their commission.

Part of self-confidence is learning the ropes and seeing these con games.

Information like this isn’t wide-spread for exactly the reasons you might be thinking. If you read about how you can negotiate for more with any job, why wouldn’t you? It’s in the company’s best interest to make you feel like you’re ahead when you’re not.

“Why is she asking for so little[3]?”

Throughout my career, I’ve seen some interesting emails and exchanges. I don’t want to divulge too much information, so let’s just say that when you update your resume monthly, you should refresh yourself on the market rate of your job title and skill sets.

You can get bit for asking for too much and too little.

What’s the worst that’ll happen? You don’t get the gig, you get railed on for a few minutes, and your ego gets bruised? If it’s for a role you’re not really interested in, why not practice your negotiation skills? It’s practice for when you really want or need the role.

All too often, we’re conditioned to cower in fear.

Don’t! Someone at my first professional job told me about how he walked out of an interview after being disrespected. It was a shock! Over the years, I’ve seen that same level of disrespect from many people swinging around their power. It’s comical now.

When you know your worth, you can operate with bolder self-confidence.

Sources: My career.

Quotes: [1] Me. [2] Manager. [3] Email exchange.

Inspirations: Text conversation.

Related: None

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.