Wednesday, October 27, 2010

High Salary + Wrong Job = Failed Offer

Truly, that’s one mathematical equation which never fails. It’s stood the test of time and has come out winning each time.

Often I get questions around whether one should take an offer which they aren’t convinced is good enough for them on the work front. But the compensation was so high that they were forced (by their own mind) to reconsider the offer. Only to realize that six months later, they’re stuck with a job which they were better off not taking up. What went wrong?

Should you even worry if you got paid an exorbitant amount of salary that was way above others in the market?

Well, anything in the extreme spectrum (too good or too bad) is often unbalanced. Maybe, just maybe, there a good chance that you were the best there is for the role. Really. It’s possible. However, an employer might tend to pay high since they couldn’t find anyone to join them for a particular role. They then met a person (you) who came closest to matching their requirements. They went all out to get you onboard. The high price definitely had its own pull.

Either that happened, or the role might not have enough meat in it to attract top-notch talent. And keep them motivated.

This might sound fascinating or even confusing for people reading this, how could one not be happy in a job that pays so well? To be honest, that’s really the short-term plan kicking-in. Ever wondered what would happen if you were to look for another job? First, your current compensation will be way above what other employers can pay for a similar skill. You could really just scare them away! Second, your resume will have a quick job change listed on it, possibly weakening it a bit.

So, what should one do if confronted with this situation?

You could ask to tweak the compensation structure, if possible/allowed. The structure could help you keep the salary just about competitive enough to beat the market. While the remaining part of the compensation can be used for other benefits, such as, bonuses, stock options, travel/book/car/fuel allowance or work from home benefits with necessary equipment for the home-office.

Finally, if salary is the ONLY deciding factor in an offer, you may want to think again. Keep your options open and you could get a well-balanced offer in your hands. Most importantly, you’ll need an offer that wouldn't jeopardize your long-term plans.

Good luck!