Companies have a great con they use to get you to take less money. Not enough people step away, especially when they use it in the first HR screening conversation.


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Stupid career mistakes. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and I've got another one for you. And this shows up in your interviewing; it shows up on negotiating the salary when you get the offer, and impacts your career. Let me explain.

This stupid mistake is falling for the sucker play that corporations lay on people. And that play is, "This job is going to help your career a lot. What's more important to you the money or the work," as though they're mutually exclusive. And most people fall for that routine, they start to go, "Oh, the job is very important to me. Sure, I'll settle for less than what my market value is, in order to get this opportunity."

Think of it this way. Completely different. And that is, they're not mutually exclusive of one another. If you accept the lesser salary when you come on board, you're going to discover there are people making more than you. And how are you going to feel at that moment?

Companies use this line to try and get you to take less. And the response to it is really very simple. "If I can't afford to work here, I'm going to wind up leaving. Thus, I'm looking for something where I'm paid fairly for what I'm going to do. And I know when I come on board, I'm gonna find people making more than me. And how do you think I'm gonna respond to that?"

"Oh, no, no, no, there's no. We're gonna pay you fairly for what you do," is going to be the return. "And you're not as strong as those people are?"

Well, how do you know that? From the interviews, or for them, seeing me work? So here's the reality.. I need both, I need great work, I need to be paid fairly for it. And note, HR is going to have this conversation with you at the beginning of the interview. And then they're going to manipulate you later on, using your words to bite you in the rear by giving you a lowball offer.

So your job is to head this off at the beginning by saying "they're not mutually exclusive. I want to be paid fairly for what I do. And I want to be doing great work. Someone's going to give this to me. And right now, we're at the beginning of the job search process, or beginning of the interview process, I should say. And I haven't met my manager, I haven't met my team. I haven't met the people I'll be working with. I don't have anything more than a job description and a 10 minute conversation with you and you're asking me to negotiate down. Let's get to that later on. Okay?

Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman. Visit my website, There's a lot more there that you can watch, listen to or read that will help you with your search, with hiring more effectively, managing and leading, or workplace related issues. In addition, if you're interested in one on one coaching, you can schedule time at the site with me for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. You can follow me on linkedin at My network tends to be larger than yours. So following me there, connecting with me there will help you a lot. And I also want to say I'd love to work with you. Really do schedule time with me. And subscribe to my channel on YouTube by (sorry, clicking this small little thing in the lower right I can't do it today). Clicking the small button in the lower right. You'll get notified when I release something new. Have a terrific day and be great


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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