This is a false dichotomy question. By that I mean no matter what answer you choose, it’s not right. That’s because everyone’s tempted to say, “Oh, the job is more important.” And then the offer comes out for less money than you want and they can say, “See! See! You said the position was more important!”
Conversely, if you say the money is more important, “Oh you’re not really career-oriented!” Nonsense.
The way to respond is by saying, “You know, it’s a false dichotomy you are proposing to me. If I were to say to you, ‘how would you like to be working in the same job for $30,000 less than what you’re making now,’ you would say, ‘No, impossible!’ ‘But don’t you like the work?’”
What you’re doing is throwing it back at them. You’re pointing out how ridiculous the question is and then you continue by saying, “look, the position is important. Money is important. If I can’t afford to take care of my family, the position can be fabulous and I’m not going to be able to stay in this job. Conversely, if you give me a lot of money and a boring position, I’m not going to be happy in this role. Both have to be in place. Both have to be appropriate for me. Both have to be right. It’s not a question of one or the other.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, 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 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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