How to Respond to Low Paying Offer

olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
I recently had an interview for a position titled Network Administrator.
In my opinion it is mostly and Server Admin job with very little networking.
Id be mostly dealing with Server/Exchange and Hyper-V etc.
Id say I did pretty well in the interview answering all the technical questions and making him laugh a bit.

They are asking for quite a bit of work and they initially only offered me 35k.
I responded by saying I would have to think about it. I didnt know what to say...
I was really surprised and I doubt I would have showed up to the interview had I known this in advance.

During the interview they told me they wanted someone with high level certs (which I dont have) like MCSE and CCNP/CCIE.
So they are asking for a phoenix and offering chicken feed as they say.

How should I handle this situation? I easily make more money than 35k now but I would like that title and experience.
I am not willing to take a pay cut that drastic.
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Comments

  • TripleHexTripleHex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Remember, it is always just an offer. You are expected to negotiate according to everything I've read. They will always start low. What you should do is cite examples of comparative jobs with the same title and offer to them something in that pay range. This is all just negotiation and they are trying to spend as little as possible, but you know what you are worth.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,360
    How do you answer a really low offer? You don't. Or if you do, with "I am really excited about the position but that is far below my current compensation and I really can't justify that much of a pay cut right now"

    Seriously, if they're offering that low, even if they come up to where you want, you're going to have to fight for your life to earn raises, get training, etc.

    The truth is, the same type of position/title is out there with better pay, it just takes some time, persistence, and a little luck to find.
  • Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    OP, are you currently earning more in this field of IT/Sys/Network admin stuff? In that case..negotiate or pass up the offer. But I see that you are working your way towards a CCENT. This is very entry-level stuff into the field of IT, and that's an entry level pay..just saying. I looked for 50-60k jobs with my CCENT and trust me man I don't think they exist :D
  • TechGuy215TechGuy215 Explore_Dream_Discover Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Really??? CCIE and 35000? Maybe its a typo and they left another 0 of the end! : ) Seriously though, that's definitely a lowball offer I would definitely try to negotiate, chances are though if they are starting that low they won't go much higher. Good luck though!
    * Currently pursuing: PhD: Information Security and Information Assurance
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    * Degrees: MSc: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; BSc: Information Technology - Security; AAS: IT Network Systems Administration
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008
    "Thank you for the opportunity but you are far below the salary I am willing to accept for this position."

    I wouldn't even listen to any attempts to see if they could get more money. If they are that far below that the position should be paying, they aren't gonna come back and be in an acceptable range. And if they can, would you want to work for a place that tried to lowball you that much?
    Currently reading:
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  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    olaHalo wrote: »
    I was really surprised and I doubt I would have showed up to the interview had I known this in advance.
    One take-away would be to discuss rough pay ranges up-front to avoid wasting time.
    During the interview they told me they wanted someone with high level certs (which I dont have) like MCSE and CCNP/CCIE. So they are asking for a phoenix and offering chicken feed as they say.
    A negotiating tactic? It makes no sense. The roles that require a CCNA vs. a CCIE are vastly different.
    They are asking for quite a bit of work and they initially only offered me 35k.
    I responded by saying I would have to think about it. I didnt know what to say...
    My response would depend on how reasonable the offer is. If it's a true low-ball, I'm blunt "At that rate, I might as well stay home. Thanks, but no thanks." After a low-ball offer, they would need to offer me significantly more than other companies to even stand a chance, because how they behave today is likely how they will behave tomorrow.
  • GoodBishopGoodBishop Member Posts: 359 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Instead of saying "This salary is far below my current position", just say "I'm sorry, this offer doesn't meet my minimum requirements."

    And leave it at that. Let them work out what your minimum requirements are.
  • GoodBishopGoodBishop Member Posts: 359 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As a side note, I get job offers all the freakin time. Most of the time they are for lower-level jobs. It's like if you worked as a IT audit manager and then suddenly got a job to be a basic IT auditor. Nice job, recruiters.

    Depending on how polite they are in their request, I respond, basically asking them what the range is, and when they tell me, I say "I'm sorry, that offer doesn't meet my minimum requirements, I'm looking for more of the x-salary range." It never hurts to be polite. :)

    Like NetworkVeteran said, get a idea of what the salary range is up front, so you don't waste your time.
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the responses.
    I will respond accordingly.
    Params7 wrote: »
    OP, are you currently earning more in this field of IT/Sys/Network admin stuff? In that case..negotiate or pass up the offer. But I see that you are working your way towards a CCENT. This is very entry-level stuff into the field of IT, and that's an entry level pay..just saying. I looked for 50-60k jobs with my CCENT and trust me man I don't think they exist icon_biggrin.gif
    Yes I went the MS route before doing anything Cisco.
    I do make much more than 35k. Not having an entry level certification does not mean youre entry level.

    A negotiating tactic? It makes no sense. The roles that require a CCNA vs. a CCIE are vastly different.

    I am starting to believe more and more that many people/HR/managers do not understand what most certifications even stand for or mean.
    They are not aware of what it takes for someone to earn these certifications. Its like they hear it somewhere or see it online and just throw it in the list of requirements.
  • effektedeffekted Member Posts: 166
    "What is this, a salary for ants?"

    And I get a laugh out of all the various job postings that prefer entry level certs (CCNA) OR expert level certs (CCIE) but want to pay entry level salaries....It's why I always love the Dice postings that actually put the range in there, I'd imagine if I were a recruiter or in the position that I was having job postings put up I would put the salary range so that I wouldn't waste time with potential candidates that wouldn't accept such low salaries.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    The range is fine, it simply depends on where you are located and the type of company.

    It could also mean that they, like many companies I have seen incorrectly drafted a job description, in which case, they do not know what it is they need and merely are looking for a star, but might not have enough work.

    It could also be that this is a part time job and you could ask them about that as a counter..."so, for 20 hours a week that is fine pay, I will take the benefits as offered and work the morning shift so I can pick up extra classes and contract work in the evenings ;)

    I would recommend being polite regardless of how you handle things. There are a LOT of paper cert holders in the market place and if some of those folks crossed their path previously, their expectation may be low (and one of the dangers so many on this board warn about when taking cert exams...know the material, don't memorize answers.). This is your opportunity to sell your skill set and show them how you will SAVE them more than they will be paying you as IT positions are a luxury for many and simply support staff on a profile.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • kharkenkharken Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    just curious, for an entry level ccna holder, what job positions are available? is it possible to get a jr network engineer/admin for an entry level? if so, what is the range of salary of such position?
  • MeatCatalogueMeatCatalogue Member Posts: 145
    I've seen WORSE than this.

    I worked with a company and I found out their NOC level 1 position had lots of telnetting into CPE cisco routers. Company expected everyone to have a CCNA within 3 months of start date, and would often only interview people with CCNAs.

    Pay rate: $10/hr.

    Needless to say, everyone who got their CCNA left promptly. When this happened they raised it to $11.

    This was a tech company. Just cheap and greedy. Those types of companies just choose to decline the offer.
  • MeatCatalogueMeatCatalogue Member Posts: 145
    kharken wrote: »
    just curious, for an entry level ccna holder, what job positions are available? is it possible to get a jr network engineer/admin for an entry level? if so, what is the range of salary of such position?

    If you have a CCNA you can get any NOC level 1 position (assuming you dont smell or have bad breath and can communicate!). Depends on the part of the country you are in but expect $18/hr min in a real position with no experience. Within a year of solid experience (working on routers 20+ hours a week) you'll be making about $30/hr. Typically.
  • kharkenkharken Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    i live near Bakersfield, CA. So i guess that's where I would look for my first networking job. $18/hr seems decent for me considering that I have no work experience . Is $18/hr low?
  • MeatCatalogueMeatCatalogue Member Posts: 145
    kharken wrote: »
    i live near Bakersfield, CA. So i guess that's where I would look for my first networking job. $18/hr seems decent for me considering that I have no work experience . Is $18/hr low?

    Its low for a CCNA but a lot of people do not consider CCNA entry. With the invention of CCENT I suppose that is considered entry level. However, experience is a lot more valuable than any cert. Case in point: I've seen a net+ certified guy tell me he didn't know what ping was.

    Even if you take a $14/hr job, you can move in within 6 months. Most people i've worked with in IT started at the bottom and learned on their own. "Computer geeks" who needed to move out of their parents' basements and starting doing IT work, etc.
  • kharkenkharken Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    computers are my passion and I guess I would not have any problems in learning. I enjoy reading computer technical stuff so I can be considered a computer geek. My only problem is finding this first job so I can have experience. Well, I can take any entry level networking job (except helpdesk support) but I am also considering if the pay is reasonable (not too low for an entry level)
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    The range is fine, it simply depends on where you are located and the type of company.

    It could also mean that they, like many companies I have seen incorrectly drafted a job description, in which case, they do not know what it is they need and merely are looking for a star, but might not have enough work.

    It could also be that this is a part time job and you could ask them about that as a counter..."so, for 20 hours a week that is fine pay, I will take the benefits as offered and work the morning shift so I can pick up extra classes and contract work in the evenings ;)

    I would recommend being polite regardless of how you handle things. There are a LOT of paper cert holders in the market place and if some of those folks crossed their path previously, their expectation may be low (and one of the dangers so many on this board warn about when taking cert exams...know the material, don't memorize answers.). This is your opportunity to sell your skill set and show them how you will SAVE them more than they will be paying you as IT positions are a luxury for many and simply support staff on a profile.
    This is very good advice that I had not considered at all.
    Thank you very much
  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    It could also be that this is a part time job and you could ask them about that as a counter..."so, for 20 hours a week that is fine pay, I will take the benefits as offered and work the morning shift so I can pick up extra classes and contract work in the evenings ;)



    Funny enough, Ive actually used that response (after learning it from another colleague who also used that response once). When they offered me the position, I came back and said "Im sorry, I didnt realize you were hiring for a part time position."

    They sputtered incoherently for a second and then came back and said no, it's full time to which I responded, not at that rate.
    Currently Working On: Openstack
    2020 Goals: AWS/Azure/GCP Certifications, F5 CSE Cloud, SCRUM, CISSP-ISSMP
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    This is the reason I won't even interview without agreeing on a ballpark range. No point in wasting everyone's time.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • kgbkgb Member Posts: 380
    This is the reason I won't even interview without agreeing on a ballpark range. No point in wasting everyone's time.

    This is 100% spot on. I just went through a 3 separate interview process(over a period of 2 weeks) and salary was never discussed until the end. I've been on several interviews lately and a salary range was always discussed upfront. Obviously, this didn't happen on this last one and I wasted my time (not just with interviews, but a test application as well). Their offer was super low and they knew my range I needed. A counter-offer was useless. I simply told them thank you for the opportunity and keep me in mind for the future.
    Bachelor of Science, Information Technology (Software) - WGU
  • TheProfTheProf Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 331 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If the job sounds interesting, I'd try and negotiate. However, normally, I make sure to get a 10-12% increase when switching jobs. Of course, once you get to a certain salary, unless you're moving up in the positions, the salary cap won't change.
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Another example of US suffering from unrealistic expectations from employers, not a skills gap.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • thenjdukethenjduke Member Posts: 894 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would have just laughed at them and walked out. This is really low balling anywhere in the USA. This is a entry level salary and not even a CCNA or CCIE or MCSE salary. I was making more than that when I was working for the local super market as a young adult and now I am 41.
    CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDST, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, Working towards Networking BS. CCNP is Next.
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    Question, does all this apply to government jobs as well? When I was interviewing for the position, the offer was 60-70 range and the offer I received was high 50's if I remember correctly. Honestly, im happy to get my foot in the door, but i did wonder.
  • eansdadeansdad Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Is this really a low ball offer or are their other incentives like free healthcare, paid training w/certs, college tuition...etc? Depending on what your current role is and salary it might not be that bad. If you are looking to get the title and move out of a desktop/help desk role then it is great. If you are an admin and they offered this then why bother.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    There is a problem with many employers pay ranges and likewise a problem with what people are worth paying. There are many who are simply overpaid and that issue makes others feel they too are worth 'x' when they are likely not.

    It could also just be that a number of businesses should outsource their work and tap an expert pool of talent only when they need it rather than place someone on the payroll. Hence my recommendation to remain professional and sell the skill set. IF a company has crossed paths with a poser previously then they very well may not want to risk more money on another candidate when they mostly need someone on staff to reset the equipment and unjam a copy machine a few times month.

    It is real easy to say, "I am worth 'x'". But like antiques, you are only worth that if there is a buyer. The easiest time to find a job is WHILE working a job.

    If this pay is truly chump change to you, simply pass on it. Learn that next time you want to determine if the company is paying in the range you are hoping for, though I have several friends who tried to determine this and when offered jobs, the 'pay' was a bit creative...save that for another discussion though.

    IT roles are support roles. So depending on the size of the company, where and how is income generated to pay for you? What do you do during your day to realistically justify your pay (expense) to the company and how will the company be more profitable with you on board rather than another candidate or by simply hiring an outside contractor? A while back I broke down what it takes to generate enough money to earn $100K. Some companies will seemingly start out staff with low pay (due to training costs and such) and after three or six month will offer a sizable bump in pay.

    At this point, keep it professional. Inquire further and express what you will do for the pay you want.


    Best way to test the "I am worth 'x'" theory is to go on the open market and freelance. When you start pulling in the dollars you 'want' you will likely find you undervalued yourself and are worth even more. ;)
    (Or it is really frigging difficult to generate that amount and a little self-check is in order).
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    run, mrock has already called it on this one
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • eansdadeansdad Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    SephStorm wrote: »
    Question, does all this apply to government jobs as well? When I was interviewing for the position, the offer was 60-70 range and the offer I received was high 50's if I remember correctly. Honestly, im happy to get my foot in the door, but i did wonder.

    If it is straight government ie GS-level then you have to have the requirements for the level. If it's a contractor then yes they low balled you.
  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 380 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is the reason I won't even interview without agreeing on a ballpark range. No point in wasting everyone's time.
    kgb wrote: »
    This is 100% spot on. I just went through a 3 separate interview process(over a period of 2 weeks) and salary was never discussed until the end. I've been on several interviews lately and a salary range was always discussed upfront. Obviously, this didn't happen on this last one and I wasted my time (not just with interviews, but a test application as well). Their offer was super low and they knew my range I needed. A counter-offer was useless. I simply told them thank you for the opportunity and keep me in mind for the future.


    Meh, I dont usually bother asking for a ball park range, I tell them up front what Im getting now and that I expect them to better it and if they want to waste my time (and theirs) by offering something not in that ball park so be it.

    I look at it as free interview practice and often times a free trip to whatever city/state they're located in. If the company wants to waste their money recruiting someone they're never going to pay sufficiently, than who am I to stop them?

    It does suck to get all the way through the process just to find out they're paying peanuts but getting the offer is still a morale boost, keeps my interview skills sharp and helps keep me going in my job pursuit.
    Currently Working On: Openstack
    2020 Goals: AWS/Azure/GCP Certifications, F5 CSE Cloud, SCRUM, CISSP-ISSMP
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