Dear People Ops:
Recently I've had recruiters ask what I currently make. I've heard I'm suppose to get a company to say their number first. Is that right? How do you deal with answering this question?
Repeat after me: "I deserve to be paid like the baller I am". Don't stop saying it until you really mean it. Because getting paid what you deserve is sometimes a fight, and you need to be ready to advocate for yourself.
If you work in tech, you probably have at least one story about a recruiter. Some are great, some not so much (I should write a future blog on how to tell if a recruiter is working for you or against your best interest). In a nutshell, you've got to remember that most recruiters only get paid if you take the job. So its their prerogative to make sure there is both a skill and salary fit between you and a potential position they're looking to fill before investing too much time in you as a candidate. Don't take it personally.
But that doesn't mean you should reveal your salary history to them. What you made perviously has no relevance on what you should make in a new job, especially if you're taking on new responsibilities or changing industries. Basing someone's salary off their previous income is what perpetuates wage gaps. In fact, some states have gone as far at to make it illegal to ask for a candidate's salary history for this very reason.
I would expect any recruiter worth their salt to know better than to frame the question this way. If they do, politely correct them. If they insist on you telling them - well then congrats, you've found an a**hole recruiter in the wild. Consider yourself lucky, they are a rare breed and mostly hunt at night. I joke, sort of.
Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.
- David Lee Roth
So what can you do? Give a range of what you'd like to make in a new job. How do you decide this number? It should include:
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