This workplace incident will not come as a surprise to many of you.
Like I have said, I’m having a tough time with myself right now. Office is stressed along with my personal doubts and apprehensions about the future.
So a few days back I was having a discussion with a client about a new job prospect that he had for me. He knew my current situation and what I was going through. He knew I would give anything to get out of this mess one way or another. And he mighty well tried to cash-in on the opportunity.
The discussion started with he giving me sound pieces of advice on how I should not subdue my ambitions, why I should leave the company if I am not being respected and valued for my work. It very much felt like he would support me in voicing my opinions. In a very competent way of leadership, he also got me to reveal my current position wrt other job offers and future prospects. I was naive enough to give him all the details thinking he would guide me in taking the right decision. I told him I have a couple of offers but none of them have excited me enough and I was still musing over them.
The next day he invited me for an urgent call hinting that there was some good news for me. I obliged, insinuating what I had already anticipated.
As expected, he made me an offer to join the client’s organisation. I had assumed this might happen since I had an amazing relationship with the customer for a very long time. Although I was working for them through a consultancy, they had started to give me more leadership role and responsibilities. When I had decided to quit my current company, I had imagined if the customer would offer me a job. Although that would’ve been just perfect, I knew of the legal complications and never really thought it would materialise.
Anyways, coming back to our discussion. He made me an offer of a Lead role as I expected, and explained me the job. We discussed about the future prospects and how I can expect to grow with the organisation. More importantly, all the time he made me feel how they were rescuing me from a tough time knowing my condition, while I knew it was the other way round. I had lot of dependency because I was proactively doing much more work than expected to or being paid for. But I dint mind much because for me, it felt like fantasy since I was really in love with that company already. That is, until 2 mins before wrapping the call, he mentioned the compensation.
And he just dropped it like it was a no-brainer and moot point. Plus, he added that it was non-negotiable.
The problem was that the offer did not match my role at all. Although it was a little higher than what I am making currently, it did not, in any way, justify what I was supposed to do at that pay scale.
I was quiet for a minute to process what this entails. Whether I should meekly accept the offer since I do not have any better option or should I let him know what I was thinking and risk my relationship with the customer. Being the brash female that I am, I decided to do the latter.
So I told him that I would not be able to accept the offer at that pay since it does not meet my expectations. As expected, he was taken aback and could not say anything for the next 1 whole minute. Getting back his calm, he tried to patronize me with claims on how I am getting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a product giant, how not many people are lucky enough to get such a chance etc. etc.While I agree all this might be true, I refuse not to credit myself a little. After all, it was my work which brought me to this point. But most of all, how does all this justify the low pay anyway? Do you expect me to be treated like your basket case?
I tried to reason that even if I take the offer now, frankly, I would be on the lookout for better pay all the time. And once I find one, I would mercilessly be left with no choice than to move on. This would not prove healthy for either parties involved. Such honesty, much wow!
So, thanks but no thanks. I know my worth better than anyone else and I don’t give anyone the privilege to make a judgement about it.
Conclusion? People wrongly construe our emotional quotient as a weakness and assume that it gives them a right to under-value us and our potential. But instead, in reality it gives us the strength of trust and hope.
P.S. – I am wating to hear from him with a higher pay offer 😀