Why Does Your Current Salary Matter When Looking for a New Job?

Posted on August 27, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

ConceptI asked my sister how her job search was going and she told me that she spoke to a head hunter and was stunned by what the head hunter told her. The conversation went something like this:

Headhunter, “What kind of pay are you looking for?”

Sis, “I feel I’m worth $62,000 after doing some study on Payscale for this position.”

Headhunter, “How much are you making in your current position?”

Sis, “Around $42,000 annually.”

Headhunter, “I’ve never seen a $20,000 increase from job to job in my career as a headhunter. You’ll never get that.”

Sis, “What does that matter? And how much does the position offer?”

Okay, I don’t get it. The headhunter was saying that it’s nearly impossible to jump from one job to another by $20,000 or more. My question is simply, “Why not?” If you learned enough at your current job, was a star performer, left with glowing reviews and even got more education under your belt, why can’t you garner a lot more money than your last job? Doesn’t it depend on what the job offers anyway?

If a job is worth $65,000 per year, and the company is willing to pay that, why should they offer you any less? Further, why should you accept any less? The position is worth what someone can fill and if my sister can fill it, why should she come onboard with only $10,000 more than what she was earning at her previous employment just because there’s some headhunter rule out there in Job Search Land telling her she’ll never get what she is asking for? I’m also pretty sure that this headhunter is going to make a commission off what she can sell my sister for.

I think it’s wrong for HR or headhunters to ask what you were or are making at your current position when job searching. I think we should all hold that information back and leave that answer blank. I really don’t believe it’s anyone’s business. Again, if you are capable of filling the boots of a job worth $65,000 a year, why should you settle for a penny less?

I don’t get it. This is America! Does anyone out there know?

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Employee WIsdom September 2, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Katherine, I believe you are right with the thought that If you have learned enough at your current Job you should go for the kill.

    I would say that If you are applying for a Assistant Manager post you should atleast know what a Manager does. It is added advantage, First you have all the qualification for the Role you applied for. Secondly, you know the Roles and Responsibilities for the next level.

    This works as an added advantage in the discussion and you can always project your self a candidate who is ready for even a bigger oppurtunity.

    • Katherine Razzi
      Katherine Razzi September 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

      I agree 100%! Thank you for your input.


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